A California man attempting to get to work was arrested last week because he was eating a sandwich on a train platform, which a police officer said is against state law.
A video shows an officer announcing the man was being detained by holding onto his backpack at the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre Bay Area Transit station. The breakfast sandwich was visible in his hand.
“You singled me out out of all these people,” the man told the officer.
“You’re eating,” the officer replied, pointing at the man’s half-eaten meal. “It’s a violation of California law. I have the right to detain you.”
The officer claimed the man was resisting arrest, though he never fought, pulled his bag away or attempted to flee.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” the train rider insisted.
The man took another bite of his sandwich as the officer appeared to call for backup.
The cop didn’t buy the argument that there was no sign stating riders couldn’t eat on the platform, and that there was a store in the station.
The man repeatedly told the officer to let his bag go, but the officer responded, “You are detained and you’re not free to go!”
When the man asked why he was being detained, the officer replied, “For eating. It’s illegal. It’s a violation of California law.”
The man said he eats there every morning on his way to work.
Another video shows the train rider being led away in handcuffs by four police officers.
As the man sat on a bench being questioned by officers, one claimed he matched the description of a suspect they were looking for.
The video ends after the man repeatedly asks to speak to the officer’s supervisor.
“He was not arrested. He was cited for eating, which is a violation of state law,” BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost told ABC 7.
Trost claimed the man, identified as Steve Foster of Concord, was detained until he gave his name, then he was “cited” and let go.
“I hope they start focusing on stuff that actually matters like people shooting up dope, hopping the BART, people getting stabbed,” Foster said after the incident.