Two people stabbed at Metro Red Line stations amid surge in crime on rail system

Two police officers on a subway platform next to a rail car
Los Angeles police officers patrol the Hollywood/Highland station on the Metro Red Line.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Two people were stabbed at Metro Red Line stations on Thursday in separate attacks, according to police, the latest in a surge in violent crime on the rail system.

One man was stabbed around 5 p.m. while standing on a train platform at a station in East Hollywood, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Police responded to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon at the Hollywood/Western station. Paramedics treated a man with severe injuries who was taken to a hospital, according to LAPD Officer J. Chavez.

The victim told police a man stabbed him after they got into an argument, police said. The suspect remains on the loose.


The second stabbing was reported after 8 p.m. at a station in Westlake.

A man was stabbed while standing on the Red Line platform at the Westlake/MacArthur Park station, said Nicholas Prang, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department. The victim was transported to a hospital for injuries to his neck and torso. The attacker was gone by the time police arrived, police said.

Commuters have abandoned large swaths of a Los Angeles Metro train system plagued by crime and the scourge of drugs.

March 14, 2023

The stabbings do not appear to be related, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Metro has seen a dramatic increase in violent crimes, with a 24% increase in aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder from 2021 to 2022, according to its latest yearly report. The Red Line had by far the highest number of crimes at 687, nearly twice as many as the next line, Blue, the report said.

In January, a teenage boy was fatally stabbed and shot near the 7th Street/Metro Center station downtown, and weeks later a man was stabbed to death near an escalator at the Westlake/MacArthur Park station, where Metro and law enforcement have sought to reduce crime by playing loud classical music, installing brighter floodlights on the platform, adding more security cameras and blocking off an exit where people would use drugs.

Metro spokesperson Patrick Chandler deferred questions about the recent stabbings to law enforcement.

The transportation authority’s goal with the classical music is to ‘to restore safety’ at the MacArthur Park station. The music is divisive, with online commentators calling it an inhumane torture tactic.

April 4, 2023

The classical music at Westlake/MacArthur Park, part of a pilot program implemented in January, is meant to deter “people from bedding down or sheltering in place at the station,” Chandler said, though the tactic is divisive, with some critics calling it inhumane and saying it does not address the root causes of public safety problems. Recent measurements found the music registered at an average of 83 decibels on a handheld decibel meter; sound levels of 80 to 85 dB, on par with gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers, can damage hearing after two hours of exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Metro’s head of security has sought to expand the agency’s in-house force of nearly 200 transit officers, some of whom are armed, and transit officials committed $122 million over the last year to put 300 unarmed “ambassadors” throughout the system to report crimes and help passengers.


Commuter numbers on Metro rail have plummeted in recent years. Though overall ridership ticked up 12% in 2022 over the previous year, the 57 million estimated train riders were still far below the 93 million reported in 2019, according to the transportation authority. Ridership on the Red Line in particular was 56% of pre-pandemic levels.