I left the apartment around 4:35pm to get dinner on I-Drive. I figured with the Westward Blvd under construction, it would be relatively easy to cross. I was wrong, they moved the construction zone up a block so it was back to two in each direction.
Fortunately, crossing the normally busy westward lane was relatively easy as it wasn’t moving (the second lane, not turning onto I-4, was impossible to really gauge from the sidewalk) …but I was nearly hit by a speeding black sedan (who clearly had zero intention of slowing down) in the second lane when the first lane let me cross. I got across scared and out of breath, but otherwise unscathed.
I got off the I-Ride Trolley (Trolley 26, Red-North) sometime after watching the driver physically attacking a panhandling passenger (he was short 4 quarters) – by literally SMACKING HIS HAND AWAY AS HE TRIED TO PAY!! After shouting at him the entire time about “I need to move here! Either pay or GET OFF MY TROLLEY!”
“Is you alright? You seem a bit mad?”
The driver (yes, the same one from this post) then angrily unbuckled his seatbelt and tried to physically remove him which he was blocked from doing by said passenger and then got on the radio to report an “assault” but it was snatched away from him by the passenger at the last minute shouting “you got no fucking right to touch me!”
“Such vulgar language,” the old woman who gave him said change bristled. “That is not how one speaks in public.”
“Yeah,” a blonde-haired man in the back of the bus shouted standing up to defend the defenseless driver. “That is no way to treat a bus driver!”
“Is that a threat, boy? Well, you better check yo-self before I kick both y’awl’s pussy asses. I break them glasses clear off yo face! Here, take yo change back,” the old woman looks at him confusedly. “He don’t want it. Go ahead, take it.”
“I SAID ‘GET THE HELL OFF MY TROLLEY!’ Dispatch we got-“
“Don’t you dare try to ‘port me for yo shit! I can see you already lost some yo-teeth. I’ll fuckin’ knock the rest of them out for you! Fuck BOTH y’awl pussy asses! Hell, all y’awl are pussy asses! I check all y’awl’s asses! I check people like you 24/7! Fuck you. I outta here.”
“Dispatch, this is 26. I’d like to report an assault on a driver…”
“Did you want to wait for a sheriff?”
“Hell yeah, I’ll testify,” the blonde-man shouted.
“Yes,” the old lady agreed, “such rude behavior should not be tolerated in public.”
“No, he’s already, um, across I-Drive. You’ll never find him.”
We then continue the route unabated, though his mood was clearly soured… by a couple of confused tourists who were trying to get on the stop before meeting the passenger in this story. Anyway, I got to my destination further rattled… but still unscathed.
I feel kinda bad for the people I met the rest of the evening as I was probably a bit edgy when I was dealing with them. Fortunately, the ride back (Trolley 31, Red-South) was much more pleasant with a friendly driver – who had at least three passengers as if they were allowed to leave “tips.” (!)
I don’t have any clever final thoughts, but I got back safely so there’s that…