Monday, July 19, 2010

Jersey Shore comes to Bethesda

We hear a lot about fights at Gallery Place, but according to two readers, there was very bad melee at the Bethesda Metro station early this past Sunday morning, which provided some scary moments for onlookers and a Metro operator as well as long delays for people already on the trains.

Basically, a large group of kids began shouting insults at each other. The words turned to shoves and the shoves morphed into a full-blown fight.

Here's what Metro had recorded about the incident:
Bethesda: An altercation ensued between several individuals resulting in unauthorized persons entering the right of way on track #2. Train 103 is currently holding on track #2, power is de-energized on both tracks. MTPD are on scene.

Riz writes:
This one guy got knocked down in front of me and turtled up (face down covering his body and head with his hands). The guy who knocked him down proceeded to knee him in the skull. Then, another two douches ran up and soccer kicked and stomped him in the head. It sounded like a watermelon getting hit by a sledghammer.

Anyway, the guy who got kicked in the skull rolled over and started twitching. His eyes were rolled into the back of his head. He started convulsing a bit, and finally, about four or five minutes later, someone came to help him. He tried to stand up, but couldn't because of his injuries--possibly a concussion.

The fighting continued among others.

The kid with the concussion tried to stand up and promptly fell into the tracks right as the train was coming. (The readout said it was 1 minute away.)

People started screaming. Most of the fights paused, but some douches kept fighting. The guy fell right in front of me. People were screaming at him to get back on the platform, but every time he got up, he fell over. He was too hurt to figure it out.

Someone jumped down on the tracks to pull him out

Two other bystanders and I started running toward the oncoming train on the platform. The tunnel where the train was coming from is curved, so I knew it could have been really bad. The driver could easily miss what was going on and not be able to stop in time.

I started screaming and jumping up and down yelling at him to stop trying to create a huge profile by bouncing around. The other guy with me did the same. I didn't want to get too close to the tunnel entrance because I didn't think the operator would see me in time, so I tried to stay closer to the kid on the tracks. The guy in front of me moved up a bit.

At first, the driver kept going and, for a split second, I didn't think he saw us. Then, I saw the driver get this horrified look on his face and jerk his brake lever and the train began to stop.

It stopped about 2 feet from where the injured guy and those trying to help him were.

The driver was freaking out, and I leaned in his window to tell him what happened.

The others finally pulled the hurt guy out of the tracks.

Then all hell broke loose as another three fights erupted.

Meanwhile, not a single cop had shown up yet. Not even one. Elapsed time: about 30 minutes. Finally, a Metro worker sprinted up the escalators to get the police.

Fights were still going on, and it was getting worse. Finally, I saw a cop about 45 minutes after this all started.

The train was still paused halfway on the tracks, halfway in the tunnel. Its power had been shut down, and all the passengers in the train were stuck.

The cops were yelling and telling people to sit down. Shirts were ripped, and people were walking around bleeding and yelling. Girls were trash talking like it was a night at the Jersey Shore.

Finally, about an hour into it, the track inspection was done, the train powered up and started slowly inching toward the end of the platform.

And for the perspective from the train, here's this from an anonymous reader:
I left Metro Center1:30 a.m., after a midnight movie headed toward Shady Grove on the Red Line. Upon approaching Bethesda station, a barely audible announcement was followed by the power being turned off on our train.

Apparently, there was a teen scuffle in the station and, for"safety reasons," the decision was made to cut the power and detain us.

It took several Metro police approx 45 minutes to secure the station, and for us to be let out of the dark, stuffy train.

The Bethesda police station is across Wisconsin Ave., but they did not respond.

I believe they would have handled the situation more efficiently.
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SmarTrip changes arrive--sorta (WMATA)
Car derails at yard (WaPo)
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