16 Hours of Public Blather

by admin on May 24, 2011

In an epic incident of the pot calling the kettle rude, a Tigard, Oregon woman said she felt “disrespected” after police escorted her from an Amtrak train mostly because she refused to get off her cellphone — for 16 hours.

KATU.com reports:

Lakeysha Beard was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she got into a verbal altercation with passengers on the train. The other passengers complained she refused to put down her cellphone, even after train staff made repeated announcements for passengers to not use cellphones, according to police.

When a passenger confronted her about her loud talking, police said Beard got aggressive. She had reportedly been talking non-stop on the phone since getting on the train in Oakland, Calif.

Beard was taken into custody until a family member could come and pick her up.

Read the rest of the story here.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayne May 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm

“I find that people who constantly use the phrase “I was disrespected” and the like are usually the people who do the least to earn respect, or respect other people.”

So very true!

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Ange May 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm

ohhh this reminds me about one nightmarish trip I took from Sydney to Newcastle once here in Aus. It was about 3 hours and I was stuck in the car with this guy having a dirty conversation with his partner for the WHOLE TRIP. Oh and did I mention it was his partner he was meeting at the end? Ugh. Never again will I sit and listen to that rubbish passively, lesson learned.

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Kat May 25, 2011 at 1:08 am

I believe I read on another website that not only did she talk for 16 hours; she was also in a quiet car where that sort of thing is supposed to be prohibited. Obviously she had NO consideration for anyone else.

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Quiea May 25, 2011 at 1:55 am

Hi.

To those of you asking why they didn’t stop sooner, well, a train is no a bus. A Train can not just STOP somewhere to get the woman off. If a single train is forced to make a stop, then it has the potential of delaying dozens of others. Alternate routes, if possible, needs to be planned which means that they then need to notify the proper police department who then needs to get the proper division on the scene to take care of the situation.

I can definitely see why this took as long as it did to be resolved.

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The Elf May 25, 2011 at 7:06 am

Me too, Quiea. I can easily see how this took so long. Notice that it was police officers that removed the woman? That tells me that her behavior was such that the conductors could not act without either risking themselves or other passengers. At that point, you need to call in the dealing-with-violent-people experts, the police. On a moving train, going through multiple districts, that would take some serious coordination.

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Invalidcharactr May 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

I was confronted once with an egregious, shocking incident of inappropriate train behavior.

Once, while coming home from Chicago on the Metra (on the last train of the night, which is germane to the story), I was sitting across from a trio of teenagers who appeared to be around fifteen years old, give or take a few months. They were drunk and probably stoned out of their minds (given how languidly apathetically the lone female of the three responded to the various hands in her various places, they were *very* high). I don’t think a single one of them *wasn’t* wearing something with “Hollister” emblazoned across it somewhere, so mostly I just felt sorry for the parents who would waste money on children who would betray them by drinking/drugging.

Since they were being quiet and it was about two in the morning, aside from appropriate levels of contempt for druggies and underage drinkers, I ignored them.

Then, the most lively of the three started digging around in a fashionably-distressed backpack until he produced a large, ornate glass bong. (Again, something his parents probably didn’t know their money went toward supplying. )

Then, he pulled out a baggie and starting packing the bong. On the train. Apparently, because we were on the upper level, and he was holding the illegal mess down by his feet, he figured that anyone official wouldn’t be able to see what he was doing. I don’t know why he wasn’t concerned with me seeing him, but druggies are stupid, so he was probably too busy slavering over his next dose of brain candy to care that he was being observed.

Immediately, I got up and went to the conductor and told him about their illicit activities. By the time I returned, he had put it all away, so at least he hadn’t been planning on smoking it while on the train.

The large, balding security officer came back and roused them by banging on the metal guard by their feet, “Time to go! Time to get off the train!”

“Is this Glenview?” (I don’t remember the name of the town, but from Chicago, everything has glen or oak in the name).

“Yep,” He banged again, “Get off. Now.”

They began to gather their things dully, until one of them noticed that the stop was unfamiliar, “This isn’t Glenview…”

“Time to get off!” The security guy demanded again.

Then, the girl started panicking, because we were actually many miles away from their stop, and this was, as previously mentioned, the last train from Chicago.

She looked over at me and asked “This isn’t Glenview!?” Probably terrified to be in an area where homes were worth less that $250,000, and frantically scrambling to understand why all of the stores had signs that read “LINK accepted here!”

I had the satisfaction of informing her that, no, it was not Glenview, but they were being kicked off the train for possession.

I don’t know whether they tried to walk home (haha) or had to call their parents and make up some lie about why they got kicked off of a train/ended up at the wrong stop, but I was just glad to be rid of them. I know they won’t learn a lesson from this, and they’ll probably keep wasting their parents’ money until they drop out of college and either get married or their fathers buy them jobs at their car dealerships or insurance offices.

But for one glorious moment, it didn’t matter that they were privileged, pampered children of the Chicago Suburbs: they did something offensive and were punished.

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Lizajane May 25, 2011 at 9:05 am

I didn’t realize that in California, you can’t remove someone from your home. (per badkitty’s post).
In my state, we would absolutely do it and I guess if I were prosecuted I would have to admit it. We do have castle laws and are pretty much considered red necks, though.

Thanks for the hattip, Brenda, it’s my first and I absolutely agree with you about the ticket purchase/contract. You put it much better than I.

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Lizajane May 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

Invalidcharactr,
Wow. I hope nothing really bad happened to those kids after they were put off the train for possession of weed. I don’t approve of what they were doing, but I don’t see how that was causing you near the inconvenience that a 16 hour shouting cell phone session was causing the people on the California train. You could have ignored it and seem very proud of yourself for putting 4 15-year-old kids in danger. How old were you?

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Hemi Halliwell May 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

Amazing that some people can not do anything without talking on the phone! I wonder if her tongue ever gets tired, lol!

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--E May 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

@badkitty: when a customer becomes violent, or even threatens violence, any ability of an employee to “enforce” their own rules is virtually nonexistent. The woman was asked to either be quiet or leave and she refused, shouting and threatening for good measure. What were the train personnel supposed to do about that? How were they to “enforce” without resorting to physical means? If the conductor had physically touched that awful woman he could have been seriously injured in a fight, but he DEFINITELY would have been charged with battery (doesn’t matter that he didn’t hurt her, you can’t put your hands on someone who doesn’t want you to no matter what they’ve done to deserve it).

–>No, and no. While I deplore the abuses enshrined in the Patriot Act of 2001, one of the better portions of it has made it a federal offense to assault or abuse a public transit worker. The instant that woman yelled at or refused to comply with the lawful instructions of an Amtrak conductor, she risked federal charges.

Unless that train had literally no stops for 16 hours (impossible), there’s either a key piece of information missing from this story, or the conductor was too passive. He didn’t need to call local police–he could get the Department of Homeland Security to deal with it. If Amtrak doesn’t have them on speed-dial, then something is very wrong.

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PrincessSimmi May 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Hmm.. Anyone know where I can find the link for the obituary of Common Courtesy?

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PrincessSimmi May 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

Lizajane – I would have had them kicked off too. Drugs are illegal and dangerous. My brother almost died after falling off a fence he was trying to climb to ‘get away from the monsters’ during a drug-induced stupor and cracking his skull open. Let them figure out how to explain to their parents why they were kicked off the train. Hopefully they learned something.

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LovleAnjel May 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

@Lizajane,

I know exactly the line Invalidcharactr’s talking about, and they were in absolutely no danger. They were simply dropped off in a middle class suburb instead of making it to an upper-middle class town. I don’t know about you, but I would find a set of drunk, high teenagers groping each other and conspicuously doing illegal drugs to be very discomfitting on public transit. It’s good they got tossed off quickly.

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DGS May 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Invalidcharactr,
I certainly don’t approve of the kids doing drugs on the train, but I am put off by what I perceive to be a very judgmental, condescending, self-righteous attitude in your post and the presumptions about the teenagers’ parents’ financial status, their alleged wealth and its relationship to the children’s behavior, etc. (For the record, you could just as easily purchase a Hollister t-shirt at a Ross or a thrift store as you could do at Hollister itself). Believe it or not, every strata of society has its entitled elements, and not every child from a middle-class or even an affluent suburb goes on to become a drug-abusing wastrel. Many, like me, end up getting a Ph.D. and having a professional job that puts one’s costly education to good use and becoming contributing members of society. You also seem to have enjoyed yourself immensely by getting the teenagers in trouble (and potentially, putting them in a dangerous situation). A little too much resentment and vitriole on your part for my liking.

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Lizajane May 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Princess Simini and LoveAngel,

Invalidcharactr had every right to report them, and the conductor had every right to kick them off, but I believe his/her smug pleasure in instrumenting it was bad form. Also, why did Invalid deem him/herself the delegate for the train line to inform them why they were being tossed?

“I had the satisfaction of informing her that, no, it was not Glenview, but they were being kicked off the train for possession.” (Invalidcharactr)

If one doesn’t want to be involved with this type, then report them and be done. Don’t follow them to the door and insert oneself into the duties of the conductor.

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Enna May 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Some posters have wondered why the lady was allowed to talk on her phone for 16 hours non stop and that her phone couldn’t have lasted that long, also that she wasn’t kicked off sooner as the train must have stopped which meant employees must have been too soft: it depends when she started talking and for how long – could have been multiple conversastions etc. It also depends on how she behaved: if she was too aggressive or violent, of simply refuesed to get off the train then things could have esscualted. If this “inncident” began halfway through or in the latter quarter of the journey it could have had plenty of time to bulble away and escculate.

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DSA May 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm

“I find that people who constantly use the phrase “I was disrespected” and the like are usually the people who do the least to earn respect, or respect other people.”

I would also say people who constantly use that phrase are annoyingly grammatically incorrect.

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PrincessSimmi May 27, 2011 at 6:43 am

@ Lizajane,

I see your point. Sorry, I should have read the comments instead of skimming them. You’re absolutely right.

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Katje June 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Good god! Talk about being self-absorbed!

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