Thursday, June 08, 2006


Hennepin Avenue is the main street for people to cruise through downtown Minneapolis. It has a lot of bars and neon lights and it's where a lot of people go to enjoy the nightlife. Traffic is only allowed to go one way down the street. The other side has a bus only lane in the opposite direction.

I was driving the 6 line up the bus lane one day and saw some teenagers fighting with another teenager...appeared to maybe be one of their peers so I pretty much ignored it. Later that same evening, traveling down the same bus lane, I saw a lady waving her arms and screaming "Help! Somebody help!" Then I noticed a few feet from her some teens were stomping on some guy. There were probably a half dozen of them just kicking and stomping this poor guy on the ground and the lady looked terrified as she screamed. NO ONE was doing anything to help! I pulled up in the bus next to the incident and opened the door (I wanted the camera that points out the door to get the little losers on film for possible prosecution later) and I put a little bass in my voice and yelled "HEY!!" as loud as I could. A couple of the little juvenile delinquents looked up as they were still stomping on the guy. They seemed a little shocked and they all took off. I asked the lady if he was okay and she said "No, call an ambulance." I stayed there as I called the Transit Control Center and relayed the incident so they could get help there. There were a few people on the bus on their cell phones calling for help at the same time. I couldn't believe the middle of downtown, right across the street from a place the cops usually are hanging out in groups, we waited about 5 minutes for a cop and about 2 more for an ambulance to show up!! The really amazing thing about this is that there are cameras in every block on Hennepin avenue downtown that are supposedly monitored by the police 24/7.

I was, however, much more pleasantly surprised that not one person on my bus said "Come on, let's go" or in any way pushed for me to leave that guy and get them where they wanted to go. This may not seem odd to you, but my experience in my last nearly 6 years driving the city bus has been that a lot of people are very selfish and have a "me first" attitude. Like the lady that stepped over the guy that had just been pushed off the front steps of the bus and hit his head on the ground. She said something like "He's fine. C'mon, let's go." The guy later died of his head injuries. I try to live more by the treat-people-the-way-you-would-want-to-be-treated theory of human kindness and respect. Don't get me wrong...some people test my patience, but I find most people respond well to this treatment.

I wish I could tell you the guy getting stomped is healthy and doing well, but I really don't know what happened to him after the ambulance came. That is when I left. I would also like to say I don't blame the cops....they can't be everywhere at one time. I very much appreciate the job they do. I know I couldn't do it so I am very glad they are there for us. Finally, I would again like to thank each and every person on my bus that trip for their patience. (I thanked them as we pulled away because I was so surprised no one told my to just go) Like I said to them, if that had been you or me or someone we cared about getting attacked like would have wanted someone to step in and help you.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker