Submitted by LibertyCash t3_10giazz in boston

On the red line today, trying to be nice to a guy with obvious mental health issues, he started to target and become aggressive towards me. I started getting really uncomfortable and a guy stepped forward in between us. The unstable guy started verbally attacking the hero guy and started calling us both all the names under the sun and threatening death and dismemberment. I was left cowering behind hero guy. We were able to lose him at North Quincy where he punched the train car so hard his hand was bleeding. Hopefully PD was able to pickhim up there (just look for the guys who is bleeding everywhere). Just wanted to send out a big thank you to hero guy. If I had my wits I would’ve offered to buy you a beer. At the very least, I trust the karma gods are watching and will do well by you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I’ve never felt like prey before. And I hope to never again.



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Economy-Excuse-1614 t1_j52vok9 wrote

I hope this comment finds the intended person. What a nice thing he did for you!


BostonFoliage t1_j54afao wrote

And a PSA for folks, make sure to report these issues using MBTA See Say app. They usually respond immediately.


robthad t1_j57kfgq wrote

Agree. I used it a few years ago to report a guy threatening ppl on the Blue Line. Next stop they kept the doors closed until the police showed up and took him off.


amethystleo815 t1_j53k9lp wrote

Twenty years ago spare change guy tried to grope me on a crowded train “oooh I want to touch”. And before I could even do anything a nice man stood in front of me and told him to back off. I was so wrecked I didn’t even say thank you to him. But thank you kind stranger.


Mdecast t1_j54r6z7 wrote

Spare change guy was such a creep. A creep to the point that he was dangerous. Most people that didn’t know him just kind of laughed off his “got any change?” Routine.


Exciting-Ant4077 t1_j55p6u8 wrote

You mean the one who used to hang around downtown Boston and yell, "ANY SPAAAAAAAAAARE CHAAAAAAAAANGE?' in a raspy voice?


felineprincess93 t1_j56msa0 wrote

I used to work at the Park Street Dunkin' (before they moved/renovated/left) and he would come in and try to harass the workers in there hardcore. Seeing him immediately set in nervousness.


ArcturusLight t1_j55bye0 wrote

Probably too young to know who you’re talking about, this was one guy?


Mdecast t1_j55v98r wrote This was the guy. I saw him one time repeatedly telling a woman that she had beautiful feet, and wouldn’t let it go. I had to go tell him to knock it off and stop accosting the woman.


NH_ATV t1_j57sdqs wrote

I used to commute into South station everyday. Saw him every morning after getting off the bus. At the time everything was under construction so you had to walk in a wooden tunnel. He was there every morning. During Christmas season he’d be in there saying Merry Christmas over and over in an obnoxious way.


Fluffydress t1_j55fhpa wrote

Omg was he the guy with the hat and dark beard? Heavy set. Maybe blue jacket. South station? That was my time that I was writing the trains, back then.


Aleashed t1_j560cv4 wrote

Both stories sound like subplots for The Town


Manic-Finch781 t1_j535ege wrote

This is why I love this city and the people that look out for one another. Bravo hero guy.


senator_mendoza t1_j55tu29 wrote

and good reminder for the rest of us to renew our commitments (insofar as we're able) to not succumbing to the bystander effect.


Feisty-Donkey t1_j5395u0 wrote

I had a similar thing happen a few years ago and I always think fondly of the two men who stepped in and helped. I was walking past the public library heading to Abe & Louie’s and a man with obvious mental health issues started walking right behind and then next to me. At first I just kind of tried to smile and be nice and get out of the way to let him get ahead but then he grabbed my hair and I screamed. Two men stepped in. One chased the guy off and the other insisted on walking me to the door of the restaurant.

I was so grateful for it. Truly, people like this have no idea the difference they make in how people feel about their safety in public. I never walk past that corner without thinking of those guys.


michael_scarn_21 t1_j539oul wrote

I'm glad there are good people around but sorry that you had this experience. I've seen a few people like this on the T lately, sadly.


biophysicsguy t1_j53r12b wrote

My policy is to always ignore and not make eye contact with crazy people. I feel like trying to be nice (or initiating any interaction) has the potential to lead to trouble. I am not trying to blame OP for what happened. I think it's commendable to help someone in need, I just think crazy people need a specialized form of help.


pdegner3 t1_j53tz0l wrote

Absolutely, and let's admit it, instead of coddling every groper/assaulter and excusing it as mental illness, let's call them what they are: assholes


LalalaHurray t1_j5584t7 wrote

I am so sick of people suggesting that talking about a person’s mental illness. Is an attempt to excuse them from something.


shuzkaakra t1_j55ifoj wrote

When I lived in NYC I ultimately came to the conclusion that if someone wanted to talk to you on the street and they weren't a tourist, they were either insane or trying to con you.


blackdynomitesnewbag t1_j55gvqk wrote

Same here. Don’t make eye contact and they usually won’t bother you. But be prepared for when they do anyway


Hahafuckreddit t1_j57u1bl wrote

Absolutely. Ignore ignore ignore. It sucks but it's literally your life on the line in some cases


cheapdad t1_j53abqm wrote

Glad you're both okay. Scary.


cterranova19 t1_j53ctgx wrote

This gives me optimism that all is not lost. Feels like it these days.


aflockofsvigals t1_j53wxc3 wrote

I also saw a guy get off at North Quincy on Thursday around 7 pm who seemed not quite there mentally. He was in my car audibly complaining to someone on the phone about his pedophile friend out in California. I glanced over at him, and he did not have a phone. I assumed he was homeless, but boy was I happy to get off that train.


Flaky_Section t1_j54f0xu wrote

This and similar seems to be happening a lot on the Red Line lately. Haven’t been able to go a week without seeing someone in a mental health or drug-induced crisis state in months on the Red Line.

Really starting to wonder what it says about us/where we are as a society right now. I personally find it super depressing and quite scary as well due to the unpredictable/unacceptable behavior of these folks.


Thecus t1_j54xvug wrote

I’m pretty sure we’ve always had unpredictable and scary humans, we just get to hear and see a lot more of it over the past 10 years due to the changes in how we communicate.


theprofessor2 t1_j55edo0 wrote

Late to the post. The MBTA has an app called MBTA see something say something. It works very well. I had an issue with a mentally unstable guy who was smoking, urinating, and shouting at people. One stop later the MBTA Police were on the scene and they pulled the guy off the train.


E-Reezy420 t1_j53dzoz wrote

That must've been terrifying, I'm glad hero guy was there to save the day! I fucking love this city. There's a real sense of community in that way, people sticking up for one another in times of need and doing the right thing


cassettecollect t1_j541yyr wrote

Why is it always the fucking Red Line?


straycatbri t1_j57e9ut wrote

i was wondering that too.

maybe it's because the redline takes an hour to get from alewife to braintree, and it only takes 38 minutes to get from Forest Hills to oak Grove. it's a long ride, so i assume a lot of homeless people especially now in the winter are riding it.

maybe they like the vibe of constant danger of the ancient trains giving out, power going back on and off, and the beautiful sounds. feeling like a 1970s horror movie.


PrincessAegonIXth t1_j54dsi4 wrote

I wish someone had stepped in when I was assaulted on the T last year. People just watched me :/


Spirited-Pause t1_j5589c4 wrote

For future reference to feel safer and for overall protection, just FYI that although you can't legally have pepper spray mailed to a Massachusetts address, it IS LEGAL to be carried by private citizens (over the age of 18) in the state of MA.

Basically, there are stores you can go to in person around the state to buy it, you just can't order it online and have it mailed to you.



senator_mendoza t1_j55t8p1 wrote

you can buy it at most army/navy stores and i've seen it at every gun store i've ever been in.


9Z7EErh9Et0y0Yjt98A4 t1_j56t38x wrote

You can totally get it mailed to you, I've done it three separate times off eBay. Licensing is the seller's problem, not the buyer's.


Sufficient-Opposite3 t1_j54uwg9 wrote

I'm glad to hear someone stepped in to help you. I was on the Red Line 2 weeks ago Saturday night. We had to take shuttles from Broadway to North Quincy, which sucked. There's a guy on the platform in North Quincy who was approaching everyone. You know, "Happy New Year" "How are You". Just literally in everyone's face. Pretty much everyone tried to ignore him b/c he was pretty aggressive. Then, we get on the train and he proceeds to get in a fight with another guy. They are yelling at each other. Lots of insults. Then the 2nd guy gets off the train at QA, turns around, and throws a full container of something at the first guy. It hits a seat and ends up on the floor. This stuff has got to stop. The T is bad enough and then there's this stuff going on. I literally avoid it whenever I can.


BakaTensai t1_j555vqo wrote

You see a lot of videos online where something bad happens in public and nobody does anything. It is good to hear a story where someone does the right thing! I’ve been in bad public transit situations before (the BART in SF was the worst ) and felt completely alone despite being surrounded by people. That’s a scary feeling.


heather1999xyz t1_j55snwk wrote

I’m a woman. What I do is carry a pack of cigs and a lighter. Tbf I am a smoker.

When this happens I give the person a pack of cigs and a lighter.

They can’t smoke in the train or indoors so they leave the premises. I’ve never had someone light up in the train but tbf that’s a possibility.

Cigs aren’t cheap but it’s an expense I’ll pay to get certain people away from me.


Brass_and_Frass t1_j57cjim wrote

What a clever idea. As an ex-smoker, I don’t know if I’d trust myself to carry around a pack for this scenario, but I like this suggestion


Effective-Wolf5261 t1_j55lkrq wrote

I once had a woman directly approach me at North Station, look me dead in the eye and go:

“Can you buy me a ticket to Portland”

Me, unable to leave the situation: “No, I’m sorry no cash”

Her: “The ATM is around the corner. Please? It’s not even that expensive!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not going to get cash from an ATM for you”

Her: “Aw come on half? I’ll walk with you to buy it”

Me, very annoyed: “Look, I said no, please stop harassing me”

Her: “I’m not harassing you! Just buy me the ticket”

Me: “I said no, please get out of my face”

Her, walking away “Nobody wants to help a old fucking grandma”

I don’t want to be critical of this woman as I’m sure she is/was struggling, but I was really just trying to go home and wanted to listen to music. As a society I truly believe we should be doing more for these people, I am not the right person to find a solution but I do know having them on the street is a bad deal for everyone. Especially those who are experiencing homeless on these cold winter nights.


kmkmrod t1_j55p9vb wrote

> I don’t want to be critical of this woman as I’m sure she is/was struggling,

Sorry, but I wouldn’t be so sure.


Effective-Wolf5261 t1_j55pn2o wrote

Trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but I hear you. Probably not the case


kmkmrod t1_j55pwmn wrote

She didn’t have any money, then all of the sudden she had half the money… she just wanted money.


Effective-Wolf5261 t1_j55qhxt wrote

Doesn’t mean someone isn’t struggling somehow in some way. It was clear to me at the time that she wasn’t doing well in some way. But I agree with you, she just wanted money and harassed me for it.


IAmRyan2049 t1_j54fpzm wrote

That stinks. I’m not “all there” but I keep it together


vin_de_queer t1_j568wpv wrote

Glad y'all are safe, and so sorry you went through that. It must've been so scary! And yes, all the good vibes to your hero buddy!

Some info from a licensed mental health therapist (me!): if this ever happens to anyone here and you're concerned for a person who may not seem stable and/or may be aggressive, you can also contact the BEST team (if within Boston) or use the app Subdial. While we're often told to call the police, the officers may not have sufficient training for responding to a mental health crisis event and the situation could escalate without anyone intending for that to happen. The BEST Team and Subdial offer alternatives to calling the police. Again, this is to share information that can be helpful to all parties involved. Cambridge HEART is another incredible resource and they explain their mission, which can also add further context to my comment.

Be safe and well, y'all!


Lurchie_ t1_j557poo wrote

Good on ya Redline Hero Guy!


Visible-Education-98 t1_j53j9uz wrote

In hopes of this reaching “hero guy”, I cross posted to r/boston sub


charons-voyage t1_j53szr2 wrote

HAHA I get it but clearly others didn’t appreciate the humor lol. Sub, hero, hoagie


flamingpillowcase t1_j53w3y7 wrote

Now I’m curious lol


charons-voyage t1_j54r5g3 wrote

They meant that OP was trying to find a “hero guy” so he was gonna cross post to the “Boston sub” lol as in a type of sandwich. It was pretty lame but sleep-deprived me thought it was clever 😂


flamingpillowcase t1_j5518ri wrote

I was sleep deprived and didn’t get it. Embarrassing bc I like to think I’m good at those shitty jokes


R_Morley t1_j55goaq wrote

^(First, glad you are OK!!)

Second, we really need more cops on the T.


Digitaltwinn t1_j56zzlj wrote

Where do these people go when the T closes? They can't just live outside like in California.


Technical_Flamingo51 t1_j55ez7m wrote

Now do you mean mental health or on drugs. Because I am just wondering if you would have responded differently if he was on drugs and having a withdrawal fit or a fiend fit as opposed to real mental health issues.


LibertyCash OP t1_j5bd7jm wrote

He went from saying hello and asking how my day was to calling me a whore who he was going to fucking kill. My response would be the same regardless.


RhaenyrasUncle t1_j54v7zr wrote

This is Boston.

You have no obligation to be nice to anyone.


DooDooBrownz t1_j558hmk wrote

maybe that's a lesson for you to avoid eye contact and maintain a neutral expression in the future.


AshamedOfYou t1_j5598pw wrote

What the actual fuck


DooDooBrownz t1_j55cqfj wrote

no, what the actual fuck, is getting chatty with crazy people on public transport