HomeCity NewsArmed Metro Bus Standoff Ends in Arrest

Armed Metro Bus Standoff Ends in Arrest

An armed man who apparently fell asleep on a Metro bus was taken into custody on July 1 following a standoff with authorities in Glendale; no one was hurt.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the man was in possession of a loaded gun. It is unclear what charges, if any, the man might face.

Officers were sent to Los Feliz Boulevard and San Fernando Road about 9:45 a.m. Monday, where the bus had stopped, according to the Glendale Police Department.

The driver and other passengers got off the bus, and law enforcement personnel were notified. However, the man remained aboard until shortly before noon, when he exited and was taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s department.

“Metro thanks our bus operator for quickly notifying authorities after he spotted a gun in a sleeping passenger’s waistband,” Metro said in a statement. “The bus operator and all passengers were safely evacuated from the bus, with all passengers boarding the following bus to reach their destinations.

“Nothing is more important to Metro than the safety of our customers and employees,” Metro said. “Metro strictly prohibits carrying dangerous weapons on the Metro system, whether concealed or visible. The LASD is leading the investigation into this incident.”

The standoff comes just after the L.A. Metro’s board of directors decided to create its own police department while cautioning against an over-reliance on “an exclusively enforcement-first narrative” in the effort to ensure safety on the troubled transit system.

The Metro board voted 10-0 on June 27 following months of highly publicized violent crimes on buses and trains, with a five-year plan to put the new policing system in place called the Transit Community Public Safety Department.

Metro’s current contracts with its three law enforcement agencies — the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department and Long Beach Police Department — will remain in place until the new system is fully operational, according to Robert Gummer, the agency’s interim deputy chief of system security and law enforcement.

Metro board member and Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian weighed in on the move.

“It’s kind of like a divorce where you still love each other but certain things have gotten in the way,” Najarian said. “Sometimes things just don’t work out. I don’t think we are ever going to envision a system where we don’t have any contact with our law enforcement partners.”

Metro plans to build upon what the agency currently has — retaining 386 officers — but adding more ambassadors, crisis interventionists, clinicians and homeless outreach providers. The goal is for the in-house department to have 673 staff working in public safety, an increase of about 227 from the current figure.

Metro said the plan is estimated to cost $192.6 million per year compared with the $194 million multi-agency contract.

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