Fracas on the F train on a Saturday Afternoon
This is a story about a scary altercation between two huge strong men on the F train — yes that scenic line, ideal for tourists, lovers and leisure seekers.
Dave and I hopped on the F train on Market and 5th at about 4 pm this last Saturday and were immediately enveloped by the smell of urine. Seat checks seemed to indicate everything was dry and we counted ourselves lucky assuming that was the worst of it. Then this very tall, angry and crazy homeless man walked up from the back of the bus straight to this small young woman sitting on one of the single seats and grunted for her to move. She did so immediately, going straight to the seat facing the driver. She was probably about 4 feet tall, Asian-American, 15 years old or so, listening to her iPod quietly, nice as can be. But then Crazy man proceeded to stare at her and yell out that she should move to the back of the bus, among other crazy and angry remarks, leading up to just calling her b***** several times, in a loud and angry manner. No one did a thing. The middle-aged tourist couple sitting in front of us continued to consult their maps. And so the girl did all she could do, and rang the bell, and got off at the next stop. How the bus driver didn’t seem to notice was dumbfounding.
But that’s when things got really ugly. Crazy man must have been looking around for other people to pick on, when I heard the big guy behind me say, “What are you looking at, ugly?” This started a booming shouting match, which could have been amusing if we were not sitting next to the center of the hullabaloo. But it went something like this:
“You call me ugly?”
“Yes you dumb dumb stop looking at me.”
“Maddafakka!” (note Crazy man had a very thick Caribbean accent.)
“Stop looking at me or I’ll straighten you out you scum bag.”
“Why you call me Maddafakka?” (Demented point #1)
“Turn around you nasty. Mind your own business.”
“Why are you picking on me.” (Demented point #2)
“You turn around and stop causing trouble.”
This seemed to go on for a few minutes, I think Angry man (sitting behind us) brought up the harassing of the little girl. At the next train stop, Crazy Man stood up over Angry Man and finally the Muni driver got up from his seat and yelled for both men to get off his train. Crazy Man’s eyes gyrated in his head. Knowing time was of the essence, he puffed himself up — dude must have been 7 feet tall. And right as my curiosity got the better of me, as I turned my head over my should to look at him, (standing next to Dave), I saw him puff up some more, and just when we were all expecting a swing, a big violent punch, instead, a big thick white wad of phlegm exploded from his mouth and detonated into the Angry Man’s shoulder.
So Angry Man leaped up from his seat to kill Crazy Man, whom he named Animal. As he lounged at Crazy Man the bus driver continued his yelling for the men to get off his bus and now the passengers all piped in with: “Go outside!” or “Go fight him outside!” and I swear “kill him outside!”
Angry Man essentially embraced Crazy Man and dragged and wrestled him to the front door, where with all his strength he shoved Crazy Man out and held out his arm to keep him from re-entering. You could see him debate whether or not to hop out of the train himself to beat up the guy or to stay on. A big woman sitting behind the driver’s seat raised her granny cart and yelled: “You say out or I’ll hitch’u! You picked on a baby!” So she did notice the little girl being harassed?! But then how could she not…
Angry Man stayed on at the door with his arms blocking Crazy Man and the bus driver finally shut the door. No one got on that train. And it appeared that Angry Man was actually our hero. As Crazy Man clobbered at the windows shouting insults along the train, Angry Man then decided to open one of windows and dish a little payback. Only the train started to go and he missed, violently spraying other people standing on the platform and the wall of the train it self with his spit. He smiled a little embarrassed and said “sorry folks” on the way back to his seat.
Dave checked his head and shoulder for residual spray and all the other passengers sprang into life. Someone yelled that Crazy Man had doodoo in his pants and that no one should sit where he sat. Then a man came up from the back and demanded that driver clean up some huge louggie that Crazy Man had left in the back of the bus. Others joined in that the seat he sat on and the spot where the Angry Man had spat should also be cleaned. People asked the bus driver if he didn’t have any cleaning supplies. People begged for some disinfectant spray. But then someone shouted that it would be best to allow the train to keep going rather than put it out of commission and everyone got quiet and returned to their seats, including the driver and the train was off again.
The woman sitting behind the bus driver kept repeating: “she was a baby!” and an old man across the isle from the Angry Man kept insisting on telling the story about the harassment of the little girl, although clearly Angry Man wanted to be left alone.
The middle-aged tourist couple, unfazed, pointed out the old Mint and nodded at their map. Most of us got off at Church and Market and cheerily thanked the train driver — a mix of pity and gratefulness. It was surreal. I chalked it up to another Muni experience that leaves you feeling an urgent need to take a shower and retreat to a monastery.