After an attack, more homeless sleeping at two Dallas stations, DART Police increases visibility

After an attack, more homeless sleeping at two Dallas stations, DART Police increases visibility

DALLAS -- Dallas Area Rapid Transit says it is working to increase its officers visibility at two stations following an attack and concerns from riders in recent weeks.

At 5 p.m. on a weekday DART’s Baylor Medical Center Station sees a flurry of patients and professionals. People like Angela Johnson, who’ve noticed a new crowd during her daily commute. 

"There’s a greater presence of the homeless population here, but I don’t feel unsafe," she said.

But that can change as the work day becomes night.

"I’m usually cruising through around 4:00 am, 4:30-ish," said Daniel Marvin, who lives in East Dallas. 

He says he's seen a change at the station with own eyes, nightly, on his way home after bartending.

"Now it’s just full of garbage and people use the restroom out there," he said. 

He captured video the other night of several people sleeping around the DART stop. 

"There’s about five people that were all camped on the benches with blankets and pillows even," he said.

Another frustrated neighbor shared a photo of the stop from 5:00 am last Friday, showing trash strewn about and someone laying on the ground where passengers usually stand and wait.

There are also complaints at DART’s Deep Ellum station, where Michael Moreno was attacked and beaten while waiting for a train on June 18.

According to his family's GoFundMe page, he continues to recover from serious injuries.  Dallas Area Rapid Transit says it has heard riders concerns and is responding by stepping up its presence at both stations.

"They may actually start seeing things like police cars, squad cars with officers in there, walking the stations, getting back on the trains, going back and forth, just trying to be more visible," said Morgan Lyons, with DART.

That will also include unseen security with plainclothes officers. And DART says it’s all in partnership with DPD and Baylor Police.

"Sharing that information among the different jurisdictions and among the different police agencies, we think, is going to be really important," said Lyons.

Marvin says he’s seen some of that effort already.

"There is more of a police presence, they’re just not doing much to alleviate the problem," Marvin said. 

Whether it calms late night riders nerves remains to be seen.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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