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Man attacked by juveniles on RTD train calls for more security measures

Man attacked by juveniles on RTD train calls for more security measures
Posted at 8:43 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 22:43:45-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo.— Surveillance video from Regional Transportation District (RTD) shows a group of teens assaulting a passenger on Nov. 3 in Lakewood. It’s one of two random attacks, with the first happening less than a month prior on Oct. 14.

Warren Martin was the victim in the November attack. While he's physically healed from most of his injuries, he told Denver7 he’s now dealing with other health challenges.

Martin is hopeful that sharing his story will send a message when it comes to safety and security on public transportation.

“My family is scared for me. I’m scared for me,” he said.

Martin, 47, says he’s too scared to ever ride an RTD bus or light rail ever again. He says the trauma is still there from when he was assaulted on an RTD train heading eastbound to Federal Center.

Martin suffered 11 facial fractures and is still not completely healed.

“I now have six steel plates in my face. The left side is all metal, and it’s been painful,” he said. “I see a neurological eye doctor because I can’t see right out of the left side totally.”

Martin says several juveniles on the train were cussing in front of two women and a baby, so he intervened.

“I asked them, 'Not in front of the baby.' Apparently, they just didn’t like that I had something to say,” he said. “They started throwing blows, swinging on me from three different sides with my back to the window. I couldn’t even get away if I had tried.”

Surveillance video released to Denver7 shows Martin exit the train at the Wadsworth Station and hunch over on the ground until paramedics arrived.

Less than a month prior, on Oct. 14, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office says Zachary Chopko, 45, was the victim of a random attack by a group of juveniles while riding the RTD light rail.

Chopko was reportedly being pushed out of the train. He shared images of his facial injuries with Denver7.

According to call data Denver7 received through an open records request from RTD, there were 268 assault calls and four homicide calls involving the agency between Jan. 3 and Dec. 20.

One thing that sticks out in Martin’s mind from that horrific day is lack of security.

“There was not a security guard to be found anywhere,” he said. “I’d like to see more security on RTD."

In a statement, RTD said it "works with local jurisdictions ... to deter unlawful activity."

"RTD is committed to keeping its customers and employees safe and secure. RTD works with local jurisdictions, such as the Lakewood Police Department, to deter unlawful activity. The investigation into the reported incidents on Oct. 14 and Nov. 3 were conducted by the Lakewood Police Department and they may have more information.

RTD Transit Police continues to patrol W Line trains and stations for unlawful activity. RTD Transit Police encourages customers to contact Transit Police at 303.299.2911 or via the Transit Watch app [] [] to report suspicious or illegal activity on RTD services and at RTD stations directly to the Transit Police Communications Division."

Thirteen juveniles have been charged for the October assault, and eight have been charged for the November assault. Three of the juveniles were charged in both assaults.