Super Scary MTA Story

I can’t say I’ve checked out too many blogs on Friendster but this post from a guy who got mugged last week on the MTA is a must read. I don’t know what’s worse, the stuff he remembers or the stuff he doesn’t:

“I remember two black females and one black male on the train insisting that they “WERE helping me” and they kept shoving me back into my seat. I felt like I was 5 again, with bullies pushing me around and it was making me upset. I remember struggling, yelling “THIS IS MY STOP!” a lot of times, and they restrained me, laughing. I tried to break free, but I couldn’t; I looked for some type of emergency call button but I couldn’t see one, and I was at the back of the car, too far from the door. These people that were holding me asked me for something, I assume my money since my wallet and checkbook are missing now, and I said “NO!”. The last thing I clearly remember on the train is a hand grabbing the back of my head.”

“My next string of memories are very wet and strange. I’m waking up on my side, and start crawling on the ground, trying to make my phone work; there’s cars passing by but noone is stopping; I’m screaming and crying and I think I’ve lost most of my teeth. I keep spitting out and vomiting out blood. I’m trying vainly not to make a mess. I can’t stand up. A small part inside of me keeps telling me that I won’t die out here; I just have to keep moving… just keep going and you’ll end up safe, I had to argue with me that I wasn’t going to die.”

18 Replies to “Super Scary MTA Story”

  1. oh my god. That post (and the ones he wrote afterwards) just made me cry. This scares the hell out of me, since I take the MTA all the time. I carry pepper spray, but in a situation like this, I don’t think it would’ve made any difference.

  2. OMG – I’m sick to my stomach. I too live near the MTA Subway and I’ve felt comfortible taking it ever since it opened over 5 years ago. This is one of the most frightening stories of a mugging on the Los Angeles MTA I have ever heard of (and living in Downtown LA since 1995 – trust me I’ve heard my share of DT horror stories). We need to get better security on those trains, especially now that the Goldline and other new proposed extensions are creeping into the suburbs, giving criminals a free conduit to our homes and main modes of transit. Get better Joshua!

  3. Absolutely unbelievably horrid…especially since it’s so random and he has no memory of what led to it….I have really prided myself on taking the train downtown when I go there….it’s such a easy jaunt from Hollywood…this sure gives pause. Joshua…if you read this at all….I’m sending healing energy your way…

  4. wow, thats insane. just yesterday, i was threatened to be pushed on to the tracks at 7th/metro. i laughed it off, and just chalked it up to another crazy, but in hindsight its kinda freaky. the lady beside me got angry that he was even allowed to be on the platform as there were 3-4 “security” guards around. she demanded why they didnt do anything, they just shrugged and shuffled off. im glad mta security is hard at work.

  5. Yeah, so, time to buy a taser?

    I don’t really want to get into specifics, but I was the victim of a similar attack several years ago and reading that makes my stomach turn. It’s a good reminder that you need to be mindful of your safety and surroundings at all times. Especially when you’re alone at night.

    As for MTA security, let’s just say my confidence in ALL of SoCal’s legal institutions continues to erode on a daily basis.

  6. I wanted to thank you all for your kind words of support. Through this experience, I’m learning amazing new viewpoints in empathy, and strength, and who the “good guys” are.

    I intend shortly to write lettters about how absolutely wonderful the staff at King / Drew treated me. They far exceeded anything I expected. “Don’t believe the hype.”

    Most importantly, ANYONE who has had anything happen as far as an assault to them ON the train, like happened to me, PLEASE contact me ASAP. If I am to make any legal headway, I need to establish precedence. Think about it… someone working for MTA cleaned up a LOT of blood on that train car, but apparently noone that works there knew about the incident until Molly called them to file a report. That’s the scariest part… the apathy of people that send giant metal vehicles hurtling through underground tubes with nearly no surveillance.

    Something’s gotta change. I intend to do everything I can to make that change happen.

    ~Joshua P!!

  7. I think the whole attack is terrible. I wrote friends at the MTA Sheriff and a colleague who knows MetroRail procedures. Here is their notes:

    My friend at LASO wrote me: I confirmed that we have the report and are investigating. The report was taken on May 17. Thanks, LASO

    and my friend J wrote:
    Hi. This is awful. What ‘would’ I have done?

    I would have called for help as soon as possible. This would have enabled the crime scene to be photographed or even some shred of evidence from the car..

    I understand that he left the scene to receive medical attention but it took them three day’s to call and file a report. This is an eternity in Metro time. Those trains hold several hundred thousand people a day.

    For cleaning the cars are hauled into a chamber which sucks everything out. The crew didn’t even have a car number to know to pull it out of service because no one ever informed them. I don’t blame them for cleaning the car.

    Because it took three days to file a report the police probably have very little to go on. They couldn’t even do an active search.

    I know this sounds lame, but the thing I would have done, I already did. I’ve taken about two years of Karate training to defend myself. One can be attacked anywhere in a large metropolis such as Los Angeles.

    What would I do now? It depends on how involved they want to be. They could work to change the system. Write a few letters or make a few phone calls to key people (board members, media) http://www.transitcoalition.org and http://thetransitcoalition.us/TTC_Friends.htm#mtaboard

    I don’t think they have much of a case if they were to sue the Metro. They would have to prove that the attack occurred there which there isn’t much evidence of. The only thing they can do is lick their wounds and count their blessings or make a big stink and try to instill change.

    Best wishes, J

    fi–fi–fi

  8. Dear Transitnerd: I appreciate your efforts and those of your friend in considering the situation but obviously the guy was, uh, a little disabled at the end of his trip, which might account for the delay in filing a police report. That’s the reason he “left” the train car. How ’bout the problem with the (probably contracted out) cleaning crew not reporting the blood they had to have seen in the train car? And no one in a position of authority observing/stopping the attack in the first place? It seems like LASO’s first response is blame the victim. Lovely. Typical LA.

  9. Transitnerd, this is NOT even funny. I encourage anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex to check out what groups YOU are a part of, and it’s fairly transparent where the fillings of your pockets and your accolades are from.

    Unfortunately, in a public forum, everyone is allowed to speak, regardless of how self serving their agenda. If MTA loses money, status, or power, your lifestyle will be impeded. I’m sorry, but having broken few teeth, the ability to eat anything that won’t flow through a straw, and my feeling of safety as a citizen, I have a hard time finding empathy for you.

    An “eternity in Metro time”?! Well, oddly enough, the first call was when my GF called them FROM THE HOSPITAL, while I was still checked in, before my jaw was wired up and was hanging loose! The FACT is that they never showed up; they didn’t even bother to call back. It’s not because we didn’t call for three days…. it’s that we couldn’t get them to call us back, never mind show up to take a statement. Again, just because it took that long to get a result does NOT imply lack of effort on our part.

    Ironically, it was your willingness to blame the victim that made me have to figure out the “why” of your need to publicly tell me I was all wrong… I wonder how you speak to other victims of assault? What’s your personal statute of limitations on how soon one must call in a rape, homicide, or child abuse? Did you even consider that I COULDN’T physically speak and I STILL can’t? I have to have my GF drive me everywhere and “translate” for me because no one can understand me. I can’t even speak to my own mother on the phone without help.

    You heartless, soulless, self righteous sack. At some point in time, I hope you learn to care for something bigger than your own agenda. There are other people on this planet.

  10. Dear Transitnerd: This is the mother of the MTA attack victim, and yes it’s true I haven’t been able to have a conversation with my son since that senseless event. I must say that stating the ‘victim’ is responsible for not ‘calling for help’ or getting on it within the first few hours is right there with blaming a rape victim for wearing her pants too tight or her skirt too short. NO ONE ASKS FOR A CRIME TO BE COMMITTED AT THEIR EXPENSE, AND QUITE POSSIBLY THEIR LIFE! So, to this individual, *UCK YOU”. I hope that no one ever chokes in front of you, as you’d probably blame them for ordering the cheaper cut of meat or not cutting it small enough. If they drowned in front of you, you’d probably blame them for not taking swimming lessons. Perhaps something this unjust should happen to you for you to get the full impact of your ignorant statements. Perhaps someone will slam your fingers repeatedly into a metal door, then hand you a phone and tell you to dial 911 with broken bones. Luckily there are more supportive comments than the ones from a**holes like yourself. Have a nice life, and good luck… you’re going to need it with your complete lack of compassion and insight. Signed: Someone who loves her son very much.

  11. People need to get more involved on a personal level. A few months ago I was getting a hot dog at a street vendor, and a little old lady bumped into a gangsta type. The Gangbanger immediately started to threaten the lady, and I very quietly took my U-lock off my bike and moved behind him. Had he touched her, I would have smacked him into next week with my u-lock.

    The police don’t protect us, the only job of the police is write tickets and “enhance revenue”.

    We’ve take “non-violence” to a level that is suicidal.

    An Armed Society is a Polite Society.

  12. As someone who has been riding various forms of public transportation daily in Los Angeles for five years, I have to say that I read your story and I was suspicious. Primarily because there aren’t subways where you were leaving from/going to/ending up. Plus, the details of your story don’t make technical sense: it’s very difficult to crawl to the side of the street where traffic would be whizzing by you because from both the subway and the above-ground rails require going up or down steps, sometimes multiple flights and then crossing the tracks.
    I have no doubt that someone gave you a facial and you ended up in King/Drew – but it sure looks like you fabricated the MTA assault so you wouldn’t have to tell your family what you had really been up to. Especially when you went off on transitnerd who was only explaining why it’s difficult to investigate a crime that left no evidence. His post was hardly an attack, but you went ballistic as did “your mother” – thou dost protest too much.

  13. I’m suspicious of this story, because I am a daily MTA commuter on all of their forms of transit, and the technical details of this story don’t add up at all, especially since there are no subways anywhere near the medical center you were taken to. I have no doubt that someone gave you a facial and you went to King/Drew’s ER. What I doubt is that you were an innocent commuter who was assaulted at random – you just made up the MTA robbery to explain to your family how you got soo banged up and now it’s gone too far and you have to keep the story up. Especially since you and “your mother” totally freaked out on transitnerd who was just explaining why it’s difficult/impossible to investigate a crime when there is no evidence that one took place. Thou doth protest too much.

  14. First off I would like to state that I don’t know Josh, I have never met or conversed with him to my knowlege. I can say though, that I am happy that he is alive.

    Coming out of a situation like this can be “combative” (no pun intended) on oneself to say the least.

    You have a lifetime to make things better and thats a good thing. Who I feel truly sorry for is the criminal element that caused this. Those people obviously have no sense in what human life is and because of this I feel they will never truly experience of the fruitfulness that being human truly is.

    Lacking compassion for the life of another living thing, regardless of species, is lacking compassion for oneself.

    I hope that you pull through well in your difficult time and realize that in your misfortune you have been giving another look at life and as much as you appreciated it, it gives you and those you love a different outlook on your life and your relationship with those around you.

    Goodluck to you with your dilema and with all you choose to do in life.

  15. Yes, people DO need to get involved on a personal level. Yes, we DO need to stand up for one another when we can. Unfortunately, humans aren’t so brave even if they are there to see the horrifying thing that is about to happen.

    It’s within my nature to always look for the non-violent, intellectual approach; an approach that everyone can be a part of regardless of your stance on street level warfare and concealed weapons to protect oneself. I don’t like to hurt people, I don’t like to be hurt, and I want to help everyone who has been hurt.

    My brother came up with a concept recently that deserves attention. He has inspired me in so many ways, and his perspective on life is refreshing. He found a charity that helps victims of crime in realistic ways. He found a way to support them in a very real fashion. July 7th will be the first “AntiViolence” benefit event, held in Seattle. We have one here in Los Angeles at a MAJOR venue on August 21st. Dates are TBA announced in Nashville, Bay Area, New York, and Miami, with tentative events globally.

    WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    You can help. Please, even if you haven’t anything but time to post the URL somewhere else and stir up interest, then do that, re-post it everywhere you can, and let fate and momentum take care of the rest. This is a very real convergence of various communities to make a difference for those whom help was not there to prevent them from becoming a victim.

    http://www.AntiViolence.US

    Please, violence may be a part of society right now, but we can help ease the pain it causes.

    http://www.AntiViolence.US

  16. Yes, people DO need to get involved on a personal level. Yes, we DO need to stand up for one another when we can. Unfortunately, humans aren’t so brave even if they are there to see the horrifying thing that is about to happen.

    It’s within my nature to always look for the non-violent, intellectual approach; an approach that everyone can be a part of regardless of your stance on street level warfare and concealed weapons to protect oneself. I don’t like to hurt people, I don’t like to be hurt, and I want to help everyone who has been hurt.

    My brother came up with a concept recently that deserves attention. He has inspired me in so many ways, and his perspective on life is refreshing. He found a charity that helps victims of crime in realistic ways. He found a way to support them in a very real fashion. July 7th will be the first “AntiViolence” benefit event, held in Seattle. We have one here in Los Angeles at a MAJOR venue on August 21st. Dates are TBA announced in Nashville, Bay Area, New York, and Miami, with tentative events globally.

    WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    You can help. Please, even if you haven’t anything but time to post the URL somewhere else and stir up interest, then do that, re-post it everywhere you can, and let fate and momentum take care of the rest. This is a very real convergence of various communities to make a difference for those whom help was not there to prevent them from becoming a victim.

    http://www.AntiViolence.US

    Please, violence may be a part of society right now, but we can help ease the pain it causes.

    http://www.AntiViolence.US

  17. On behalf of the people that know “transitnerd” I want to apologize for his inappropriate comments (strangely filtered through a third party so that he doesn’t take the blame for them, which oddly seems to be his M. O.) I don’t have your email address so I can’t email the information to you privately, but it’s on the Internet anyway so I might as well:

    What a jackass to promote his own organization and use your suffering for his personal aggrandizement. Next thing you know he will visit you at the doctor and ask for your business card.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~transitcoalition/TC-LAT-Nerds.html

  18. It turns out from all those that attacked me here, the Victim was going to be the MTA. This loser never made it upon a train.

    But his family advised him to claim this happened upon the train because they know MTA has deep pockets and someone needed to cover his medical.

    Hopefully those that were involved in this fraud will end up getting charged and will end up serving time.

    And for the jerk that got beat up, get yourself into a rehab program.

    fi–fi–fi

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