Metro Police Chief Ronald A. Pavlik Jr. said the incident happened about 8:20 a.m., when a train heading in the direction of Shady Grove pulled into Gallery Place. A 35-year-old man was getting off the train and roughly 20 to 30 teenagers were getting on. He said they bumped into each other and “words were exchanged.”
One of the teenagers, according to Pavlik, punched the 35-year-old in the face. In retaliation, the victim hit the teenager.
Pavlik said a large skirmish happened, spilling onto the platform.
Later, the teens piled onto the train before two transit police officers who were on the platform dealing with crowds could apprehend them, he said.
Pavlik called the incident a “troubling wolf pack mentality.”
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said each of the suspects — five males and one female, all Wilson High School students 16 to 17 years old — is charged with felony assault. Four suspects were charged with assaulting a police officer and disorderly conduct, in addition to the felony assault charge. Two others were later identified by the victim and charged with felony assault. Pavlik said the 35-year-old victim suffered cuts to his face.
When the train stopped at Woodley Park to deal with the incident, he said it “obviously caused a ripple effect” down the Red Line. The train stayed in the station for about 10 to 20 minutes around 8:30 a.m. That caused a slight slowdown on the Red Line in the direction of Shady Grove.
It was not immediately known if the teenager suspected of punching the man suffered any injuries.
Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.