Elderly Woman Thrown off Train for Singing

Emma AndersonEmma Anderson, 82, was dragged off a Florida Metro train because she was causing too much noise.  The viral video (below) shows a security guard pull Anderson’s bag so hard that the woman falls onto the train platform.  An x-ray later would show that she suffered a bruised hip and shoulder.

A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Transit said:

“The elderly passenger, Ms. Anderson, who was escorted from a Metrorail train, was initially asked by a security guard to refrain from singing loudly and playing an instrument while on the train.  She refused to comply.”

Singing, dancing or playing an instrument are prohibited without permit on the trains.

The spokesperson added:

Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard. We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit.” 

The Anderson family said they have hired an attorney and plan to pursue legal action for their mother’s injuries.

If it is true that the Ms. Anderson refused to stop singing then I can understand why she was asked to leave the train.  HOWEVER, there is no reason to EVER escort a person off a train, especially an 82-year-old woman, in that rough manner.  That is what I take offense to.  I think she should sue and I think she will probably win.

What do you think?

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

10 responses to “Elderly Woman Thrown off Train for Singing”

  1. JF Owen says :

    Like many situations in life, this one is complex. Emma should have stopped singing and playing when asked and the guard should have used other methods, but I think there’s more than that.

    As people age, some get more obstinate, stubborn and less concerned about how their actions impact others. At eighty-two she may or may not also have some level of dementia. None of that is an excuse for abusing her, but it does make me wonder a little about why she was out traveling by herself. Where was the family? I would never have let my Mom ride alone on a train at that age unless I was absolutely sure that she was fully aware of and compliant with train rules and regulations.

    That aside, it appears that the guard was either poorly trained or unable to fully process the training he was given. Before he went to the extreme of throwing an elderly woman off of the train he should have sat down with her and gently tried to explain the situation and convince her to follow the rules. My guess is that the effort he did make when he asked her to quiet down was terse, demanding and arrogant. None of those actions are likely to elicit cooperation from an 82 year old senior citizen. If it did become necessary to eject the woman, he should have anticipated that she would resist and used methods that allowed him to achieve the goal without putting a fragile passenger at risk

    My bet is that if the guard had knelt down, smiled and said,”My you have a beautiful voice and I just love how you play. But, there’s a young lady three seats back who’s trying to do some last minute studying for a school test and your beautiful singing is breaking her concentration. Do you think you could stop for a bit?”, then Emma would have smiled back and stopped. For whatever reason, rent-a-cops have a tendency to get a God complex when they are dealing with people. They prefer bullying over persuasion.

    The bottom line – Emma will get compensated, the guard will be fired and the Metro line should re-evaluate their training program. It wouldn’t hurt if the family paid a little more attention to Grandma in the future either.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Great observation. I didn’t even think of why she was alone on the train to begin with. I agree with your outcomes. Thanks for the comment.

      Looking forward to your tweets lol 🙂

  2. penryn50 says :

    I guess the question is: What should the guard have done when this woman refused to comply with a reasonable request? She was chanting and playing maracas loudly. She wouldn’t stop disturbing the other passengers and refused to get off. What do you do? Hold up the train and everyone on it because of one person?? She’s obviously “off”. I would hope that my grandma would not get into a tussle with a security guard.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      I agree she should have been told to leave after she refused to step off. The manner in which she was escorted off was wrong.

    • JF Owen says :

      And if you take the responsibility of monitoring her activities as her mental abilities dim, she probably won’t. This lady’s family obviously didn’t accept that responsibility. Alzheimer’s and dementia are projected to triple in the next 30 years. If we’re going to accept this kind of abuse by security guards, there’s going to be a lot more old ladies getting kicked off of trains and bouncing off of the sidewalk.

      I’m betting that you’ve never spent any time around someone with cognitive problems. I have, and there were other and better ways to handle this. What I wrote in my original response above outlined only one way that might have worked to avoid the abuse. If you can think of a few more then you, like the guard, need to brush up on your “people” skills.

      • realtalkrealdebate says :

        I’m not really sure why you think I need to brush up on my people skills. I agreed with you. I think the way you outlined is how he should have handled the situation. I actually do interact with people that have cognitive issues.

        Again his approach in asking her to stop was wrong and the way he escorted her off the train was wrong.

      • realtalkrealdebate says :

        I should add that after doing everything you listed the security guard should have taken it upon himself to also wait with her until someone came to pick her up. You can’t just take her off the train and abandon her there.

  3. JF Owen says :

    Angelo- My comment was to Penryn50, not you! My bad, I should have clarified that. Absolutely no offense meant to you.

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