Tuesday, April 14, 2009
From a reader who wishes to remain anonymous.
I’m a pretty big critic of agencies in DC, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever had a positive (albeit under bad circumstances) experience, and it happened on Metro of all places.
Saturday morning at about 1 a.m. on the Red Line between Metro Center and Union Station, I noticed a group of youths harassing a man. It started off innocuously enough, and the guy tried to ignore them at first. Then they started smacking him, acting crude and escalating the affair. As the man got up to leave, he tried to hold the door open to get police, but his assailants threw him back into the train and the train moved on.
I was shaking my head and muttering to my companion, and the thugs must have noticed. I became their new target. Words were exchanged, and at first I just laughed a bit and went along with the back and forth. Then one of them directed some comments at the girl I was with, and I stupidly took the bait.
At Takoma, most of them piled out of the car while one made his way toward me. I took a punch to the jaw and then things got crazy. I jumped up and the six guys dragged me off the train, and I took a bit of a stomping on the ground. It was over pretty quick, and they ran off.
I was in a haze, but a Metro employee told me to get on the call box to the station manager. The train was stopped for a bit and someone had notified the DC police. They were on the scene before I was at the escalator (working!) to talk to the station manager. Not that I had any real belief that these thugs would be caught, but I figured it didn’t hurt to try. The station manager kept the girl I was with occupied and was very comforting while DC police took my report.
I was pretty stupid to have gotten involved in this whole affair, but something else I took away from the attack was that Metro personnel and the DC police stepped up. The next night there was increased police presence at Takoma, and while I don't think they'll catch the people who attacked me, it was refreshing to see that they tried and were genuinely concerned with my well being.
Like many, I've complained a lot about Metro, but in this case, I'd like to thank them for their swift action.