BART police launch review of response to naked man's station outburst 

click to enlarge Yeiner Perez Garizabalo has been charged with several counts of battery after a May 10 incident at the 16th Street BART station.
  • Yeiner Perez Garizabalo has been charged with several counts of battery after a May 10 incident at the 16th Street BART station.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said Wednesday that he has ordered an internal review of how his department responded to an incident at a San Francisco station last month in which a man stripped naked and harassed people.

"If there were any procedural failings we will correct them, and if there were performance issues with our officers we will address them," Rainey said.

Yeiner Perez Garizabalo, 24, a trained acrobat, is charged with two felony counts of false imprisonment, four misdemeanor counts of battery on public transportation and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery for the May 10 incident.

The acrobat, who goes by the name Yeiner Perez, allegedly ran naked through the station, grabbed several riders, kicked a BART employee, and did a handstand and splits on fare gates, among other moves. The incident was captured on video, and the video went viral several weeks later.

District Attorney George Gascón said Tuesday that BART police never filed an arrest report for the incident so prosecutors weren't notified about it until after the video came to light.

Rainey didn't specify what about the BART police response to the incident troubled him. He declined to say if his agency had filed an arrest report but said that will be one of the issues the internal probe will explore.

He said he expects a preliminary report on the incident to be presented at BART's Citizen Review Board meeting next week.

Rainey also announced Wednesday that retired Police Chief Patrick Oliver will conduct an assessment of reforms BART police have made since unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by former Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.

He said he asked Oliver, who formerly headed four police departments in Ohio, to assess BART's reform efforts because he was the lead evaluator in a review that the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE, conducted after Grant was killed.

Rainey said Oliver will begin his review in July. He said he hopes it will go quickly because Oliver already is familiar with BART, and the aim is for Oliver to submit his findings by September.

Rainey, who said he has made a "personal and professional commitment" to reforming BART's police department, said he thinks the agency has made "tremendous progress" in implementing the recommended changes.

However, he said, "the naked man incident has given me pause and has me concerned about how far we still have to go."

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