ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – St. Louis authorities say the investigation into the beating of an innocent MetroLink passenger is not over. Investigators would still like to talk with anyone who witnessed the attack.
Prosecutors have charged 20-year-old Ronald Williams with 3rd degree assault, a misdemeanor. A juvenile has also been taken into custody. A 3rd person who was taken into custody was released without charges.
It appears Williams threw one punch while the juvenile repeatedly struck the passenger. A man identifying himself as Williams’ brother said the attack was, “a dumb mistake.” He said it never should have happened.
Authorities say it will be up to juvenile authorities to determine whether the 15-year-old will be charged as an adult.
Some passengers feel the attack should be considered a hate crime. Punches were thrown after the victim was asked what he thought about the Michael Brown case. Authorities say there is not enough evidence to substantiate a hate crime.
“We have to actually prove the individuals motive, that they knowingly acted in a certain way with a specific motive, that they were going to commit the crime for the reason that involved an individual’s race, or sexual orientation or so on,” said Ed Postawko, Chief Warrant Officer for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
Metro officials say every train has cameras. They say the cameras help solve crimes. They also have undercover officers and guards at nearly every platform on any given day.
“Our system is safe, but again things can happen anywhere,” said Richard Zott, Metro Chief of Public Safety.
He said anyone spotting anything suspicious on a Metro bus or MetroLink train can call 314-289-6873.
The victim in the case released a statement Monday saying he did not want to do any more interviews. The statement read, “My goal has been accomplished…that those guys that assaulted me are in custody and facing charges.”
Zott says Metro is also considering a texting system that allows passengers to send a text if there’s trouble. He says sometimes passengers are afraid a criminal will see them calling for help, but he says sending a text can be more discreet.