Police: Man with guns arrested after trying to evade fare at Metro station

Pentagon City Metro station entrance (staff photo)

A simple fare evasion offense led to serious charges Thursday in Pentagon City, police say.

According to Metro Transit Police, a 24-year-old D.C. man tried to enter the Metro gates without paying. He was detained and “failed to comply with citation and ID check,” then was arrested and “found to be in possession [of two] semi-automatic handguns and brass knuckles,” police said.

The man is now facing gun and other charges.

The public announcement of the arrest comes as Metro steps up enforcement of fare evasion. The transit agency’s police force resumed issuing tickets to fare jumpers in November. In March, Metro revealed that 13% of riders are not paying their fare while touting new, taller faregates that are harder to hop.

Last month, Metro CEO and General Manager Randy Clarke told WTOP that “we need to gain control of the system back and we’ve got to bring a sense of orderliness.”

“Not everyone that fare evades commits criminal activity on our system,” Clarke told the radio station. “But, almost universally… 99.9% of people that commit criminal acts in our system fare evade.”

Neighboring D.C. decriminalized fare evasion in 2018, with supporters of the move arguing that its enforcement in the city was racially disproportionate. Fare evasion remains a crime in Virginia and Maryland, but in all three jurisdictions the punishment is a fine.