Threatened on the bus

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

quote:


But think about your remark ... when did being submitted to the above process stop "idiots" from going directly to a gun (or other weapons of choice) and then butchering the spouse/children/neighbour/colleagues or other convenient targets?

When did [i]anything[/i] stop those who won't be stopped?

deBeauxOs

quote:


Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
[b] ... I think that idiots like this don't ever stop being assholes until it costs them something.[/b]

and then

quote:

[b]When did [i]anything[/i] stop those who won't be stopped?[/b]

Why then do you support a "deterrent" that won't stop those who persist in a sociopathic, self-centered or destructive behaviour when it is likely that such measures will be used to reinforce prevailing authoritarian practices?

Bacchus

Because it stops a lot of them, just not the diehard psychos.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Because not everyone fits the bill for "won't be stopped".

In other words, I think there do exist assholes who WILL smarten up if they think that being their usual selves will cost them.

We often take it as a truism that if someone wants to steal your car/bike/whatever, then no lock will stop them. We also recognize that those persistent few are in the minority, and so this doesn't prevent us from locking our cars/bikes/whatever.

As for "prevailing authoritarian practices", I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

If you mean biased or selective enforcement, I won't deny that that's an issue, but it's an issue with just about any law, no? We have tresspassing laws, for example, that can be selectively enforced. I'm not saying it's a "good thing", but it would appear that whatever abuse of these laws may exist, they also serve a purpose so we keep them on the books.

And I have to say, I find it really funny when people reject the concept of a new law outright, based on its supposed vulnerability to abuse. Again: if we don't have such a law right now, and supposing we were to try and implement such a law, could we not factor your concerns into the law as we create it? For example, I've seen people reject the idea of a "three strikes" law because they don't want someone going to prison for jaywalking 3 times. Don't they think we could write a "jaywalking exception" into the law?? Isn't that a no-brainer??

chubbybear

quote:


Originally posted by deBeauxOs:
[b]it is likely that such measures will be used to reinforce prevailing authoritarian practices?[/b]

Fer example, I got into a beef with a coupla security guard types who wanted me to move along, while I was sitting by the sidewalk, and when I realized that this was escalating, I tried to split. However, I got tackled, resulting in a bloody nose and two broken teeth, and the end result being taken in to the cop shop and charged with "assault" and "resisting arrest". The funny thing was, I was recovering from a broken pelvis at the time, and was barely able to walk, much less assault anyone. Fortunately, I was able to hire good legal representation when it came time to go to trial, which many First Nations people are unable to do. Still, I don't want a discussion of my issues to take away from the fact that Michelle was genuinely threatened, and deserves all the protection and security that society can provide.

deBeauxOs

quote:


Originally posted by Bacchus:
[b]Because it stops a lot of them, just not the diehard psychos.[/b]

[img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img] [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img] Then we will have to agree to disagree. Much like drag nets used in commercial fishing gather up and kill sea life other than their original intended catch, I fear that these measures will do more harm than good.

Tommy_Paine

Sorry you had to experience this, Michelle.

I rarely see this kind of thing happen in public, and I don't think that's coincidence or luck. It has something to do with being almost six foot tall and over two hundred pounds, and male, I think.

Ask Michelle-- I'm no tough guy, I don't go looking for or enjoy confrontation. And it never seems to happen around me.

I know it happens though, because it happens [i]alot[/i] to my women friends and my daughters.

When I'm not around.

I guess it speaks to the cowardice of these types.

I read Michelle's experience last night, and I was thinking, "I wish I was there."

But then I realized that if I was sitting next to Michelle on the bus, the guy would likely never have uttered a word.

Which is not to brag that I'm a bad M/F. My wallet has no embossing to that effect. Michelle's been out and about with me a few times and I think we know that if I was that type, I wouldn't be "a few times". It just illustrates that the type of guy on that bus is only abusive around those he thinks can't or won't stand up to him.

But Michelle taught him different. In the scale of all human endeavor, it might be hyperbolic to describe that action as heroic.

On the other hand, civilization depends more upon these less flamboyant examples of everyday heroism than it does on the big ones.

So.

Hip hip Hazzah!
Hip hip Hazzah!
Hip hip Hazzah!

MartinArendt

I've seen this kind of stuff more often than I'd like, and have stood up to it less often than I ought.

I'm sorry this happened to you, Michelle, but it takes a lot of courage to stand up to that kind of abuse.

It makes me all the more pleased that we're gettin' hitched! [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

I'm not sure whether the guy would have done what he did with you there or not, Tommy_Paine. Certainly I'm sure he wouldn't have threatened me. But the other two guys, I think he might have. There were probably guys sitting in the back section of the bus (the guy who got off the bus and said something to the creep saw the whole thing), but you might be right.

Also, I had the impression that when he called the guy a "stupid nigger", he did it defiantly, in full realization that there were several black people sitting all around him. It was almost like a dare, you know? Like, yeah, I said it...I said it. The dirty looks he was getting just egged him on until that other guy got off the bus and said something to him, which got him even more riled up.

But I think if you'd been sitting next to me, you'd have been able to calm him down better than any of the rest of us there at the time could have. And it would be your physical stature that would have done it, I agree.

Martin, sweetheart, finally, you've accepted my proposal! (Eat your heart out, Hinterland!)

Seriously though, this is getting embarrassing. I honestly didn't start this thread to brag...I started it because I was shaken up and needed to vent. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] I didn't want to sound self-congratulatory, especially since in hindsight I think I could have handled it better than I did, by going to the front of the bus and telling the bus driver what was going on instead of letting the guy get the upper hand. The woman at the TTC that I talked to today suggested the same thing in case there's a next time.

You know what's really strange? Although a few guys have told me they wish they'd been there (and now I think, yeah, they'd have shut that guy up nicely), at the time, it didn't even occur to me to wish one of my male friends was there with me. And I didn't really notice whether there were guys around. I guess because I haven't had anything really bad happen to me, it doesn't even occur to me to think about male protection. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

And yet, I still appreciate the sentiment from male friends because I know it's coming from a place where they want women to feel safe in public, not from a "protectin' the weak womenfolk" sentiment.

Tommy_Paine

Funny you should say, it jogged my memory about a time I actually "froze" when a woman I was with was being harrassed by a guy.

First, the guy wasn't a biggot, but someone who wandered in off the street into the campaign headquarters during an election. I was in the office with another woman, and this guy sent off the vibe that he wasn't playing with a full deck, but not in a physically threatening way. But he was annoying the woman, and he wouldn't take any polite hints, or rebuffs.

I remember being perplexed about what to do because I was worried that if I stepped in it would be an implication that the woman needed my protection, that she couldn't take care of herself. And she struck me as a person who had earned her stripes taking care of herself and might be touchy on the subject.

I think I didn't say anything, but I did make my physical presence subtly known, but I think she ended up handing the guy on her own.

I was quite taken aback by it at the time. After an hour or so of quiet inner torment, I brought the subject up with the woman and told her what I was thinking. She thought my quandry funny.

Now, I'm older and, I like to think, much less stupid. If someone was hassling a male friend of mine, I'd help him out. Why shouldn't I do the same for a female friend.

Sometimes, these things can be over thought, and we put too much English on the ball.

Michelle

I'm not sure how I would feel about a situation like that, Tommy_Paine. Depends on how I was handling it, and how you stepped in.

I think in a case like the one you mention, I wouldn't have a problem with you reinforcing what I'm saying. Perhaps doing it with an air of taking my lead, without looking like you're taking over to protect the little lady. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] (You're not that type anyhow.) But I can understand why you'd pause and wonder what to do.

I think most people (women or men) would just be happy for someone to step in if they were in that kind of situation, just to take the pressure off and to make it two to one.

MartinArendt

quote:


You know what's really strange? Although a few guys have told me they wish they'd been there (and now I think, yeah, they'd have shut that guy up nicely), at the time, it didn't even occur to me to wish one of my male friends was there with me. And I didn't really notice whether there were guys around. I guess because I haven't had anything really bad happen to me, it doesn't even occur to me to think about male protection.

And yet, I still appreciate the sentiment from male friends because I know it's coming from a place where they want women to feel safe in public, not from a "protectin' the weak womenfolk" sentiment.


For me, it's not so much that I wish I was there, but rather that I wish I had the guts to stand up to jerks like that more. I know you didn't start the thread to be self-congratulatory, but you do deserve re-spect (Aretha Franklin-style, or if you prefer, Otis Redding-style, or even Devo-style) for what you did.

Michelle

Well, again Martin, in some ways I think it's easier for me as a woman to say something to a guy like this than it might be for a guy - because there's a pretty strong societal taboo against men hitting women (at least in public, and certainly not women they don't know). I figured there wouldn't really be much chance of a physical confrontation, not on a bus full of people. And if the guy had made a move to hurt me, I'm sure that would've mobilized a lot of the people who were putting up with his foul mouth.

Whereas if a guy had confronted him, there would have been a much better chance of it becoming physical since it's more socially acceptable for a guy to take it to fists. And once it gets to that, people are also less likely to step in if it's two guys going at it as opposed to a guy beating on a woman.

So actually, I wouldn't blame you if you were more hesitant than I was. There would have been a much better chance of you getting physically hurt than there was for me.

MartinArendt

Yes, well, Michelle, you would be quite correct in what you just said if I was an ordinary man.

What you don't know, however, is that I am in fact made entirely out of titanium, from my feet to my cranium! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

Well gee, you'd think THAT'D be something you'd tell me about yourself before getting hitched!

(By the way, if that is a pop culture reference, I don't get it. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] )

After we're married, I'll be sure to do the stock sitcom scene: when we're walking together somewhere, I'll confront a couple of big muscular guys and tell them off for both of us. Then turn to you and say, "Right honey? Tell them." [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

MartinArendt

Then I would have to roll my eyes and say "Oh brother! Not agaaain!"

No, it's not a pop culture reference. I just thought it would be funny if I was made out of titanium, but otherwise lived a fairly ho-hum life.

Btw, if you get a chance, check out the "womyn/women" thread in feminism. I'm taking on two trolls at once! Da da da da!

'lance

But if you're Titanium Man, Martin, shouldn't that be

"duh, duh, duh-duh-duh
da-da-da-da-da-da duh-duh-duh..." ?

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by MartinArendt:
[b]Btw, if you get a chance, check out the "womyn/women" thread in feminism. I'm taking on two trolls at once! Da da da da![/b]

No thank-you. I try not to feed the trolls. That can be a division of labour thing - you feed the trolls on babble, and I'll take on dickwads on the bus.

MartinArendt

Michelle, "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!" (now that's a pop culture reference!) I think these particular trolls just keep hitting nerves with me.

And you're right Lance...I had the wrong theme music. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

Wilf Day

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I just got off the phone with a woman at the TTC, and I went through the whole story with her. She seemed to take it more seriously . .[/b]

In my fantasy, the driver had reported it, and the older black first victim (who was still on the bus when you got off) had also phoned the TTC to report it, so your TTC contact will put the whole incident together, phone the police with the complete set of witness statements, the original victim will have standing to complain that he was the target of a specific threat, the police and TTC will look for the guy, someone will find him, he will be charged appropriately, the Toronto Star will write you up as a heroine, CITY-TV will offer you a half-hour daily gig hosting a discussion on "fighting back," you will make enough to go to law school, and 30 years from now you will be Chief Justice of Canada. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Tommy_Paine

Thirty years from now? That should be just in time to rule on one of Conrad Black's appeals.

Michelle

Gee, Wilf, I like your fantasy, I think! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

skdadl

That should also be just in time for Michelle EITHER to rule in favour of my euthanasia petition OR to prevent anyone from putting me down prematurely. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

I was just thinking, I've had guys tell me their fantasies about me before, but none of them involved me being Chief Justice! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

James

First of all - Michelle, my compliments on how you handled that incident ! Now a question. Are the TTC security people actual peace officers or just uniformed security like university campus "police" ? Anybody know ?

The "transit incident" and "stepping in to help" aspects of the thread bring to mind an incident that occurred about a year ago. It was fairly early on a Friday evening and I was headed downtown, sitting on the bench seat adjacent to the the front door. A few stops from the downtown terminus, a tall thin 30ish guy got on, obviously intoxicated, fumbled with swiping his pass through the reader, then walked a few steps back and started loudly abusing and berating the passengers in that area.

The driver, a woman, calmly but firmly told him to be quiet and sit down. He ingored her and continued. At the next stop, she opened the door and ordered him off. He refused. She got on the radio and requested police assistance. So the dude walked to the front - I assumed he was going to disembark, but instead, he turned towards the driver, leaned over her (she still seated) and began screaming and threatening her.

As his back was to me and only about a meter away, it was easy for me to get up and lock my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his body. By straightening up and lifting a bit it wasn't difficult to restrain him harmlessly for the less than two minutes it took for the cops to show up. He did, I think, try to head-butt me, but as I said, he was quite tall and the back of his head was above my forhead, so no harm done.

The driver and the cops seemed very appreciative, and two days later Transit Windsor called to offer a complimentary pass for the next month, which I gladly accepted. I don't think I would have responded any differently had it been a male driver.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by chubbybear:
[b]
Personally, I think he should be "invited" to a Nation of Islam meeting and asked to repeat his comments.[/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by chubbybear:
[b]I don't think I would be comfortable in a society where the police can lock you up just for mouthing off or arguing with somebody, let's say a security guard - oh wait, that has happened to me. I would like it even less, if the police would beat me up while I was in custody for refusing to stop chanting Cree prayers - oh wait, that has happened to me. Whoops, never mind. Please don't misunderstand me, I think when this guy started issueing death threats, he crossed the line and should be at least interviewed by a couple of peace officers, who could at least check for outstanding warrents. I'm just saying time in a holding cell can lead to some serious problems - I wouldn't immediately call for detention unless the harassment was quite serious (which in this case, may be true). I don't know, I'm just ambivilant about putting too much faith in the policing system, having been abused in the past.

[ 19 August 2005: Message edited by: chubbybear ][/b]


Yes, you are absolutely right. This is just an excuse fot the police to pick on people. I have been in a lot of street conflict situations, and 99.9% of the time they dissipate, and people work stuff out. Some pushing and shoving and then people (usually friends of the contestants) act reasonably to cool down the hot tempers.

Magoo, you live in a fantasy land when it comes to cops, law and order. Almost all social behaviour and conflict situations are monitored and controlled by human interactions seperate from the police. If you seriously want the police to be able to micro-manage every single little stupid arguement that happens then you will have induct 50% of the population of Toronto into the force.

Its nice to have them around occassionally but having them breathing down everyones neck is not what you want, and you know what: niether to most cops, its irritating and boring.

Michelle, this guy sounds like a prick. You did well. Individual actions of bravery like yours probably do more to heal our wounded society than any number of public demonstrations.

[ 20 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Papal Bull

Michelle, this is of great concern to me. I'll edit this post later. But due to my proximity to all things mass-transportation related...Yeah.

deBeauxOs

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I was just thinking, I've had guys tell me their fantasies about me before, but none of them involved me being Chief Justice! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

Perhaps because urban legend would have it that judges, especially Supreme Court Justices, wear kinky stuff under their heavy robes, though I don't know about the women. [img]redface.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by Papal Bull:
[b]Michelle, this is of great concern to me. I'll edit this post later. But due to my proximity to all things mass-transportation related...Yeah.[/b]

Well, just so you know, I made it really clear to the person I spoke with at the TTC that I didn't blame the driver since he didn't hear what happened. So I don't think I got him in trouble if you're feeling concerned about that, PB.

Thanks, Cueball.

catje

nice work, james. wish i could do that. [uh, back to the gym...]

anne cameron

Magoo, your landlord is a liar. He can go to the basement and pull the fuse which supplies the electricity to the apartment the noisy slug occupies... no electricity no music at 2 a.m.

"Gee, I don't know, nobody else is having any problem..maybe your loud music blew something in your sound system and that shorted out the entire place. I dont' know. I will look into it. get back to you as soon as I've figured it out."

wait a day or two before "getting back"...see who moves then!!

Papal Bull

Aw, hell. I don't care about that. My dad is an ass to so many passengers it ain't funny anymore [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] Kidding, kidding, kidding [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Anyways, no, the fact is that not only are these freaks a danger to other passengers, but they are a safety hazard to the driver too. Who is, at any given time...the most important person on the bus. They're in control of that gargantuan beast (that is neigh impossible to control) and if someone got violent and the driver lost control. Eeek! [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

The driver didn't do the right thing. He shouldn't have asked to call security, he should've done it no matter what and had them sort it out. Be damned getting to where the people have to get in time...When a driver has to stop a bus like that...Yeeesh.

[/rant]

Michelle

Well, the woman at the TTC said that sometimes what they'll do is they'll call security while they are driving so that people aren't inconvenienced, and then security can meet them at a later stop. Also, don't forget that the driver probably thought that the whole situation resolved itself when the guy went to the front of the bus and calmed down, because the driver didn't know he was making threats, he just heard a commotion and then the guy calmed down, went to the front, and told the bus driver what "happened". So really, I don't blame the driver - for all he knew, maybe I was the idiot making a fuss over nothing.

william Jay

Hey I live London "Threat" try the London Underground Transport system call police they will spread your brains all over lol BJ

Fidel

May I suggest [url=http://www.cabbagetownboxing.on.ca/boxing/landing.html]boxing lessons[/url]!. Someone told me that boxing is 65% conditioning. Mace sounds like a good idea, and to hell with what the law says about it. The law wasn't with you when you were being threatened.

Michelle

[url=http://www.shamelessmag.com/blog/2008/01/two-firsts/#more]This story about security on the subway[/url] reminded me of this thread.

I'm not sure if this thread is too long already - if it is, I'll start a new one.

quote:

At either Bay or St George a group of young men rushes onto the car. I’m sympathetic — there’s probably about eight of them, and two of them are still running down the stairs and the other guys are trying to hold the subway for them. They all make it on.

They start being loud. Whatever. New Years. Annoying, but not a big deal.

One of them sits down next to the girl opposite me. I’m not really paying attention and sort of wonder if she got on with them — he’s draped his arm around her shoulders. I catch part of what she’s saying — that she has someone and she’s good thanks. She’s quite composed. Then I realize that she’s not with them at all and he’s just marked her to harass. It all takes about 15 seconds, and I’m ashamed that I didn’t realize sooner. Her boyfriend comes over and she points him out and between the two of them, they deal with the situation as the guy (slowly) gives up the seat, smiling creepily, and eventually moving on.

Then the whole group of young men start clustering and hooting and clumping at one end of the subway car. The nearly empty end. The end with the drunk homeless man.

They become increasingly loud and aggressive. It becomes obvious that at least some of the boys are harassing this man. Yelling at him to get off the train. Pushing his bike to the ground. Shouting at him that he’s drunk. Telling him to get a house. A job. Jeers to “Get him!”. All the horrible and obvious things you’d expect and still may be shocked to hear thugs saying.

The train stops at the next station and the harassment continues, but getting louder, as they’re trying to threaten him off the train. One of them I notice is actually shielding the man somewhat. He pushed another guy away and kept him from actually grabbing the man (I don’t know if they had been successfully grabbing or pulling at him before that). This one keeps protecting him until some of the boys throw his bike off the train, at which point the partial protector sort of turns away, shrugs his shoulders and joins in shouting.

I don’t know what to do. There are 8 or more of these guys. They’re young, and not huge, but not small. Definitely all very aggressive and looking for a fight - with anyone. What do you do?


The TTC response will infuriate you. Read on at the link.

Sineed

Looks like the TTC guy found himself outnumbered and decided to solve the "dispute" by kicking off the homeless guy rather than the group of punks because he could. I doubt he "misread" the situation but just decided to do what's expedient. If he had decided to kick off the punks, he'd have to call for backup, like from the police or whoever, and end up delaying a whole trainful of people, and probably have to do all sorts of tedious paperwork besides to justify his actions.

Easier--though reprehensible--to kick off the homeless guy and keep the train running.

Michelle

Yeah. The problem is, by making the choice he did, he ensured that they would remain on the train to harrass other passengers during the train ride.

I think what I'd have done had I been her would be to continue to hit the emergency button until the TTC grabbed a freakin' clue and either called the police or their own "special constables".

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I think what I'd have done had I been her would be to continue to hit the emergency button until the TTC grabbed a freakin' clue and either called the police or their own "special constables".[/b]

You have a sweet and abiding faith in authority figures, Michelle - I guess that's what makes you one of the good folk. From personal experience on more than one occasion (what can I say - I was going through a bad patch), after being victimized in public under similar circumstances, the last person you want to see is a cop or security guard. The most likely outcome is that not only do they not want to consider you as a possible victim, which would force them to treat you like a human being, they will likely take you into custody and accuse you of starting the problem, and charge you with being drunk in public. Then you get to spend the night either in jail, or in a psych ward strapped to a gurney. What the homeless guy should have remembered is that the better part of valour is running the fuck away. As for the plucky narrator who takes the subway so infrequently that she doesn't remember the emergency alarm button which traverses the entire car, what can i say - it took her some 342 paragraphs to say that the incident made her feel anxious.

Le T Le T's picture

And if that homeless guy had fought back (maybe used a knife?) he would be charged and Toronto would have a serious discussion about banning homeless people from the TTC.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sineed:
[b]Looks like the TTC guy found himself outnumbered and decided to solve the "dispute" by kicking off the homeless guy rather than the group of punks because he could. I doubt he "misread" the situation but just decided to do what's expedient. If he had decided to kick off the punks, he'd have to call for backup, like from the police or whoever, and end up delaying a whole trainful of people, and probably have to do all sorts of tedious paperwork besides to justify his actions.

Easier--though reprehensible--to kick off the homeless guy and keep the train running.[/b]


So why did he choose expedient, rather than right? Almost sounds like you're justifying it.

Martha (but not...

When someone calls an action "reprehensible", it doesn't count as a justification.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Martha (but not Stewart):
[b]When someone calls an action "reprehensible", it doesn't count as a justification.[/b]

Thanks and trying to get better at my reading comprehension. Sorry Sineed.

[ 07 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

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