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Friday, May 23, 2008

A Hot Tip for the Ages

posted by on May 23 at 10:59 AM

From this week’s Last Days column, a harrowing, ultimately hopeful Hot Tip:

SUNDAY, MAY 18 The week ends with an extraordinary tale of “religion gone bad and valiant community spirit” from that inexhaustible forum for freakery known as King County Metro, reported by heroic Hot Tipper Oscar. “I was riding the 18 headed downtown, when out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement. When I turned to look, I saw a man repeatedly hitting a blind woman seated at the front of the bus. An older gentleman seated next to the woman jumped up and tried to intervene, but a quick punch to the head knocked him back down into his seat. Once I realized that what I was seeing was real, I rushed the assailant and grabbed him by the arms while he yelled at me to ‘keep out of this. You got no idea what’s really happening here’ and the woman cowered and covered her head. He kept screaming about ‘being filled with the power of God’ and threatening to kill me for stopping him from doing God’s work. Three other passengers helped me hold him while another rider called 911. Another passenger was assisting the assaulted woman, who’d been hit so hard she was bleeding. The police arrived and apprehended the attacker, then took all of our names. While one young lady was telling her story, I heard her say that when the assailant got on the bus he saw the blind woman and said, ‘God says all sick people must die,’ then started hitting her. [Confidential to the psychotic assailant: Blind people aren’t sick, and all people must die. Back to Oscar:] The assaulted woman was checked by paramedics and declared physically okay, except for scratches and bruising, then got a ride home from a fire marshal. Thanks to all my fellow Metro riders who pitched in and stood up for someone unable to defend herself.”

And thanks to you, Oscar.

RSS icon Comments


Who tells psychotic atheists to do crazy, violent stuff?

Posted by Helene M. | May 23, 2008 11:29 AM

Was the assailant Pastor Hutch? It sure sounds like him.

Posted by inkweary | May 23, 2008 11:30 AM

This Hot Tip casts a ray of hope in my gloomy bus riding existence. Metro and its drivers do absolutely jack-shit to maintain order on their buses, so props to Oscar and co. for their display of vigilantism. As a daily Metro rider, I am truly inspired by this story.

Posted by Hernandez | May 23, 2008 11:47 AM

I was punched in the face on a bus in Oakland once. I feel for that woman. The pain of the blows is the least of her troubles from this.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 12:23 PM

The pain of the blows is the least of her troubles from this.

Do you mean how difficult it would be for a blind person to trust a world that randomly punches her in the face for no reason?

Your statement strikes me as true, I'm just curious about the specifics you have in mind...

Posted by David Schmader | May 23, 2008 12:26 PM

Metro. Seattle's other zoo.

Posted by Toe Tag | May 23, 2008 12:38 PM

If we replaced buses with streetcars, these sorts of attacks wouldn't happen. Ever.

Posted by joykiller | May 23, 2008 1:03 PM

@5 -- yes, that, but more generally, being assaulted out of the blue for no reason hurts bad for a long time, even if you're not blind. I cried more in the year following my assault than I did right after it happened; I was too shocked then. It must be ten times worse for her, who REALLY didn't see it coming. I at least saw my attacker's face briefly.

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 1:13 PM

I was singled out and screamed at by a crazy on the 36 once. That was plenty traumatic for me. I can't imagine being hit - especially when blind.

You know, we used to have good security on Metro. Undercover cops, the whole bit. I think we lost it after that car tabs initiative passed.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | May 23, 2008 2:36 PM

Getting rid of the Free Ride Zone, jacking the fare up another dollar or two and making paying the fare mandatory to gain entry (instead of just a suggested donation) would go along way.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | May 23, 2008 4:32 PM

@7 - that's because we'd be sitting on benches and could toss him out of the streetcar.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 23, 2008 4:44 PM

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