A man named Michael jumped onto the 24th Street BART tracks just as a Daly City-bound train was approaching. Wearing a shirt that said Viva la Revolucion and yelling “You have the power,” he said he was occupying the tracks because he was sick of sleeping on the streets for six years.
Witnesses on the platform waved their arms frantically at the driver, and the train came to a screeching halt within a foot of hitting the man.
Michael was on the tracks for no more than two minutes when police arrived on the scene.
“Michael, get back up,” they said over and over for several minutes. He yelled expletives at the officers, saying he would not move until television cameras showed up.
The eight or so police officers then jumped onto the tracks and chased Michael nearly three yards before they tackled him, handcuffed him and brought him back up to the platform. It was all over in less than 10 minutes.
Other trains that had to stop just outside the station waited more than 20 minutes before moving again. Drivers said they had no communication with the BART system.
BART had shut off power to the side of the tracks where Michael was standing, track one. He had touched the third rail.
“I could have killed myself,” he told police. “I know,” one replied.