Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I really can't give too much of an update. There were two male under-aged minors travelling on train 75 on Friday, 6/8/2018. The train started in Raleigh. I got on at Cary, the next stop. My ticket was scanned when I boarded. Before we got to Durham, the next stop after Cary, my wife heard on the scanner that the police in Durham should be summoned to meet the train, and that someone was to be put off the train.

 

While we were sitting at Durham station for an hour, the Durham city police came to meet the train. The youths were sitting two cars behind the one I was sitting in. While the train sat there, I did go back to the lounge car and observed that the boys were nearly 6 feet tall. I knew it was them because the police were with them.

 

While the train sat there, we had the crossing west of Durham station blocked.

 

My wife was getting tidbits over the radio. And I talked to someone else on the train who was not an eyewitness, but who was in constant contact with the crew. The issue was about having the boys not having the proper paperwork to be travelling under the under-aged minor program. The conductor, a short woman, confronted them about this. A heated discussion ensued. One of the boys shoved the conductor. The police did not remove the boys from the train. The conductor called the local Amtrak trainmaster about the incident. The conductor elected not to continue the trip. The assistant conductor continued the trip as conductor. A relief assistant conductor was called at Charlotte for the return trip.

 

I don't know where the boys got on (either Raleigh or Cary). I was one of the first ones to board at Cary.

 

I don't know who said what to whom and when. I don't know if the conductor threatened to put them off the train before or after she was shoved.

 

The police spent a lot of time on the phone, presumably talking to headquarters.

 

Later I overheard the remaining crew members talking about the incident, confirming what I have related to you.

 

I guess the only way to find out what really happened is to get a hold of the police report and/or the report that was officially filed with Amtrak headquarters.

 

And by the way, my original question was about the blacklist.

 

jb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really can't give too much of an update. There were two male under-aged minors travelling on train 75 on Friday, 6/8/2018. The train started in Raleigh. I got on at Cary, the next stop. My ticket was scanned when I boarded. Before we got to Durham, the next stop after Cary, my wife heard on the scanner that the police in Durham should be summoned to meet the train, and that someone was to be put off the train. While we were sitting at Durham station for an hour, the Durham city police came to meet the train. The youths were sitting two cars behind the one I was sitting in. While the train sat there, I did go back to the lounge car and observed that the boys were nearly 6 feet tall. I knew it was them because the police were with them. While the train sat there, we had the crossing west of Durham station blocked. My wife was getting tidbits over the radio. And I talked to someone else on the train who was not an eyewitness, but who was in constant contact with the crew. The issue was about having the boys not having the proper paperwork to be travelling under the under-aged minor program. The conductor, a short woman, confronted them about this. A heated discussion ensued. One of the boys shoved the conductor. The police did not remove the boys from the train. The conductor called the local Amtrak trainmaster about the incident. The conductor elected not to continue the trip. The assistant conductor continued the trip as conductor. A relief assistant conductor was called at Charlotte for the return trip. I don't know where the boys got on (either Raleigh or Cary). I was one of the first ones to board at Cary. I don't know who said what to whom and when. I don't know if the conductor threatened to put them off the train before or after she was shoved. The police spent a lot of time on the phone, presumably talking to headquarters. Later I overheard the remaining crew members talking about the incident, confirming what I have related to you. I guess the only way to find out what really happened is to get a hold of the police report and/or the report that was officially filed with Amtrak headquarters. And by the way, my original question was about the blacklist. jb

 

Even if you had the post-event police report unless those officers were witnesses to the event their report cannot and will not conclusively confirm what actually happened. It can only explain what the police observed, what they were told about what happened, and give context to whatever evidence was found in support of or contradictory to the various claims and statements. I'm actually inclined to support the conductor here, but I'm unwilling to agree that your secondhand story is truly provable, let alone irrefutable.

 

 

If the police were on site for an hour, there was definitely a serious situation.

It sure sounds like there was a serious claim, but based on the eventual conclusion there may not have been enough observable evidence to support that acting upon that claim.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the police were on site for an hour, there was definitely a serious situation. Wonder if the parents were called and the police were talking with them. Sounds like, but not confirmed, that the Conductor quit when Amtrak did not support her in this dispute by at least putting the boys off the train. The boys could have been put off the train to be held by the police, because they are minors, until the parents arrived to take them home, but with no charges filed, just a warning. Instead, Amtrak sided with the boys, made the police happy, and no potential lawsuits from the parents, though the parents could file a suit for Amtrak allowing a minor to board without parental permission. Unaccompanied Minors traveling is a legal minefield waiting for a lawsuit whether airlines or Amtrak..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Translation: I didn't see anything happen with my own two eyes, everything I have reported is from third and fourth party hearsay, but I can confirm everything I claim. No, you can't. Police reports do not and cannot settle conclusively what actually happened. They can only explain what the police observed, what they were told about what happened, and give context to whatever evidence was found in support of or contradictory to various claims and statements.

I can confirm everything that I saw is what I saw and everything that I heard is what I heard. I cannot confirm what actually happened in the incident. I suggested the police report or the Amtrak report as a source of more information. And - all of this is irrelevant, but merely background to my original question - which was about the existence of the Amtrak blacklist.

 

jb

Edited by John Bobinyec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Translation: I didn't see anything happen with my own two eyes, everything I have reported is from third and fourth party hearsay, but I can confirm everything I claim. No, you can't. Police reports do not and cannot settle conclusively what actually happened. They can only explain what the police observed, what they were told about what happened, and give context to whatever evidence was found in support of or contradictory to various claims and statements.

I can confirm everything I saw and everything that people told me. Is what people all told me true - of course not. I suggested the police report or the Amtrak report as a source of more information. And - all of this is irrelevant, but merely background to my original question - which was about the existence of the Amtrak blacklist. jb

 

Fair enough. As I read it again I modified my response as it occurred to me that I could be misinterpreting what you were claiming could be confirmed. So far as I am aware virtually all common carriers have no-travel "blacklists" that predate the TSA by decades. That being said, in the case of Amtrak I would imagine it's about as easy to enforce as arena and stadium bans. In other words not very easy at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In casual conversations physical assault is generally envisioned as slapping, hitting, or beating someone. In reality calmly tapping a shoulder or slowly pushing someone away from shouting in your face can be considered physical assault for legal purposes.

 

Actually, assault does not involve contact. It is an aggressive or threatening action toward someone. I've even seen someone convicted of assault for directing vile language at someone from a comfortable distance (a complicated case with unusual circumstances, but that's how it was resolved by the judge). If physical contact is made, of any kind, including thrown objects, it's battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In casual conversations physical assault is generally envisioned as slapping, hitting, or beating someone. In reality calmly tapping a shoulder or slowly pushing someone away from shouting in your face can be considered physical assault for legal purposes.

Actually, assault does not involve contact. It is an aggressive or threatening action toward someone. I've even seen someone convicted of assault for directing vile language at someone from a comfortable distance (a complicated case with unusual circumstances, but that's how it was resolved by the judge). If physical contact is made, of any kind, including thrown objects, it's battery.

 

Much of this depends on the state in question, but living in an era where lightly tapping someone or calmly laying a hand on a shoulder (as if to get their attention or calm them down) is considered the commission of physical battery seems borderline crazy to me. I guess we've simply given up on matching the punishment to the actual crime. With odds like this is no wonder around 95% of US criminal court cases result in plea bargains. Even if you're a proponent of aggressive prosecution the odd conclusion described in this thread could be a lesson in unintended consequences. People who believe a given crime is likely to receive what they consider to be an overly severe punishment are generally less inclined to act upon it, potentially leading to no punishment at all.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the details, though it's clear that you can't really answer my question, which is basically whether the kid was being threatened and harrassed by Amtrak staff *before* shoving the conductor or not. If she threatened them first, they may have been defending themselves.

 

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

 

Amtrak's policy is frankly stupid. If a minor doesn't have a release form signed by the "right adult", the absolute stupidest thing Amtrak can do is to throw them off the train; that'll get them twenty times more lawsuits, and already has landed them with lawsuits and bad press repeatedly. I don't know what brain-damaged moron wrote Amtrak's unaccompanied minor policy, but they should have copied one of the commuter rail policies; or better yet, subway policies.

Edited by neroden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

I'm eagerly awaiting my 16th birthday (6 days!), when I'll be able to take Amtrak without being accompanied to the station by my parents *and* an agent. I get the liability aspect of things, but I feel like they should ban unaccompanied minors altogether, or loosen up the restrictions. The rules are currently in the middle, and it's sort of the worst of both worlds, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like if someone physically assaults an employee (or anyone for that matter), they should be at minimum taken off the train. That person is a hazard to other employees or passengers, and allowing him to ride (especially since he's an unaccompanied minor without the appropriate paperwork) would seem to tell him that his behavior is ok. Forgive me if I'm missing something, since I seem to be in the minority here, but that's my take on the situation.

I would agree with you. Given that the police, after careful evaluation of the situation, talking with those involved, talking with witnesses, made the decision to not take the boys off the train. That judgment by the police tells me a lot about the true severity of what happened (or didn't actually happen).

 

The police did not remove the boys from the train.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the details, though it's clear that you can't really answer my question, which is basically whether the kid was being threatened and harrassed by Amtrak staff *before* shoving the conductor or not. If she threatened them first, they may have been defending themselves.

 

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

 

Amtrak's policy is frankly stupid. If a minor doesn't have a release form signed by the "right adult", the absolute stupidest thing Amtrak can do is to throw them off the train; that'll get them twenty times more lawsuits, and already has landed them with lawsuits and bad press repeatedly. I don't know what brain-damaged moron wrote Amtrak's unaccompanied minor policy, but they should have copied one of the commuter rail policies; or better yet, subway policies.

 

So let's just level the playing field and match the policy of US airlines. Would that be better, or?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Thanks for the details, though it's clear that you can't really answer my question, which is basically whether the kid was being threatened and harrassed by Amtrak staff *before* shoving the conductor or not. If she threatened them first, they may have been defending themselves.

 

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

 

Amtrak's policy is frankly stupid. If a minor doesn't have a release form signed by the "right adult", the absolute stupidest thing Amtrak can do is to throw them off the train; that'll get them twenty times more lawsuits, and already has landed them with lawsuits and bad press repeatedly. I don't know what brain-damaged moron wrote Amtrak's unaccompanied minor policy, but they should have copied one of the commuter rail policies; or better yet, subway policies.

So let's just level the playing field and match the policy of US airlines. Would that be better, or?

We sent our 14 year old daughter off to visit a friend in California back in 2005 or 2006. I don't recall there being any particular red tape required by United Airlines. I ended up getting a gate pass to go out to the gate with her, but I think they would have been fine with her going out by herself. I don't think we bothered to get a gate pass when she came back, we just waited for her at the exit to the secured area. There was no airline employee supervising her or anything, she just followed the signs to the baggage claim. Edited by MARC Rider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Thanks for the details, though it's clear that you can't really answer my question, which is basically whether the kid was being threatened and harrassed by Amtrak staff *before* shoving the conductor or not. If she threatened them first, they may have been defending themselves.

 

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

 

Amtrak's policy is frankly stupid. If a minor doesn't have a release form signed by the "right adult", the absolute stupidest thing Amtrak can do is to throw them off the train; that'll get them twenty times more lawsuits, and already has landed them with lawsuits and bad press repeatedly. I don't know what brain-damaged moron wrote Amtrak's unaccompanied minor policy, but they should have copied one of the commuter rail policies; or better yet, subway policies.

So let's just level the playing field and match the policy of US airlines. Would that be better, or?

We sent our 14 year old daughter off to visit a friend in California back in 2005 or 2006. I don't recall there being any particular red tape required by United Airlines. I ended up getting a gate pass to go out to the gate with her, but I think they would have been fine with her going out by herself. I don't think we bothered to get a gate pass when she came back, we just waited for her at the exit to the secured area. There was no airline employee supervising her or anything, she just followed the signs to the baggage claim.
Maybe they changed the policy, but 14 and under is required to jump through all the hoops, and pay an additional $150.

 

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/minors/default.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Thanks for the details, though it's clear that you can't really answer my question, which is basically whether the kid was being threatened and harrassed by Amtrak staff *before* shoving the conductor or not. If she threatened them first, they may have been defending themselves.

 

Seriously, "not having the proper paperwork" is not really grounds for anything; the bureaucratic hassles which have been set up to prevent kids from traveling on Amtrak are way over the top. I can easily conceive of a situation where they thought they had all the paperwork and an officious, bureaucratic conductor was hassling them for missing something.

 

Amtrak's policy is frankly stupid. If a minor doesn't have a release form signed by the "right adult", the absolute stupidest thing Amtrak can do is to throw them off the train; that'll get them twenty times more lawsuits, and already has landed them with lawsuits and bad press repeatedly. I don't know what brain-damaged moron wrote Amtrak's unaccompanied minor policy, but they should have copied one of the commuter rail policies; or better yet, subway policies.

So let's just level the playing field and match the policy of US airlines. Would that be better, or?

We sent our 14 year old daughter off to visit a friend in California back in 2005 or 2006. I don't recall there being any particular red tape required by United Airlines. I ended up getting a gate pass to go out to the gate with her, but I think they would have been fine with her going out by herself. I don't think we bothered to get a gate pass when she came back, we just waited for her at the exit to the secured area. There was no airline employee supervising her or anything, she just followed the signs to the baggage claim.
Maybe they changed the policy, but 14 and under is required to jump through all the hoops, and pay an additional $150.

 

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/minors/default.aspx

 

I thought they did change the policy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is, since all of this was reported to Amtrak headquarters, I would think that the offender's name would be put into the reservation system denoting him as someone who will never be allowed to ride Amtrak again. Is there such a blacklist?jb

 

Since the person wasn't immediately moved from the train, there may not be a basis for putting him on a no travel "blacklist."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×