This morning on the subway ride to work I called the police.
A while back I had the presence of mind to add the police number to my cell phone just in case I ever needed it.
Today was the day.
Three men staggered into my car. An African-American and two Caucasians. The Caucasians looked like wild mountain men with long, unwashed hair, and straggly beards. They came on smoking pot. They huddled in the back two rows. One of the mountain men pulled out a Sharpie pen and began doodling on the window. Every other word was the F word for everyone to hear. All three wore hoodies and jeans.
Not a single man on board pulled out his cell phone to call this in. Nobody got up to tell the conductor. Instead everybody stared straight ahead, enduring the tension with a passive resignation.
Well, I was going to have none of it.
I dialed the police.
A woman dispatcher answered. I told her the problem. I answered her questions including identifying the car number we were on. She told me she’d report it.
Meanwhile new passengers came on at the intervening stations, sat with the three men until they realized they were crazy, and one by one got up and moved to the other end of the car.
At the third stop a policeman came on board and blocked the doorway. He motioned for all three to get up and leave. They obeyed him like docile school children. The officer continued to stand in the doorway and asked for the person who called in to identify himself.
I raised my hand.
“Do you want to come out and make a citizen’s arrest?” he asked.
I pondered it for a few seconds. I thought that sort of thing went out with typewriters and cassette tape recorders. It certainly would add to my list of adventures. I could tell my grandchildren, and even blog about it.
“You handle it,” I said.
It was cold and the problem was off the train.
Thank God for cell phones and no-nonsense police officers.
Calvin says, “Wow, what chutzpah. From now on I will hold you with new respect.”
7 thoughts on “Not On My Watch”
Wow, I’m so proud of you! Being a longtime subway rider, I can picture the whole event perfectly. So glad you did that. You’re right, just about anything is tolerated with a “passive resignation” on our trains. You go girl!!
thanks for your vote of confidence!
Oh, well done, girlfriend! Another stunning blow to apathy right to the solar plexus! May your tribe increase!
It was a risk but I’m glad I took it. Today Alf recommended I sit in another car in case the three guys show up again looking for me!
They probably don’t even remember where they were yesterday…
you’re probably right!