Reader Mail: Tracking Scary Weirdos on the N, and A Plea to Stop Turnarounds at 19th Avenue...
This week's Reader Mail has some tales of woe, and a bit of hope for riders of our Mighty N Judah. First, Reader Jason writes about a sitaution he and his wife have encountered concerning a person who's behavior on the N has caused some disruption to service, and offers this tale as a public service to fellow riders of the N:
Dear N Judah Chronicles:
I am writing you today to tell you about a guy my wife and I have named "Creepy Pervert Guy on the N Judah." His method is to hop on super packed morning rush-hour N-Judahs, inbound, usually boarding anywhere between Stanyan St. and Church St stops. He only rides when the train is super packed; i.e.. Standing room only. He may ride at other times, but we have only witnessed him from 7:30am-9:30am weekdays.
He will enter a train car, find a woman, and hold onto the rail. It's hard to tell from this picture but he will grab the rail much further ahead from where he is standing. This allows him to smother the woman in front of him. What you don't see is that he is pushing his...Ahem... into the woman in front of him, below the line of view of anyone else on the train.
When he tires of this, he will find another woman on the same train. I've also seen him hop off the current train car at a stop and run, not walk, to a train car behind the one he was on and hop on before the train takes off (I'm assuming to find a new crop of women to do this to that are unsuspecting).
My wife and I have been tracking this pervert for a few months now. My wife noticed this guy one day when he did this very same thing to her. It was extremely uncomfortable for her, and when it happened a second time she KNEW something was up. One day as we were taking the train together, wouldn't you know it, there he was waiting for the train at our stop.
Now I knew who this guy was. We made a pact to try to get a photo of him in the act and spread it out there. Before we could do that, we really needed to know that this wasn't a figment of our imagination or sick coincidence. We had to know that his intentions were such before we start some sort of a smear campaign on anyone.
You have to understand that the way he does this is so under the radar that merely calling him out wouldn't be very effective. We had to know from others that this was in fact happening.
One morning he boarded and my wife noticed he was doing it AGAIN. She ran up and told the driver about the man. The driver then stopped the train from moving. He made an announcement to the train. He pulled into Van Ness, and unfortunately creepy guy hopped off. By the time the train got to Civic Center, Muni police were waiting to board and look for the guy who unfortunately was no longer on board.
What sealed the deal for us was one morning a few weeks ago when I hopped onto the N-Judah to go to work in the morning. I got a nice spot in between two trains so I could lean. Wouldn't you know it, he boarded the train in front of me. From my vantage point, I could tell that he had picked a lady and was straddling her. I couldn't see her face, I could sure as hell see his.
We've seen him ride the train to Van Ness, or Civic Center, and exit the train. We've seen him run across to the other side to catch the Outbound train that was arriving at the same time. All this creep does is ride the trains repeatedly to get creepy on women in the train.
This morning we were on the train, and actually made a joke about the guy. Sure enough, 5 minutes later, he boards at Church St. and is standing right next to us. We're silenced. We can tell he is trying to get close to a lady next to my wife.
I tapped him on the shoulder and told him he should move because there is "plenty of open space so you don't have to get so close". He moved immediately and exited at the next stop. We then asked the people in the train, including the most recent target, if they had noticed him before. Resounding "yes". I showed everyone the picture from above, and more than one lady confirmed that he does this.
Why so long winded? Because this isn't just a "hunch". This guy does this. And anyone riding the N-Judah (and really any train as far as I'm concerned... Just cause we've seen him on the N-Judah, doesn't mean he doesn't spread the "love" so to speak on other trains) should know who to watch out for.
I will be forwarding this note and image to Muni police to spot the guy.
They do NOT want a guy like this riding. I'm also posting this on Craigslist. When I see him on the train, I will let the train operator know that the guy is on there. I'll do my part.
Thanks everyone. Here's to a safe, non-creepy ride to work in the mornings.
Yikes! Reader Jason has identified not only a specific problem that happens on mass transit (i.e. weirdos who do creepy gross things) but a bigger problem as well - how do we, as riders, deal with someone who's committing a crime or disturbing the peace on a MUNI bus? Too often, by the time the police show up or whatever, the offending party is long gone, and drivers themselves are limited in what they can do to stop someone (especially a violent crazy person) as well.
Reader Jason has assured me he's let MUNI folks know what's going on in this particular situation, and it is hoped that Loyal Readers will keep an eye out for this joker. Maybe if we can't rely on "the system" to handle these types of problems, riders will need to take matters into their own hands in the future, like San Franciscans did in the Old West?
Onward. Reader Jeff has some interesting news regarding the situation with unannounced turnarounds at 19th Avenue. He writes:
I just got the Sunset District Coalition Newsletter and look what it says(!):
Muni Executive Nathaniel Ford and chief Operating Office Kenneth McDonald were in attendance at the August SDNC meeting to discuss community transit concerns. After giving a report on the status of various Muni reforms Mr. Ford directly addressed the issue of short-turning the Muni trains before the end of the line. This occurs especially after major events and leaves riders stranded blocks from their destination.
SDNC has received a letter from Mr. Ford emphasizing the need for the MTA to be responsive to citizens and assuring us that the practice of short-=turning trains will not be repeated.
We wish to thank Mr. Ford for his attention to this issue and to Assemblywoman Fiona Ma for her added participation.
I can only assume they are talking about the N-Judah. In the past, I've written to you about the N turning around at 19th and Judah when it gets behind schedule... leaving people stranded as much as 2 miles from their destination late at night.
The note about Fiona Ma is interesting... perhaps she has the clout to actually get Muni to change their ways.
Glad to see Ford acknowledging the problem and recognizing that not providing city services to taxpayers/farepayers in the Sunset is unacceptable, although we have become accustomed to it.
At least we're getting some official acknowledgment of the situation, and a bit more explanation than "oh it happens." It is interesting to note this tends to happen on days with large events (three guesses as to which ones those are). It is also interesting to note that somehow Assemblymember Ma was "involved" in this situation.
I've tried on numerous occiasions to get questions answered from her office, but I never get my calls returned. I'm just glad that someone got through on this issue, and apparently she responded!
As always, if you have an idea, a comment, or an observation about N-Judah or San Francisco life, feel free to email me anytime. All submissions will be assumed for publication unless stated otherwise, and your email address and last name will not be printed online, so you won't get spammed to death from spammers.
Enjoy the weekend, and enjoy the warm, Caprica-like weather!