Metro Committee OKs Ban on Riders Accused of Sex Offenses, Firearm Crimes

Metro’s safety and operations committee recommended approval Thursday for a proposal that would temporarily ban riders accused of sex offenses or crimes involving a dangerous weapon or firearm.

The proposal was spurred largely by an uptick in reports of offenses such as indecent exposure on Metro trains and buses, which have doubled amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pavlik.

Pavlik said the amended policy targets “repeat offenders” who’ve been arrested for these crimes and are usually released the same day to appear for a future court date. He said some of those individuals return back to public transportation and commit similar sex-related and firearm offenses.

A summary of the amended policy, which must now receive full board approval:

• Person charged with a first offense would receive a 14-day suspension with written details on not being able to use Metrorail and Metrobus services.
• Second offense increases to a 30-day suspension.
• Third offense rises to a one-year ban from Metro.

The appeal process must begin within five days and would be handled by outside counsel and responded to within 15 days. A person found guilty would not be refunded for any transit fees.

Pavlik said

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