Poll results: Vigilante or Villain?

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Thread: Vigilante or Villain?

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default Vigilante or Villain?

    A story that is currently doing the rounds. A drunk student was ejected from a train after he swore at the ticket inspector and refused to show his ticket.

    A large man asked if any assistance was needed befoer picking the student up and forcibly ejecting him from the train.

    The family of the student are saying he is not a fare dodger and the vigilante should be charged with assault. Most of the passengers onthe train seemed to appreciate the actions that were taken.

    So, should the person have taken action and stepped in, or should he have stayed out of it?

    More on the details here?

    My view: Its nice to see someone stand up in this way and take action. If more people took action against those who were drunk and abusive, I think less people would consider it acceptable and get into that state.

    The question of whether he should face charges is trickier. He did manhandle him off the train, I'm not exactly sure what the rights and laws about it are, but I don't think he should be charged. The guy was causing a nuisance and I would say he was using reasonable force in the event.

    What do you think?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  2. #2
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    If the drunk passenger wasn't a threat, I don't think there's much argument for it being okay for a random civilian to lay hands on him. Grabbing someone and forcing them to do something is assault. If the drunk passenger could be proven to have been on the train illegally, that might change things, depending on the law over there. Of course IANAL, especially not one in the UK.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  3. #3
    Member F-X's avatar
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    The conductor asked the student to get off. Then asked the big man for help. It's a sticky wicket actually.
    "Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor."
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  4. #4
    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    It's a bit dodgy, the conductor shouldn't have allowed the member of the public to intervene. I think it's assault, it's not a random person's place to intervene unless the conductor had been physically attacked by the errant traveller, which he wasn't.

  5. #5
    Wanna cuddle? RabbitMage's avatar
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    Legally he was in the wrong.

    Ethically, assuming the guy was there without paying and was being drunk and/or belligerent, I think we can be okay with this.

  6. #6
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Without knowing British law, anything we say is either a wildass guess or a mere expression of opinion. IMHO, a conductor may reasonably ask for the assistance of any passenger as he goes about his duties ("Would you pass me that gentleman's ticket, please?" "Would you open that window behind you, please, ma'am?"). If the conductor asked the big passenger to act as he did, and the big passenger did nothing which a conductor couldn't under the law, I don't see how the ejected passenger has any grounds for his lawsuit.

  7. #7
    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    Without knowing British law, anything we say is either a wildass guess or a mere expression of opinion. IMHO, a conductor may reasonably ask for the assistance of any passenger as he goes about his duties ("Would you pass me that gentleman's ticket, please?" "Would you open that window behind you, please, ma'am?"). If the conductor asked the big passenger to act as he did, and the big passenger did nothing which a conductor couldn't under the law, I don't see how the ejected passenger has any grounds for his lawsuit.
    Except in those other examples you cite, the conductor hasn't asked the person to break the law. You're absolutely correct though, without a specific reading of Scottish law it's all just IMHO.

  8. #8
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Apparently the correct process the conductor should have used, was to inform the police and have the passenger removed by them at the next stop.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  9. #9
    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    I don't see assault but I've never been great at respecting the rights of people to act like assholes in public. To me the passenger did fine in helping to remove a problem and I hope nothing happens to him.

  10. #10
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CatInASuit View post
    Apparently the correct process the conductor should have used, was to inform the police and have the passenger removed by them at the next stop.
    Makes sense, and it's the best way for everybody to cover their asses. Now it just runs the risk of hurting a guy who was trying to be helpful.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  11. #11
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Of course, the problem then becomes what happens next time, when the people decide to fight back. In a separate incident, a ticket inspector was stabbed for asking two youths to show their tickets. I would hazard a guess, that if a certain amount of vigilantism was tolerated, then this kind of thing would be less likely to happen.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  12. #12
    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    Or more passengers would be stabbed.

  13. #13
    Oliphaunt
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    I think that legally the man was acting outside of his purview, but I hope nothing bad happens to him. There are so many belligerent, combative dicks in the world who act that way because there are no real consequences to their behavior. I have a hard time sympathizing with them.

  14. #14
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Original An Gadaí View post
    Or more passengers would be stabbed.
    That would be my concern. While confronting people over rude behavior might help make a more polite society, I'd worry confronting violent people is just going to give them more opportunities to respond violently.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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