BOSTON (CBS) – A 71-year-old woman who said she was assaulted on a Red Line train after asking a passenger to remove a pocketbook from an empty seat is speaking out and asking for a return to civility.
The blow to the head of the victim, who asked to only be identified as Linda, left her stunned. It happened on a crowded train during a recent afternoon commute.
“It had been a long week. I said ‘excuse me’ three times, then I got into her face and asked her to move her bag and she said ‘No, I don’t want anyone sitting next to me,’” Linda told WBZ-TV.
She says that’s when it got personal.
“You’re an ugly white person,” she says the passenger told her.
The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Jada Campbell of Mattapan. She is charged with assault, witness intimidation, and disorderly conduct.
Linda says she felt threatened enough to move, and that’s when Campbell got down out of her seat to trip her.
“She was abusive, ranting and raving ‘I’m going to take you down and have it out,’” Linda said. Linda got off early at Harvard Square, but the rant didn’t stop as she says Campbell followed. Two other passengers tried to step in before it caught the attention of MBTA Transit Police.
“I had two good Samaritans come off with me and they were protective. She came up and said ‘let’s have it out here and now,’ took off her earrings and threw stuff down,” Linda said.
According to police, Campbell resisted arrest and told witnesses who reported the crime, “If I see you on the streets, I’ll murder you.”
“We were all shaking afterward she was such a force,” said Linda.
MBTA riders say belongings taking up seats is a common problem, though few have seen the anger rise to this level.
“Not necessarily angry people, but visibly annoyed,” said Sarah Jenkins. “But I’ve had no bad experiences like that.”
Linda believes the MBTA should have more signage informing passengers they can’t take up more than one seat.
“I’m worried about her hurting somebody else,” said Linda.