... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

445: Get in the back of the van

A commotion of some description made ears prick up on the bus just now. I was sat downstairs and from upstairs was an aggressive male voice making some sort of prick out of himself. A minute or two later two ladies came down the stairs to get off the bus, and on their way out said to the driver, there is a man upstairs assaulting and being abusive to an old lady. The driver was one of the good guys, and fortunately not a small man in any visible sense of the word. He got out of his case, strait up the stairs and said, is everything alright up here, what's going on? I couldn't hear what was said, but the driver started saying, look the lady has made a complaint, I'm getting the police, you've assaulted her so you are going to wait for the police.

He came down the stairs and locked the door and radioed for the police. A group of three men and one woman came down and tried to get off, but the driver stood firm – you are not getting off this bus until the police get here. A group of girls further back raised their voices with comments about only scumbags hit a woman ("Only a punk beats his wife," - Hunter S. Thompson), and have you never heard of suffrage and the Pankhursts? The abusive fellow sat sullenly, I think his friend photographed the driver on his phone. After about five minutes a police van with sirens blaring pulled in front of the bus. The policeman came to the door and asked the driver what the situation was. He explained that this guy was being violent and abusive to a lady upstairs. The policeman said, right your coming with me for a start. He was put in the back of the van to cheers and applause from the bus passengers. One of the girls enthused, oh wow, I've never seen that in real life, only on The Bill.

The two lads and the woman got off the bus and slunk around the bus stop, huffing and phone-fiddling, while their friend languished in his cage in the police van. The victim, a little black lady, possibly aged around fifty, and a witness, a young white lady of about twenty, came down the stairs to speak to the police. Due to it being none of my business (not being the victim, a witness, or an abusive racist) and the general noises that an idling bus makes, I was unable to catch many of the details. It seems that the man felt the ladies elbow at his side, a common occurrence on a busy bus, and instead of ignoring it took it upon himself to shout obscenities in English and French, call her a black bitch, and slap or push her. Both the policeman and the lady apologised to us all of causing the hold up; there was cries of, no no don't worry, think nothing of it.

Witness and victim details were taken (in retrospect I think that might have been done within earshot of the aggressor's friends), and the next stage was explained: he was being taken to the station for 'processing' (into what?), and statements would be taken later today. The lady said to the driver, I've lived here for 48 years and I've never heard language like that. As I got off the bus later I heard her talking on her phone. She was saying, no, no, they were small small men. The driver, the witness, the victim (I hate to call her that because she wasn't a victim at all, but what other word can I use?), and the girls taking the piss out of the prick were all heroes, masterful wielders of those powerful weapons, non-violence and humour, used well against bigotry, rudeness and antisocial behaviour. People need to stop degrading the concept of PC, because without political correctness (or politeness & courtesy) this kind of behaviour would be everywhere.

Anyway this post was just supposed to be an observation of an unpleasant situation that ended well; I won't ruin it by stumbling over a soapbox.

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