Friday, May 7, 2010

Drunken Brawls in the Subway During Rush Hour Are a Bad Idea

Here's a cute story: So I get on the packed rush hour C line Subte to head home with my iPod in. The train starts moving and I can see the guy right in front of me is drinking an open can of Budweiser and pushing the man next to him. Anyone who is drinking an open beer on the train in rush hour is probably just asking for trouble, especially since a cop just happened to be on this train. But he doesn't say anything, for the moment.

I can see this is not looking good, and suddenly people packed around the two men are starting to yell at them. Then the punches start flying and with as little space as there was to begin with, a circle is formed around these two knuckleheads. Everyone is yelling and I keep thinking, well the cop will be here any second. But this cop obviously had better things to do. A random person tries to get in between them as the swaying of the train knocks us all around, and finally the cop comes over and with a "that'll do, boys" pep talk, stands in between the fighters.

The one who originally had a beer is bleeding from the mouth and gives the "I'm going to kill you once you get off the train" gesture. For a moment everyone is in shock and doesn't move. The train reaches a stop, no one moves, and we go on. Then a guy next to me starts to call out the police officer, saying he's a terrible role model. A civilian had to break up the fight while he stood watching, and he should be ashamed.

The cop starts to get in his face, but not how I would expect. Well, first of all, if a fight ever broke out in front of a cop on a train in the States, both parties would be taken off immediately and arrested. Then, if someone yelled at or threatened an officer, they too would be arrested. Here, the cop got into the guys' face to quietly whisper, "What do you want me to do, arrest one and not the other?" Good law enforcement, folks. That's what keeps thugery down.

Now the whole train is against this cop, and everyone from this young idealist to elderly women are yelling at him. I can see the fear in his eyes and why he did nothing at first. He's clearly outnumbered, and without backup to help beat everyone up, this guy is toast. His best bet was to just stay out of it from the start. But now he's encircled by an angry mob that wants better policing and two guys who still want to kill each other.

But my stop comes up and there's no way I'm sticking around to see this sinking ship hit the bottom. I wonder who made it out alive from that whole debacle. I'll check the news later tonight.

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