Ok, so… sometimes I don’t have a comic ready due to poor scheduling, being sick, away, etc.

This one is pretty unique.  I do not have a strip today because…

…I was a witness to a crime on the subway, got some of the post-climax stuff on video, and stayed to talk to police afterward.  I’m a little weirded out, not like totally shaking or anything, but a little weirded out and am not feeling up to the task at the moment.  My apologies.  Instead, here’s a recap of what happened from my perspective.  This will be helpful for me as well in order to keep my best possible recollection available for the future.

There was a bit of a commotion of raised voices coming from one end of the train compartment (I was sitting somewhere in the middle).  After some time, the raised voices seemed to become more like yells.  I turned over to look, a lady was pushing a stroller down towards the center of the train.  A woman in a red jacket (one of the folks who was yelling, will now be referred to as RedJacket), forcibly kicked the stroller.

Not a nudge, a kick from her seated position.  I turned on my phone camera and started recording – unfortunately, due to a notification popping up in the middle of recording, roughly the first five minutes did not save and I only have what happened after those five or so minutes when I was able to get back into the camera app and start recording again.

During the missing footage time, the mother (will now be referred to as Mother) of the Baby (who I think I overheard was something like five months old, will now be referred to as Baby), understandably went after RedJacket and they began to fight.  There’s a mix of slapping, hair pulling, yelling, etc.  A kid roughly thirteen to fifteen years old (now referred to as JrHigh) was yelling during this time as well, she is the Aunt of Baby.  A third, much older woman (now referred to as Grandma, I’m not 100% sure she was the grandmother of Baby, but that’s my guess) was also visibly distressed.

RedJacket and Mother separated, Grandma then dropped to the floor and looked very faint.  A few passengers came to her aid.

This is where the app notification came in and messed up the recording.  My footage starts from here.

Some folks are stating that Grandma fainted and needs help, a few passengers help Grandma into a clearer area of the train, one passenger was calling 911, another is asking if anyone has water, some others appear to be filming.  One passenger (now referred to as Jerk) who was sitting in the area argues with JrHigh that Grandma was faking fainting.  This upset JrHigh, I then told the guy off in not polite terms.

Side note: if you ever find yourself in any kind of potential emergency (medical or otherwise), ALWAYS TREAT IT AS A REAL EMERGENCY.  The dude claiming that Grandma was faking was at absolute best an unhelpful bystander but at worst was taking people’s attention away from dealing with a legitimate emergency and adding to the confusion, frustration, and panic in the heat of the moment.  Always always always assume that an emergency is real.  It’s infinitely better to do the right thing when you don’t have to than to ignore what needs to be done because you think something is fake.

The train was coming to the station, RedJacket attempted to leave the train, but a few passengers made sure she didn’t depart when the doors opened.  Once the doors closed and the train was about to move, someone pulled the emergency brake.  Another passenger was on the phone with 911 describing the situation.  RedJacket walked to the other side of the train looking for a seat, I followed her while recording.  Passengers on this side who hadn’t seen everything were asking what happened.  I told them that RedJacket kicked a stroller with a baby in it, which RedJacket denied.  I responded by saying that we (passengers on the other side of the train) saw her kick the stroller.  Another passenger backs up my statement.

RedJacket claims that either one of or some combination of JrHigh, Mother, and Grandma punched her in the face.  If that is true, I didn’t see that happen, but given the situation I’d be surprised if that was the case.  Furthermore, RedJacket kicked a stroller with a baby in it, so any previous altercation that may or may not have taken place is irrelevant at this point as one, Baby didn’t do anything to RedJacket, and two, Baby is a fucking baby, you don’t kick a fucking baby.

RedJacket again claims that she was punched, I asked her if she’s admitting to kicking the stroller.  RedJacket responded by again claiming that she was punched.  I told her that it was a yes or no question.  She claims that I didn’t see it.  I told her that I did see her kick the stroller.

She asked me that if I was hit by someone, what would I do.  I responded, “Would I kick a stroller?” incredulously.  At this point there was another passenger that was for some reason trying to stop me and apparently others from trying to talk to her, and to just wait for the police.  I told him that that’s exactly what we were doing, someone pulled the ebrake, another called 911, RedJacket had already tried to leave the train and we all needed to keep an eye on her until the police arrived.

Meanwhile, some new passenger tossed a “shame on you” at RedJacket and asked her what she would do if someone kicked her child if she had any.  At this point some time passes without a ton happening.  The train conductor announces that the ebrake was pulled and they are investigating.

Other passengers who didn’t see the incident were trying to figure out what was going on, another seemed to be annoyed that that train stopped moving.  RedJacked started to talk to a woman sitting next to her.  An MTA employee (I think) arrived and opened one half door to let people out.  Passengers pointed out RedJacket as the culprit.  When the MTA employee entered, there was a chorus of folks pointing her out.  The MTA employee talked into a walkie while walking away.

RedJacket moved towards the end of the train with the partially opened door, some passengers kept her from doing so.   JrHigh started screaming that RedJacket shouldn’t get away and that she kicked her nephew (Baby).  RedJacked claimed to not kick him, JrHigh screamed “yes you fucking did.”  Passengers who stayed confirmed JrHigh’s statement.  After repeating that she had been punched tree times, RedJacket sat down.  A passenger (now referred to as 2K) remarked that RedJacket would go to jail.

RedJacket motioned toward the other end of the train and claimed that the baby was fine.  Passengers confronted her as the claim was ridiculous and that she hit a baby.  RedJacket kept saying that she was hit multiple times.  JrHigh angrily asked her why she hit Baby, passengers and I told JrHigh to not engage with RedJacket.

RedJacket exclaims, “Why would I hit a baby?  I love kids!  I would not hit a baby.”  Passengers yelled that she kicked the stroller.   RedJacket admitted that she kicked the stroller.  JrHigh yelled that the baby was on the stroller. RedJacket again said that she kicked the stroller and followed up with “I admit it.”

About five to ten seconds of relative silence pass.

“I did not physically touch the child, though.” RedJacket said.

I reminded her that she said she kicked the stroller.

“Ok, I did not touch the child, though.” she said.

I told her that she kicked the stroller very hard, that there was a baby in it, and that a lack of direct skin on skin contact did not mean that she didn’t kick the baby.

RedJacket asked if it was ok that they hit her.

I told her that I didn’t see what happened beforehand and only started recording after I saw the kick.

“After!” she said.

“After you kicked the baby” I added.

She said that I didn’t record the lead up to the fight.  I told her that I had her admitting to kicking the stroller.

After this point there was a lot of yelling from a few of the passengers, regarding what RedJacket did.  2K claimed that JrHigh (I think) “whooped [RedJacket’s] ass”.  I’m not sure how accurate that is as I don’t have that on video, but in the scrum that occured after the kick that’s possible.

It sounds like Jerk says something in the background, then JrHigh yells that Jerk keeps saying that Grandma is faking.  During this time I was keeping my camera on RedJacket so I’m not entirely clear on what was happening behind me.  2K requested that Jerk be removed from the train (at some point paramedics had arrived by now) because Jerk wasn’t helping the situation.  JrHigh was telling the story to some MTA employee or paramedic.

2K exclaims that he could be home playing 2K.

I keep the camera pointed at RedJacket.

2K explains to someone what had happened leading up to the fight.  Apparently it was a disagreement over seats.

The train doors opened again, passengers told RedJacket not to try to leave.  RedJacket got her phone, and tried to make a call.  She tried to leave the train claiming that she needed to use the phone, but a passenger told her that phones work fine here (the station is above ground).  It looks like she called 911, and began to explain the situation.  We told her that she hit the stroller and that I have her on video saying that she hit the stroller.  Another passenger told her that they already called the police.  2K (I think) claims that RedJacket should have taken a cab home.

JrHigh asked me what I had on video.  I told her that I only started recording after the kick (at the time I did not know that I lost the first few minutes of the video due to the app notification), and that if RedJacket tried to engage her again to ignore her.  JrHigh brought up that Jerk was claiming Grandma faked fainting, frustrated.  JrHigh apologized to us that this was taking so long.  I told her that I was happy to change my plans and that I wanted to help.

RedJacket was still on the phone.

JrHigh exclaimed that RedJacked needed mental help.

It sounded like some other officials showed up and JrHigh was talking to them.  I kept my camera on RedJacket.

Minutes pass, RedJacket is still on the phone.

Eventually her call ends, she stays in her seat, and makes another call.

2K also records RedJacket.

More time passes, RedJacket is now on the phone with someone else.

The call ends, RedJacket stays in her seat and is looking at her phone.

Eventually the police arrive.

JrHigh (I think) speaks to some of them.  2K talks to others by me and RedJacket.

An officer asks if any of us have the kick on video.  I say that I have after the kick (at the time I did not know that the first few minutes of the video didn’t get saved).  The officer asks if I could stay and I say that I could.

I end the video.

From this point on the passengers that stayed and I just stand around, occasionally talking to police.  An officer gives me an email address to send what video I had.  It was at this point that I now knew that the first five minutes of recording were lost due to the notification, but that I’d send what I had.

Some random lady who apparently was on the train spoke to me and the officer saying that she’s friends with the police chief and complained that her husband wasn’t allowed off the train.  By who I have no idea as others had left, so I have no idea what she was talking about.  She said that anytime there’s a wrong she feels that it needs to be righted.

I told her that the wrong was a baby getting kicked, she responded something to the effect of the kick potentially being accidental and not on purpose.  I told her that it was forceful and definitely on purpose.  She said that her husband was right “over there”.

I said, “good for him,” totally confused as to what that had to do with anything that happened.

She said he had a cane, I responded something about my legs not being great either (I’ve been in a full leg cast before/have joint issues).  She flips a bit, starts yelling asking my age, and grabs my arm.  I ask her not to touch me.  She eventually walks away and the officer and I share a “what the heck was that” look.

Another officer comes by and states that I am on video and asks for my name, address, and phone number.  I give the information and he says something like, “Isn’t technology great?  Easier than writing it down” and walks away.  Apparently we might be getting called for more information later on.

RedJacket is then walked away with police officers.  In the interest of being as accurate as possible, I don’t want to say that she was in handcuffs as I didn’t actually see the cuffs, but it appeared as though she was in handcuffs with her hands behind her back as they left.

JrHigh and company thanked us for staying.

So that’s the story.  This one was definitely out there; I don’t think I’ve ever had to use the words “kicked” “a” “baby” in that order before and have it not be a reference to South Park.

One more thing, possibly the most important part of the story.  Shortly before the kick happened, I called my local Chinese food place to order a chicken and broccoli for pickup.  As you might guess, I was veeeeeeeeeery late to pick it up.  I apologized profusely and said that there was an incident on the train.

When I finally got home, my chicken and broccoli was cold.

There are a few takeaways to this story:

  • Don’t kick babies
  • Don’t kick anyone (but especially not babies)
  • Always treat a potential emergency like a real emergency
  • My chicken and broccoli was cold
  • Don’t kick babies