City Letter of the Week
posted by July 2 at 12:35 PMon
Readers undoubtedly recall the saga first reported by Last Days Hot Tipper Oscar, in which a prophesy-spouting freak brutally attacked a blind woman on a Metro bus, instigating a rescue effort by Oscar and his fellow riders and resulting in criminal charges against the attacker. This week brought a lovely new chapter to the ongoing saga, via a typewritten, snail-mailed letter from one Jeanne Towne:
I was the blind woman assaulted aboard a Metro bus on Sunday morning, May 18. I want to add my thanks to the people who intervened on my behalf and looked after me when it was over. At first, I didn’t even realize someone had deliberately struck me. After three blows I finally wised up enough to duck, but he managed to hit me a few more times anyway.
Although I was dazed and amazed that someone would do such a thing when I was simply minding my own business and noticing how happy folks sounded on their way to do whatever, and although I did have to miss work due to a mild head injury, people were wonderful. It’s one heck of a way to make friends, but WOW! what friends in need! It makes up for the laxness I felt prevailed in 2001—when I’d been stalked for fourteen and a half months with supposedly hardly anyone noticing. (It took a year for me to convince anyone that i had a real problem. Disbelief was the first reaction, I think, because most folks I know are too nice to consider doing such a thing as throwing rocks at a blind woman or putting obstacles such as dumpsters in her path. It took someone actually seeing him doing hard to spur the police on.
The reaction of the other passengers on the bus this May has restored my faith in the decency of Seattleites and in the power of teamwork. God bless them all—especially those who also sustained injuries. All I can offer you is a song if we ever meet in Pike Place Market.
In case you’re interested in an update, the guy from the bus—a man in his thirties named Nguy Hughes—has no record of doing such a thing in the past. However, he was evaluated and considered not stable enough to stand trial. He’s now being held at Western State until September, when he’ll be checked again.
Should he escape or be acquitted by any fluke, I’ve been assured he’s banned for life from riding Metro. He’ll be arrested if he tries. The security cam onboard the bus caught an excellent video of the incident, which has been turned over to SPD for evidence. I’ve received concerned apologies from the King County Sheriff’s Dept. (responsible for Metro security) and from Metro, along with an annual pass.
And thank you, Ms. Towne.