Monday, August 24, 2009

Please Don't Point the Shotgun at Me

It's not a common sight, but Metro operates trains that solely collect and transport cold, hard cash. They are protected by heavily armed guards. If you've never seen one, or don't know about them, it can be somewhat startling when one pulls into a station. From reader Joseph:

About three weeks ago, I was trying to get on an Orange Line train for Vienna at Metro Center at about 10:30 p.m. As I was going down the escalator to the platform, a "no passengers" train pulled up. The doors opened, and to my bewilderment a uniformed man stepped out of the first car brandishing an enormous shotgun. Since he was holding it up, and I was elevated on the escalator, it was pointing directly at me.

I yelled out in shock, and he looked up and saw that he was pointing the gun at me, but he calmly and expressionlessly continued to while two other uniformed guys moved a box off the platform and onto the train.

Still eying me without emotion, he stepped back onto the train, and it left.

Prior to him stepping out, there was no announcement that any kind of police would be getting out. So I had no way of anticipating, right before I was threatened with a deadly weapon, that he wouldn't be a criminal or madman.

And yet he didn't hesitate to scare the shit out of me for no reason.

By the time it was all over, I realized that he was some kind of official, but still, it's inconsiderate.

Furthermore, this is America. Just because you work for Metro, it's not an excuse to act like the Stasi or something.

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn. I've seen the Metro employees with armed escorts emptying the fare machines before, but never the trains that pick them up.

Anonymous said...

hero wannabes. this attitude is common throughout law enforcement types.

Anonymous said...

What a pansy. Seriously... the Stasi? Do you even know what the Stasi is? Comparing a law enforcement officer, even if it is Metro, to the east german secret police? Grow a pair, Joseph.

Jeff said...

America is the land of gun love. Still, you have to wonder about the lack of empathy -- and metal state in general -- of those heavily armored babysitters.

capitolhillstyle said...

As a lifelong gun owner, I was always taught that the first rule is not to point the weapon at anyone unless you plan to fire. Very unsafe.

Dave Stroup said...

Really, this is the best you can get? Do you really expect Metro to make announcements that a train full of money is pulling into the station?

You know, occasionally the transit police travel on the subway with large automatic weapons. Some times when I get out of the Metro at Union Station, there are federal agents with submachine guns standing around.

I have a feeling the weapon wasn't being "pointed" at the person in question, it was likely being held at an angle and to an observe who was elevated they may have interpreted it as being pointed. There's only so many directions a large shotgun can be pointed, and downwards at the ground may not have been the best option in this case.

Anonymous said...

Metro operates only one money train, stock numbers 8000-8003 (its actually an old school 1000 series). I've only ever seen it at night, the windows are blacked out, and it says "special" permanently on the designation signs. It's basically an armored car, and we see armored car guys with shotguns all the time. That said, the guy allowing his shotgun to aim at an escalator (make no mistake, it was not at you personally) is poor form.

Anonymous said...

Metro has been using money trains to collect cash like this for at least 20 years. Back when the system closed every night at midnight, and before the fare machines accepted credit cards (i.e., ALL transactions were in cash), I used to see those money trains frequently in the later evening hours. I think they may collect money less frequently now because the fare machines don't have to be emptied as often. In any case, its nothing to be alarmed about.

Anonymous said...

I personally thought this was an interesting post. I doubt the officer intended to scare you--or maybe he's a jerk. Interesting story and thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

http://www.listen2unclejay.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/normal_Danica-Trep%20Guard%20Duty.JPG

Paul said...

Haha this reminds me of that movie Money Train I did not know they do this but I do now!

Sophia said...

WTFMetro talks about this all the time. It's the "Money Train". I only saw it once on the Orange Line.

Kane said...

When I moved to the area a couple of years ago I saw this one night at White Flint. I wondered what it was but everyone i asked had no idea. Thanks for solving a little metro mystery for me!

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest. He's just another ill-mannered, undertrained, no background checked Metro a-hole, but this time. aughhhh! he's got a gun!

Anonymous said...

This story is so absolutely frightening I am completely stunned. I can only assume rifleman was dressed to fit his actions - cowboy boots and an old 1850's hat and coat. Did he have a cheap cigar in his mouth perhaps?

Considering there is NO safety on Metro anymore or anywhere around the stations, this is deplorable. Should it ever happen to me I'm going to call 911 and report a mad man with a rifle on the loose on a train. Being as vague as I can and knowing Metro's penchant for disorganization, it will take a hour for them to realize the gunman is one of their own. (And I will then pray for forgiveness from hapless riders for the system-wide delay while they search for said gunman. I'll be laughing my buns off but I'll pray too...)

Eric said...

Metro wannabe cops are more heavily armed then marines in Baghdad. I swear I saw one with grenades clipped to his belt.
Also, remember when they tackled that pregnant woman for eating in the metro. God what a crime. Snickers bar = WMD.

Anonymous said...

It amazes how many disrespectful people comment on here.

Anonymous said...

Lean how to duck. That thing goes two ways. Not many people have respect for law enforcement or any authority because this is America. This attitude puts law enforcers is particular danger and lessens their ability to protect me.

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