SF Ballet Dancer Thwarts Would-be iPhone Thief on BART

Photo by annnna_

Via SF Weekly’s The Snitch, BART Diaries has learned of at least one iPhone owner who refused becoming another theft-victim:

“He hit me as hard as he could four times, and I just stood there, like dazed. I was like, you just got four free shots and you didn’t take me down. And then in a split second I decided I’m going to kill him. He unleashed the beast. I am basically 98-percent muscle, I’m a professional athlete, and all my muscle was on him. I pounced on him like a tiger.”

Read the whole story here.

The smallest gestures go a long way

San Francisco - BART
Photo by Flickr user sebastiansuk.de // pitlanepics.de

BART rider Anya has this diary to share:

So BART had some serious rush-hour delays this morning. So when I got to Civic Center there was a mass of people waiting, already looking frustrated. The Pittsburg/Bay Point train pulls up LOADED with people. Naturally, when the door opens, it’s a typical battle to wrestle yourself into the train. Everyone is even more agitated and pissed.

Once we get to Powell, before the doors open, the train conductor says something to the extent of “sorry to have to start your day this way folks but look on the bright side — it’s a beautiful day outside. Forget about us and have a good rest of your day.” Everyone immediately lit up in smiles (as jam-packed as we were) and a few people chuckled.

Moral of the story: even the smallest gesture goes a long way on days like that. Thank you to that train conductor for being so positive! And to the other drivers — please try to stay positive and cheerful on the crappy days…. your words go a long way to make everyone else snap out of their angry commuter modes.

Got a BART story to share? Do it here at BART Diaries.

Friday Subway Fracas

Civic Center
Photo by Flickr user skew-t

Muni rider David has this harrowing tale.

OK, here’s the story. I got to the Montgomery Street Station last Friday after work. The platform was swamped with people…some usual Muni fiasco, some dead train being removed from service somewhere. Anyway, I got onto the third train that came (the first two were filled to bursting).

I’m crowded into the back of the train with everyone else. NBD. At Powell Street this guy next to me (I’ll call him Slacker for purposes of identification) gets upset because a middle-aged lady pushed past him. Then Slacker gets all aggro at another poor guy who squeezed in behind him. Doors close and we’re off.

Slacker is now screaming in the face of the poor guy behind him, who is doing his best to defend himself. Suddenly, Slacker sucker punches him in the nose. People grabbed him while some other passengers and I grabbed Slacker. Everyone is screaming, “Stop! Stop! Stop!”

Well, Slacker will have none of it. He starts flailing around in our hands and manages to get me in the lower lip with his elbow. I don’t really know what happened next, but the next thing I know, Slacker is face-down on the ground with my knee in his back and another guy holding his arms.

The train doors open at Civic Center and everyone on our train screams to the people on the platform to call the police and get the train driver. Of course they stare at us like cattle. Mooooo? I pulled out my cell and called 911. The operator was an idiot, but I did manage to finally get two cops to come.

Now a noteworthy moment of civic pride takes place. The cop asks the guy who was punched in the nose to make a statement so assault charges can be placed against Slacker (who has been cuffed and hauled off the train).  The guy is reluctant, but decides to go with the cop. Everyone on the train cheers him. Then the other cop comes looking for anyone willing to be a witness. A commuter lady raises her hand and agrees. Everyone on the train cheers!

The whole thing probably took a few minutes but it was truly time standing still. When all was said and done, I realized that blood had sprayed across the back of my shirt from the guy who got punched in the nose. My shirt was now completely unbuttoned, and somehow my jacket had come off. Luckily someone on the train had collected my stuff for me and gave them back to me.

Crazy, right? We’ve all been aggro during a Friday commuting disaster, but because of slacker guy, our train was pulled out of service and everyone was forced to go up to the street and take buses and streetcars.

The best part was that Slacker (handcuffed and sitting on the ground in the train station) got to be abused by everyone who had to leave the station because of him. The cop just stood there and laughed.

BART station musician wars

Powell Street Station, San Francisco
Photo by Flickr user FNP

My partner and I were walking through Civic Center Station Friday night when we heard the most ungodly combination of noises.

On our right was a gentleman attempting to play a soprano saxophone. Actually, he was playing it quite well — especially considering that on the left was some long-haired dude wildly strumming a guitar, whooping and hollering and generally trying to throw the saxophonist off his game.

The saxophonist was playing his song without missing any notes (I think; it was hard to tell in all the cacophony), being generally very Zen about the whole situation. The guitarist, on the other hand, was just playing random combinations of notes on the guitar and screeching as loud as he could, evidently just to make it impossible for anyone to enjoy his fellow musician’s performance.

The oddest part was, the guitarist had several dollars in his open case. I suppose it’s possible he put them there himself, but it seems just as likely that some folks actually gave him money. Why?

My partner said he was tempted to take money from the one and give it to the other. I wish I’d thought of that when we were walking by. I wonder what would have happened if we’d done it.

Civic Center BART/Muni Station Closed

UPDATE: I don’t think it was clear from the SF Gate report, but The Examiner‘s John Upton writes that the power outage shut down service for all Muni Metro. It’s back now, as SF Gate said, but the Examiner’s version is a lot more severe than we originally reported.

If you were affected by the service disruption, tell us your story in the comments, please.

ORIGINAL POST: SF Gate reports on a power outage in Civic Center.

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