DALLAS - Kennan Jones is recovering from a brutal beating by seven fellow passengers on DART’s Green Line Sunday night.
"I think that I'm resting in the fact that I'm alive," said Jones, 44.
It was just after 11 p.m. when the southbound Green Line train stopped downtown at the Pearl St. Station and the doors slid open.
Jones was on his way home from school in Farmer's Branch that night when a group of young men and women walked on board.
"All of a sudden, they started smoking. I'm like come on man. We're on the train. Put that out right now. Wait until you get off the train. It's not that serious to smoke. You got other people on here who don't want to smell all that. That's when it escalated," explained Jones.
Moments later, one of the young women spat on Jones and one of her friends pushed him.
Another rider recorded video of the violent beating and posted it to Facebook where it has been shared tens of thousands of times.
When that Green Line train arrived at Deep Ellum, the fight tumbled out onto the platform where others joined in.
Jones now wonders why the operator did not stop the train in Deep Ellum once realizing what was happening. Instead, the operator continued down the tracks.
"Instead of you calling the police, or staying there and closing the door, you take all the people who did it, home," continued Jones.
In June, another rider was attacked at the same Deep Ellum station. That same month, a woman was raped near the DART station at Baylor in the same area. And homeless have been camping out at the platforms.
DART pledged to increase police presence but said it took officers 15-minutes to get to Jones after he was attacked.
"We apologize for this happening. Especially to that customer. This is not something we want happening on DART's trains. So, we actually want to catch these individuals and we want to prosecute them," said Mark Ball, DART spokesman.
Sunday’s attack happened a half hour before service ends and DART had skeleton staff on that night, added Ball.
Jones is recovering from a black eye, bruised ribs and sore knees. He said he'll remain a regular on the trains but hopes his attackers arrested, as well.
Besides manpower, one of DART's problems, as many riders have said, is that very few of the trains are equipped with any onboard cameras that could have seen Sunday's fight.
There are cameras on platforms and DART said its staff watches those feeds. Still, people who live downtown said DART should be more proactive and less reactive.
"The people who do the bad behavior and causing the problems, they don't fear anything because they don't see consequences,” said Veronica Simmons, downtown resident.
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