Questions after DART failed to issue alert after light rail station rape

DART officials are under fire for not issuing any public alert after a sexual assault happened at a Dallas light rail station in Sept. 2015.

It was only this week, when Dallas police said Samuel Jamall White was wanted in two rapes, that the public learned one of the assaults happened at the Walnut Hill Light rail station on Sept. 27.

“There was talk within DART, but no one within DART wanted people to know,” said a current DART police officer, who asked that their face not be shown. “They wanted to keep it quiet.”

That DART officer is familiar with the case and reached out to FOX4, but is fearful of trouble within the agency for speaking out.

The DART police report indicates the woman's call came in at 10:55 p.m. Officers arrived at 11:40 p.m. when they made contact with the woman, the report said she told officers it was too late and she would not give them her name. The officers said she was being uncooperative.

Nothing was done by DART until Oct. 26 -- almost a full month later. That’s when the agency said it sent the video to Dallas police of the alleged suspect, later identified by the public as Samuel Jamall White.

Dallas city councilman Philip Kingston said he was concerned DART was silent about the attack, especially since Dallas police have limited authority on DART property.

“We're not even allowed to do policing on DART property, so we depend on them,” Kingston said. “If they are not coordinating with our department and if they are not providing adequate safety warnings to riders, that’s a serious problem,” Kingston said.

The councilman said “absolutely” people should have been made aware there was a sexual assault at one of the light rail stations.

Attempts by FOX4 to get specific answers from DART about the incident and the lack of public warning after it occurred went unanswered, but the agency did release a statement that stated:

“We are continuing to learn more about events leading up to and following what took place at our station.  We will review our actions and see if there are things we could have done differently after the reported assault,” DART said.

White was detained by officials on Tuesday and remains in custody at Dallas County Jail on a suicide watch.

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