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Police arrested a man and a woman suspected of robbing and assaulting a pregnant woman on a BART train traveling between the Concord and Pittsburg stations last Thursday afternoon, a BART police spokeswoman said. The incident began at around 3:30 p.m. after the train left the Concord station. The two suspects approached the woman and attempted to take her laptop, BART police spokeswoman Officer Era Jenkins said.
The woman resisted, and the two took turns punching her in the face and eventually stole her cellphone, Jenkins said. Witnesses on the train called train operators on the intercom and reported that the two were assaulting the woman, and said that the man was reaching toward his waistband and they thought he might have a gun. Once the train pulled into the Pittsburg station the suspects left the train and an off-duty police officer told BART police that the two were attempting to hide near the end of the platform. Police found two suspects there and arrested them.
Witnesses and the victim confirmed their identity as the two assailants. They were identified by police as Sacha Coleman, 19, and Freddie Lee Smith III, 22. Both had warrants for their arrest, and Smith was on parole for a previous robbery conviction, Jenkins said. They were arrested for the warrants and on suspicion of robbery, battery with serious bodily injury and conspiracy. Police did not recover a gun. The woman was transported to a hospital to be treated for her injuries and has since been released.
Jenkins said that BART police recommend that people give up the property during a robbery rather than risk being attacked and immediately call police. She said that anyone who witnesses an attack should not attempt to confront the attackers but instead call the proper authorities and give detailed descriptions of the suspects and where they were last seen. “We’re not encouraging people to be vigilantes,” she said.
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