Monday, June 24, 2024

Police talk with a man after an incident Sunday at Porter Station in Cambridge. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A man with a knife was subdued by a rider and staff Tuesday at Kendall Station in Cambridge, police spokespeople said Wednesday.

The incident began as a verbal altercation between a man identified by police as Javier Owens, 35, and another man on a southbound train at the red line station. It “turned physical and at some point Owens armed himself with a pocketknife,” MBTA Transit Police superintendent Richard Sullivan said.

The passenger “denied knowing Owens and alleged Owens was shouting at him for no particular reason and making threatening statements,” Sullivan said.

The fight moved to the T platform, with Owens accidentally cutting the inside of his hand during the struggle, and an MBTA employee tried to separate the two, Sullivan said. The T employee and the other passenger subdued Owens and held him for Cambridge police, who answered a 3:38 p.m. call because they were closer to the station than transit police, said Cambridge police superintendent Fred Cabral. Officers handcuffed Owens and handed him over to transit police when they arrived. Owen was taken to a hospital so his cut could be treated, and the incident was over by 4:07 p.m.

The incident caused half-hour delays on the red line.

The passenger who fought with Owens wasn’t injured and did not want to pursue criminal charges, Sullivan said.

Owens said he was homeless, and was believed to be “experiencing a mental health crisis” that led him to behave erratically at Kendall Station, Sullivan said. While at the hospital, transit police learned there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest for assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

The Tuesday incident sounds similar to one from Porter Station on Sunday, when at around 7:15 p.m. a couple heading into the T with luggage pleaded with a passersby to call police on a man they didn’t know yelling at them – including calling the woman a “whore” – while holding a knife.

Officers arrived and spoke with the man, who was calm and allowed to go on his way, Cabral said. Police did not get his name, and it’s unknown if it’s the same person identifying himself as Owens, whom Cabral said has no history with Cambridge police.

The couple with luggage left after police arrived, Cabral said, and the passerby who called 911 had no additional information.

Owens was arrested on the warrant. “We are reviewing the best course of action to take,” Sullivan said Wednesday afternoon, when Owens was still in the hospital being evaluated.