Train stabbing victim sues Amtrak

Police on scene after multiple were stabbed on board an Amtrak train on Dec. 5, 2014. (Courtesy of WNDU)
Police on scene after multiple were stabbed on board an Amtrak train on Dec. 5, 2014. (Courtesy of WNDU)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman who was stabbed on a train in 2014 has filed a federal lawsuit against Amtrak.

Wednesday, Bonnie Cleasby — one of four people stabbed by Michael Williams on Dec. 5, 2014 in Niles — filed the lawsuit, saying Amtrak failed to protect her and other passengers.

A mug shot of Michael Darnell Williams.
A mug shot of Michael Darnell Williams.

The lawsuit claims train personnel identified Williams as dangerous and got him to sit down as the train neared the Niles station. The suit says the Amtrak employee had his radio turned up, and Williams heard the announcement when police arrived which caused him to pull out his knife and attack.

Cleasby was stabbed in the abdomen and arm. She says Williams turned away and she ran to the opposite end of the train car to escape. However, according to the lawsuit, “an Amtrak employee was on the opposite side of the door but refused to open the door, even though the employee saw Plaintiff was trying to escape while Williams continued to stab other passengers.”

The lawsuit says Amtrak had a duty to keep Cleasby and other passengers safe. The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for her injuries along with damages and attorney fees.

Williams was found not guilty of four counts of assault with into intent to murder by reason of insanity.

Police say Williams saw a man on the train turn into a demon before he started the attack.