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  • grasswire (233 posts)
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    Serious question that doesn't seem to fit anywhere

    Something is bugging me about an altercation I witnessed the other day at a city bus stop. There were two young woman from the neighborhood waiting for the bus at the stop by the grocery store. And a man came down the block to the bus stop. Maybe late 30s — he was wearing a hoodie so I’m not real sure of his age. He pulled a suitcase with a bedroll on it, and appeared to be one of the transient types that pass through. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, but before long, he was ranting at one of the women. Very ugly stuff. He got right up in her face, and there was only anger and fervor in his. He accused her of “corrupting” him by showing her butt crack. Went on and on about how terrible it was of her. There was something in his face, voice and manner that was very disturbing. The women giggled, and largely ignored him, but at one point pretended to call police. That did not deter him. Then the bus came. I got on. The driver would not allow either the man or the women on her bus because they were in dispute. So I don’t know how it resolved.

    But then I began to think that he might have been a strict Islam fundamentalist. Wouldn’t that make sense? To be so offended by seeing a woman’s behind and thinking it was an insult directed at him?

    And then I worried about the stability of this guy and what it might mean in terms of terrorism. There’s nothing I could report. It was days ago, and I have no real description. But I would like to know if my thesis makes sense, in case I run across him again or hear that the women involved have been accosted.

    Please note that this is not a discriminatory  question in any way. He was a white man.

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19 replies
  • Lynetta (608 posts)
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    1. Umm didn't you think you should have stood up for the women so they could

    get on the bus to get away from the crazy guy? You just left them there?  They were not disputing anything they were being verbally attacked.

    • Lord Thomas (614 posts)
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      7. I'm with you.

      The Only Consistent Thing in Life is Change.

    • grasswire (233 posts)
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      11. the choice was the bus driver's.

      Not mine, not theirs. Bus drivers don’t let fighting people get on the bus. It’s policy.

      Incidentally, the women are half my age, and very strong and experienced. What good would I be? An older woman with her disabled daughter in tow?

  • LiberalElite (3548 posts)
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    2. I think he was simply crazy. eom

    I feel much better since I've given up hope
    • Pam (739 posts)
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      3. Yeah

      Crazy homeless guy sounds more plausible.

  • NV Wino (2069 posts)
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    4. I dunno. Butt cracks offend me too.

        Don't blame me. I voted for Bernie and Jill.
  • Enlightenment (696 posts)
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    5. More likely that he suffers from a mental illness.

    At least that would be my go-to thought. To be concerned about his stability is a reasonable thing, but I don’t know why you would jump to his being a Muslim fundamentalist; there are plenty of nut jobs in the other religions, too.
    Personally, I’d be more concerned about why the bus driver refused to allow the women to board – or why you didn’t suggest to the driver that they should be allowed to board, since they were being harassed by the guy. I don’t blame you for not wanting to get involved in the verbal altercation – I don’t know all the circumstances and can’t judge that – but from your description of the incident, it sounds like your local transit authority is taking a real ‘baby with the bathwater’ approach to these things.

     

     

    • grasswire (233 posts)
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      12. It's policy.

      People in disagreements aren’t allowed on the bus. And if they are already ON the bus, they are kicked off and banned.

      • Enlightenment (696 posts)
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        18. I understand – but

        it seems like a very short period to make an adequate assessment of a situation. If I were a bus driver, my nightmare would be preventing someone from boarding – say in a situation similar to the one you described – and then finding out later that they were attacked or killed.

        gah

  • KauaiK (2443 posts)
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    6. I would not have left the other woman at the bus stop alone with him

    I would have asked the bus driver to let her board; I KNOW I would have called the police to diffuse – at least the police here who are not so quick to shoot someone.

    We can thank Ronald Raygun for defunding mental health programs.  The looting started with HIM.

    It's beginning to look a lot like fuck this.  

    • Lord Thomas (614 posts)
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      8. Could have called

      @deadpool

      The Only Consistent Thing in Life is Change.

      • KauaiK (2443 posts)
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        9. Right on point, Lord Thomas!! HAH!!!

        It's beginning to look a lot like fuck this.  

    • grasswire (233 posts)
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      13. honestly, I was more concerned about getting my disabled daughter…

      out of there. The women both had phones and were using them, and other people were nearby, as well. I have talked to one of them many times in the past. She is a strong woman and takes no shit.

  • Bernin4U (389 posts)
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    10. Yeah, it's a little scary, but

    …if it looks like she’s being accosted by a complete stranger, you have to help her out.

    In the least, make it clear to the bus driver that he/she needs to let her on. Being harassed by a stranger is not a dispute. And it’s the responsibility of the respective transit authority to ensure the safety of the stop. If anything did happen to her, they would be responsible.

    And even if he was completely harmless, it means she got badly hassled AND had to wait for the next bus. All because nobody would stand up for her. That is entirely f**ked already. And that’s assuming the best case.

    Sorry to lecture. I know it’s one thing to talk and another to be there. But good to think about how we need to be ready to deal with unexpected situations.

    I can say, if it were to happen to my wife, heads would be rolling.

    On edit: As a witness, you might still want to call in and report it to the TA. They’re probably required to keep records of any such incidents. And your account may be important for their proper handling. To me, it sounds like the driver didn’t react appropriately, so you should at least let them know your take on it.

    • grasswire (233 posts)
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      14. As I have said above.

      There were two women, and I know the one to be strong and savvy. The driver is not required to let people who are in disagreement on the bus.

      And, well, you are a man. I am an older woman with a disabled daughter in tow. There really is nothing I could have done about the situation. The women had phones, and were on them, and he knew they were threatening to call police. There were other people around.

      You are assuming facts not in evidence, even though you mean well.

       

      • grasswire (233 posts)
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        15. further…

        ….when I left, the women were laughing at him. They mocked him. I was not as concerned for these women (who I know to be savvy and strong) as I was about his frame of mind and what might be driving the fury in him.

      • KauaiK (2443 posts)
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        16. I completely hear what you are saying. I, too am older.

        But I still would have been on the phone calling someone whether it was the TA or Police for help.   The two women were waiting for a bus.  They did not instigate the confrontation.  Whether or not they exacerbated it, I don’t know.

        I just know I would not – could not – have left the woman there to fend for herself.  There is safety in numbers.

        It's beginning to look a lot like fuck this.  

        • grasswire (233 posts)
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          17. there were TWO women. They were together.

          Friends. Giggling at him and pretending to call police, both of them with phones in hand. Strong women.

           

          • Mick Lady (174 posts)
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            19. No One Knows…

            how they will react in a tense situation like this, it can be scary as hell! I myself would have called the police, and insisted the bus driver allow the young woman on, but I will NOT condemn you for what you did. You had a disabled daughter to worry about, and you were scared. I worked in Manhattan for 29 years and I know the feeling. It’s hard to understand just how frightening these situations can be. Don’t beat yourself up, just next time, have a plan.

            What fresh hell is this?