Pardon the Boys Who Threw the Chatter Off the Choo Choo
Anyone who's ever been in a confined space for an extended period of time with a Loud Talker on the cell phone will forgive the Amtrak employees who called police to escort away an offensive woman who repeatedly ignored requests to quiet down.
Amtrak has no official policy for cell phone usage while the train is in motion, but the situation reached the point where enough was enough, for both passengers and train employees.
Salem, Ore. police stopped the train, removed the offender and charged her with disorderly conduct. Lakeysha Beard of Tigard, Ore., had reportedly been yelling into her cell phone for hours, ever since she boarded the train in Oakland, Calif. at about 10 p.m. the night before.
Passengers complained to Amtrak staff members, who made multiple announcements to discontinue cell phone use. When one passenger asked her to stop, Beard became aggressive and got into a "verbal altercation," according to KATU-TV.
Finally, conductors coordinated with Oregon police to stop the train at a crossing a couple of miles away from the Salem station at about 2 p.m. Beard was taken into police custody until family members could come to the station and pick her up.
Passengers who shared the Coast Starlight, which runs from Los Angeles to Seattle, are probably ready to give the Amtrak employees medals of honor -- it took a lot of courage to throw her from the train. But after 16 hours, you can't help but wonder what took them so long.
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.