Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies have made an arrest in the Metro Red Line stabbing that occurred on Aug. 19 in Hollywood and left one man dead.
According to the sheriff’s department, Gene Sim, 33, a transient, was arrested Tuesday night without incident in Buena Park. Sim was booked for a probation violation, but murder charges are pending. He is being held without bail.
The stabbing occurred around 7 p.m., according to a Metro spokesperson. An argument had started between Sim and North Hollywood resident Jesse Garay, 59. According to reports, Garay began to swing a plastic chain at Sim, who then allegedly hit Garay in the head with a skateboard and stabbed him in the upper torso. Garay was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the incident occurred between the Western/Hollywood and Hollywood/Vine stations as the train traveled northbound. When the train stopped at Hollywood/Vine, the suspect fled on foot.
Marc Littman, a spokesperson for Metro, said the train operator was alerted of the incident after a passenger pulled the emergency cord. Because the train stopped between stations, the operator continued toward the next station in an attempt to get the injured passenger medical care, he said. Littman said some people have questioned why the operator opened the subway doors, allowing the suspect to flee.
“You don’t want to trap passengers with a guy who is armed,” he said.
Littman said the Metro operations center was notified of the incident at approximately 7:26 p.m., and a call to the sheriff’s department was made at about 7:28 p.m. Three minutes later, sheriff’s deputies were on scene, he said.
The homicide was the first in the Red Line’s history, Littman said. He said Metro’s five rail systems have served more than one billion passengers, and there have been only a handful of violent incidents.
“You are safe on the system. …This is a random act of violence. It’s extremely rare,” Littman said.
He added that Metro contracts with the sheriff’s department, which complements and coordinates with local police departments. Littman said Metro has beefed up patrols in response to the incident.
According to the sheriff’s department, the investigation is still ongoing.
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