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Filipina, 74, pushed to death into BART train in San Francisco; man charged with murder

By Cesar Antonio Nucum Jr.

SAN FRANCISCO — A 74-year-old Filipina returning home from work in downtown San Francisco was pushed into a moving BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train at Powell Street station and died on Monday night.

A report by San Francisco Chronicle stated that Corazon Dandan, a Daly City in San Mateo County resident, was struck in the head on the train and fell onto the platform. She later died at the San Francisco General Hospital where she was transported by the fire department.

The Filipino community in the Bay Area led by Fil-Am mayor of Daly City, Juslyn C. Manalo, and Consul General Neil Ferrer mourned the death of Dandan. The mayor and Congen reached out to Dandan’s family to extend their condolences and offer assistance.

“I can only imagine the tremendous pain and suffering family and friends are experiencing after such a loss,” said Manalo. “I know there are no words that can bring them comfort during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

Police later arrested transient (homeless) Trevor Belmont, 49, also known as Hoak Taing, on the platform of Powell Street Station shortly after the first homicide incident on the BART this year.

Belmont was booked in county jail at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, where he remains after being arrested on suspicion of murder and inflicting injury on an elder, likely to cause great bodily injury.  

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins later announced that Belmont was charged with murder in connection to a fatal incident at Powell Street BART Station on July 1, 2024.

If convicted, Belmont could face life without parole.

 Mr. Belmont was scheduled to be arraigned on July 5, 2024, at 1:30 pm in Department 10 at the Hall of Justice.  Mr. Belmont is charged with one count of murder (PC 187(a)). It was reported that Belmont did not show up at the arraignment.

 The criminal complaint also alleges that Mr. Belmont personally inflicted great bodily injury on a vulnerable victim (PC 1203.09(a)) and that he intentionally killed the victim while lying in wait (PC 190.2(a)(15)). 

 The District Attorney’s Office moved to have him detained pending trial due to the public safety risk he poses.

“The nature of this incident at Powell Street BART Station was tragic and truly shocking. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and colleagues,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

“Unprovoked attacks, especially on our most vulnerable, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. San Francisco residents, workers, and visitors should be able to freely move about and utilize our public transportation systems without fear. My office will now do everything in our power to ensure that there is justice in this case,” Jenkins said.

In an interview with Corazon’s nephew Alvin Dandan, a doctor in St. Louis, it was learned that Corazon was on the way home after her shift as telephone operator at the PARC 55 hotel when the incident happened. 

Alvin hailed his Tita Cora, who immigrated to San Francisco from the Philippines in the 1980s, with helping pay for his medical school as well as the education of several relatives, very unselfish and “someone who just loved working and being around younger people.”

“Great does not even define what I think this woman is I wouldn’t be here and a lot of my cousins wouldn’t be here…She put a lot of people through school,” Alvin shared on Tita Cora, a single, independent woman who rode BART every day to her job at the hotel.  

His cousins recently warned her about riding BART late at night, fearing that the transit system was unsafe.

BART police are actively investigating, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing surveillance footage. Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the incident.

According to BART Police, on July 1, 2024, at approximately 11:06 pm, BART Police officers responded to an incident involving a Millbrae-bound train at Powell Street Station. Upon arrival, officers discovered a 74-year-old victim who had allegedly been pushed into the path of the train by Mr. Belmont. 

The victim sustained severe head injuries and fell onto the platform. BART Police Officers and paramedics rendered immediate aid, and the victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital. Despite the lifesaving efforts of the medical staff, the victim later succumbed to her injuries. Mr. Belmont was apprehended by BART Police at the scene.

Although charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the BART Police Department Tip Line at (510) 464-7000 or text BART Police at (510)-200-0992. You may remain anonymous.

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