Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Violence on the CTA

One of my classmates was attacked on the CTA #8 bus yesterday afternoon. Another classmate shared her story with us. Normally I choose not to speak for anyone but since she is still in shock and has not left the police office, I am going to share her horrific story.

Around 4:30 yesterday afternoon Jasmine (name changed) boarded the #8 bus to DePaul for her evening class. She sat in an inside seat by the window near the back and pulled out a magazine for the long ride. Before long a man sat down next to her. He began arguing with a woman in the aisle of the bus. Engaged in her magazine, Jasmine didn't notice until the argument escalated. Feeling threatened, she tried to get out of her seat by gesturing to the man that she needed to get off. This only focused his attention in on her.

I am not sure exactly how their exchange turned violent but he let her out of the seat and punched her in the face. When she fell over, he grabbed her by the leg and started dragging her down the aisle of the bus. By this point she and many passengers were screaming at the bus driver to stop and help out. The bus driver did nothing. He just proceeded on to the next stop while several passengers called the police. The man who attacked Jasmine escaped at the next stop, while the bus driver, again, did nothing. A few people chased him off of the bus in an attempt to restrain him until the police arrived. He managed to hop on an "L" train before anyone could catch him.

Jasmine has spent the past 24 hours dealing with police and recovering from her injuries and the general humiliation of being dragged through a crowd of people.

Again, this is my telling of her story and I hope that when she is feeling better she will tell it herself. Something is seriously wrong when CTA staff and passengers are so desensitized to violence and harassment something like this could happen and the perpetrator could escape! People should not be subject to violence during their commutes. It is just that simple.