Passengers on a busy train halt “mad man” at Hackney Downs

Hackney Downs station. Google Street View.

Hackney Downs station. Google Street View. - Credit: Archant

Commuters on a busy London Overground train had to restrain a “mad man” after he started attacking a woman, witnesses have said.

The incident happened at around 9.15am this morning as the train approached Hackney Downs station.

Several passengers have criticised the poor reaction of London Overground staff as they waited for minutes to receive help - despite staff being alerted.

Jessica Browne, 25, was on the train this morning when the attack happened.

She said: “It all happened right by me, I’m not sure how it started as I had my headphones in, I just saw this man attacking this woman, punching her in the head and ragging her clothes.

“The men around tried to restrain him, one guy was shouting at him to leave her alone so he turned on the guy and smashed his head into the train doors.

“He looked like a mad man, I just wanted to get away from him.”

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After the attack happened, the train stopped for several minutes at Hackney Downs as passengers tried to remove the man.

“Around five guys tried to push him off the train but they were struggling, he was so strong, he literally overpowered everyone who tried to stop him. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Jessica added.

The 25-year-old was also not happy with the response of London Overground staff.

She said: “The train had been at the station for at least five minutes and there still wasn’t anyone in sight,

“Whether they were scared themselves or not, they still have a duty of care for passengers and I assume they have training for these kinds of incidents.

“I saw three staff members arrive around six or seven minutes later to say the police were on there way.”

Passengers have said that after attacking the woman, the raged man ripped her headphones when she asked for them back.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Our officers were alerted to a report of an altercation on board a train at Hackney Downs station.

“The call came into police at 9.35am on Monday, January 25.

“BTP officers alongside colleagues from Metropolitan Police Service attended and spoke to a man regarding the incident.

“Anyone with any information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference 120 of 25/01/16.”