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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grumpy Old Man Pissed That Everyone Else is Such a Pussy

posted by on August 19 at 11:44 AM

It’s the civic saga that won’t quit: The random attack of a blind passenger aboard a Metro bus, first reported in a May Last Days:

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.”

Next came news that the assailant was facing hate-crime charges, followed by input from the victim herself on June 27:

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, people were wonderful. It’s one heck of a way to make friends, but WOW! What friends in need! 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. (And in case you’re interested, I’ve received concerned apologies from the King County Sheriff’s Department [responsible for Metro security] and from Metro, along with an annual pass.)

Which brings us to the latest update: an email sent by one Tom Eisenhauer, AKA the old man who first stepped in to stop the attack, who calls bullshit on everything:

I am the “good Samaritan” AKA the “H” word. I heard this rag actually published a couple articles about the assault on that Sunday morning, May 18, 08. A friend showed me the articles from your website. I am happy Mr. Hughes is getting the mental help he should get, I hope. I think the victim should get a service dog. Is anyone volunteering with that good deed? Are you all just crediting yourselves with your own fantasies you know did not happen. Usually people keep their fantasies to themselves. Otherwise a bus full of good citizens AKA cowards did not lift a finger until this “good Samaritan” yelled out for help to keep Mr. Hughes subdued. I have medical issues and should not get involved in violent situations. When no one else in a bus full of people gets involved, and a healthy man is trying to beat a blind woman to death, I guess it takes another disabled man to defend her. I am just pleased I was there to help.

Me too, grumpy cripple. Everyone else: Stay tuned.

RSS icon Comments


uh, he has a point.

I don't think he needs to be called grumpy for calling out a bunch of cowardly, assholes.

Posted by michael strangeways | August 19, 2008 11:52 AM

um, are you guys ok, or did you go on a bender last night?

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 19, 2008 11:54 AM

A service dog ripping apart that jackass (the guy punching the blind woman, not the old man) is a dog attack I can get behind.

And in circumstances like this, it often takes several seconds, if not minutes, for the shock to wear off and for people to intervene.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 19, 2008 11:59 AM

She should get a pit bull.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 19, 2008 12:00 PM

What the fuck was the driver doing during all of this?!?!?!?

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | August 19, 2008 12:01 PM

what @1 said.

For once, one Seattleite isn't passive and makes a decision and then tells the truth and you criticize him as grumpy? WTF?

Kew Gardens redux?

Save the grumpy charge for those who truly are.


Posted by PC | August 19, 2008 12:01 PM

6: It seems like a matter of time and placement. The old guy was closest to the woman and her attacker, and naturally comprehended what was happening first. It's not like the other riders refused to get involved, they were just a little slow on the uptake, for reasons that are understandable, I think.

But you're right, it was heartless of me to call that grumpy old man grumpy. Maybe he's exceedingly cheerful, and will sue me for defamation.

Posted by David Schmader | August 19, 2008 12:06 PM

David Schmader is a fucking coward.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 19, 2008 12:07 PM

#5 Thank you! The whole time I was reading this I wondered where the driver was in all this. The bus driver should have got his or her ass fired over this. Once again I say we need Metro cops like they have in other big cities, but until then it is the driver's responsibility to prevent shit like this from happening.

Posted by elswinger | August 19, 2008 12:08 PM

Anyone else wondering what exactly the "H" word is...?

Posted by kid icarus | August 19, 2008 12:13 PM

@5 Driving, probably.

Posted by N | August 19, 2008 12:15 PM


Posted by David Schmader | August 19, 2008 12:15 PM

Wait, I don't get it—what exactly is the old dude insinuating that the Stranger got wrong? The blind lady obviously couldn't see who helped her, but someone obviously did, and that someone wasn't old dude. So what if the entire bus didn't bumrush the attacker; all it takes is one.

Posted by shub-negrorath | August 19, 2008 12:17 PM

The victim seems pretty satisfied with the outcome of this event. She doesn't want a dog, she doesn't want pity, and she doesn't want some old bastard telling her that things should've gone down differently. I'm sure she's had plenty of time to parse out the scenario for herself from her own perspective, and her satisfaction far outweighs this old guy's dissatisfaction.

Posted by Ziggity | August 19, 2008 12:23 PM

I'm gonna buy the script/movie rights to this event.

Posted by stinkbug | August 19, 2008 12:37 PM

15: It would make a great musical.

Posted by David Schmader | August 19, 2008 12:41 PM

As a grumpy old man, I would like to point out that being grumpy does not preclude being right. He has a point. It's unclear why, if "reaction time" is the reason for other people not doing anything, grumpypants was able to somehow roust himself from this Metro-induced stupor, despite his disability, but the able-bodied around him were not.

Posted by Fnarf | August 19, 2008 12:54 PM

It's called "diffusion of responsibility" and it is a common issue when there are a lot of people around. It is counter-intuitive, but the more people are around, the less likely any one person is to help. Once someone does step in, like the "grumpy" old man, it (as shrinks would say it) "models" the correct behavior for others, and they tend to join in (as happened here.

The trick for a victim is to take matters into their own hands, if possible. Do not simply hope someone will help, or vaguely ask for help, but rather point to one person (randomly) and demand their help. It worked for me when I was attacked in DC a few years back and needed assistance.

Posted by CPT_Doom | August 19, 2008 1:09 PM

@16, you rang????

Why should I not beat you up on the bus?
God told me to do so.
Life is an unfair drag, old gal,
Welcome to the Metro.

Put down your white cane,
Your pack and the rest.
Time for a flogging, oh!
Life is an unfair drag, old gal,
Welcome to the Metro.

Come hear the word,
The word of God.
He blew his horn,
in revelation;
Right at me,
Now here's abrasions!

No use resisting
this prophet of doom,
I'll knock your glasses low.
I am the wrath of God, no?
Life is an unfair drag, old gal,
Welcome to the Metro!


Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 19, 2008 1:33 PM

Schmader, you also called the guy cripple? Is that not insulting you faggot? You're a faggot aren't you David? David like most men who suck cock and get fucked in the ass can't defend themselves let alone anyone else. Only a faggot would defend a bunch of young people who sat around and didn't do shit to help a blind women who was attacked. Schmander is your average fag, to busy staring at his navel to notice anything else going on around him.

Posted by Mike Schank | August 19, 2008 1:36 PM

@20, I think the average fag would be staring at cock.

Fuck off.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 19, 2008 1:38 PM

No, I was asking for it with that "cripple" crack, which I used only because the man is not, in fact, differently-abled, but has a heart condition. My calling him a cripple was in response to him calling himself disabled.

Still, #20, you're right, I'm a fag. You must work for the FBI.

Posted by David Schmader | August 19, 2008 1:49 PM

#11 I know s/he was driving, but considering the amount of time this event must have taken, the driver could have pulled over, even at the next stop, and intervened (unless the bus was on the freeway).

#20 As someone who is in a wheelchair (hopefully temporarily) I don't have time to care if someone wants to cal me "crippled" any more than I care if some one calls me an "Injun," which I prefer, or a "non-practicing" bisexual, which, for the first time, I am admitting here.

Worry about yourself and let us "minorities" defend ouselves.

Posted by elswinger | August 19, 2008 2:19 PM

And you're hardly average, Dave.

Posted by it'smarkmitchell | August 19, 2008 2:26 PM

elswinger sounds like a sitcom or payoff to a tasteless joke.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 19, 2008 2:33 PM

My dear Schank, the proper usage is "pussy you faggot", preferably prefaced with "Go back to France".

And Mr. Schmader is by all reports an OUTSTANDING fag, far from average. Even in trivial matters, such as his tolerance for your pathetic bullshit, he is superior to the norm.

Posted by Fnarf | August 19, 2008 2:34 PM

The driver was doing their job- driving. Bus operators aren't cops. In fact we are instructed to place an EA (silent alarm) and wait for police- WHEN WE REALIZE CONFRONTATION IS OCCURING. News flash, we can't hear shit, especially in the hybrids. There are so many noises competing with our attention in the driver chair. Far be it for me to know what is happening in a 62 ft long coach. The avenger was correct, the passengers were apathetic about what was going on. This is very common at Joe Metro. Everyone has the right to a non- harassing ride. If I don't know what is going on, then I can't make any decisions nor actions. Case in point- yesterday I boarded a drunker then shit ass s/b at prospect on elliot. The bus became crowded. I cant see nor hear down the aisle. Not until 1st and Bell did I hear another individual yell "Shut up! I'm tired of hearing your obscenities and threats!" An argument ensued. I immediately pulled into the next zone, secured the coach, walked to the back and told him to leave (yes I knew whom the perp was.) While i received an ovation, I was rather disappointed that no one brought this to my attention, wtf? It has to come to point of a brawl, and both parties will be arrested? (By the way, what I did was so against policy.)

Posted by Kat | August 19, 2008 3:01 PM

#25 I will be at the Shoreline branch of the King County Library until about 4:30pm today and then I will be at the Park Ridge Skilled Nursing Center, where I temporarily live, after 5pm if you want to come by. I am wearing a Led Zeppelin hockey jersey.

#27 Thank you for clarifying that. I agree that someone should have brought it to the attention of the driver than assume that they knew what was going on. I would like to think I would have intervened, but in the past I admit I have been one of those apathetic, or scared, passengers.

Posted by elswinger | August 19, 2008 3:17 PM

There's such a thing as a Led Zeppelin hockey jersey?

Posted by Fnarf | August 19, 2008 6:08 PM

I bought it on Amazon. It might be dumb but I like it (and they didn't have a Frank Zappa jersey).

I got tired of waiting for BA at the library so I am sitting in the lobby of the Nursing Center if s/he wants to stop by.

Posted by elswinger | August 19, 2008 8:02 PM

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