Sheriff's deputies arrested a suspect in the stabbing death of a passenger during a fight on a Red Line train in Hollywood, the sheriff's department reported Wednesday.
Gene Sim, described as a 33 year-old transient, was arrested in Buena Park Tuesday night without incident, the department said.
Jail records show that Sim was released from jail a few days before the attack but authorities haven't disclosed his record.
The attack occurred just before 7:30 p.m. Friday evening at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Hollywood and Vine station.
Witnesses said an argument broke out between two men. One of them, 59 year-old Jesse Garay, started swinging a plastic chain at the suspect, officials said. The suspect then hit Garay in the head with a skateboard and stabbed him in the chest.
Garay was pronounced dead at the scene.
Todd Martens, a Los Angeles Times music writer witnessed the stabbing. He said the victim did not appear to be hurting the suspect during their confrontation.
"He was flailing his chain, but it wasn't really hitting the guy. He just seemed crazy," he said.
After the stabbing the attacker stepped back, and said, "'Oh, no, why did you make me do that?"'
Martens said. "'Everybody saw it, it was self-defense right?"'
The assailant apparently took off his bloodied gray shirt and changed into a bright blue T-shirt then fled the scene.
There have "only been a handful of homicides" on the five-line Metro Rail system, which opened in 1990 and has carried more than 1 billion passengers, Marc Littman, Metro's deputy executive officer, said.