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Suspect charged in last of three recent BART deaths

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A Fremont man was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly fatally punching a 47-year-old transient man on the platform of the Bay Fair BART station in San Leandro last month.

Jashawn Combs, 24, surrendered at the Oakland police substation on Monday in connection with the death of Don Stevens following the attack at about 1:20 a.m. on July 21.

BART police Chief Carlos Rojas said last week that Stevens had been involved in a verbal altercation or assault with another man on a train but then a third person, later identified as Combs, who wasn’t involved in that altercation punched Stevens in the side of his head with a closed fist and Stevens hit the cement when he fell on the platform.

BART police Detective Robert Krehbiel wrote in a probable cause statement that Stevens initially was taken to St. Rose Hospital in Hayward and was later transferred to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley for further medical testing but was declared dead at about 5 p.m. on July 22 due to a lack of brain functions.

A preliminary autopsy report indicates that Stevens died from a brain hemorrhage that could have been caused from striking his head on the cement platform, Krehbiel wrote.

Court officials haven’t said when Combs is scheduled to be arraigned.

Prosecutors say Combs has a prior felony conviction in San Francisco on Dec. 3, 2015, for grand theft.

Stevens’ death was one of three homicides on the BART system in a recent five-day period.

In the most highly publicized case, Nia Wilson, 18, was fatally stabbed at the MacArthur station in Oakland at 9:36 p.m. on July 22.

Transient John Lee Cowell, 27, was arrested the next evening and has been charged with murder and other offenses.

In the other case, 51-year-old Gerald Bisbee of Pittsburg died on July 20 after being assaulted at the Pleasant Hill station on July 18.

BART police said Bisbee suffered a small cut to the back of his knee in the altercation and later died from an infection to that cut.

Abdul Bey, 20, has been charged with murder for Bisbee’s death.

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