Lakeysha Beard admitted that she had been blathering away on her cell phone in the “quiet car” of an Amtrak train. Still, “she didn’t understand why she had to be escorted off the train” by police. Beard said she felt “disrespected” by the incident.
Police in Salem, Oregon, said Beard got into a “verbal altercation” with other train passengers who complained that she refused to put her cell phone away. They were annoyed that she had been talking continuously from the time the train had left the station in Oakland, California—sixteen hours earlier.
According to one report, train operators called police and stopped the train near Salem after they received complaints that Beard had been talking loudly and causing problems with other passengers in her car. Police arrested Beard for Disorderly Conduct.
Having traveled a number of times on Amtrak trains myself, I can understand the frustration of the passengers who were incensed by Beard’s non-stop chatter when use of cell phones is prohibited in the “quiet cars.” Author Matt Taibbi says he was delighted when he heard the tale of Beard and her arrest. He wrote the following on his blog at Rolling Stone: “I travel on Amtrak a lot and have long believed that willful violators of quiet car protocol should be subject to the death penalty. In fact I believe each train should be outfitted with a special car full of half-starved wolverines and wild boars, into which quiet-car cell phone talkers should be thrown. I’m hoping the Supreme Court takes up this issue in the future.”
Do you think the death penalty would be a tad too harsh a punishment? Does anyone else have suggestions as to what type of punishment would best fit the crime of loud and incessant cell phone chatter in the “quiet car” of an Amtrak train?
Loud cell-phone talker removed from quiet car by police (Yahoo)
Woman feels ‘disrespected’ after being kicked off train (Komo News)
Cops kick cellphone blabbermouth off train: After 16 hours blathering, woman doesn’t understand why she got the boot (MSNBC)
Woman Arrested For Disorderly Conduct On Amtrak Train (KXL)
Woman’s cell-phone use halts train (SFGate)