You see a woman being dragged down a deserted staircase in a subway station, fighting off a rapist and screaming for help - do you:
a) immediately run to help her, possibly at your peril
b) call the cops from the safety of your subway booth and consider it a job well done
Well, a New York judge has recently tossed out a lawsuit by the rape victim who claimed that two subway employees did nothing more to stop her rape than just calling the cops from the safety of their posts:
A conductor saw the rape from the window on his train, and a station agent in the booth witnessed a screaming woman being dragged down a staircase inside the desolate 21st Street station of the G line. But neither one left the safety of their assigned posts to help her. Instead, conductor Harmodio Cruz and agent John Koort called the command center to summon cops.
Justice Kevin Kerrigan ruled the two workers had taken "prompt and decisive action in obtaining police help," according to the decision handed down in Queens Supreme Court. The help came far too late for the victim, who was raped on the platform.
Her lawyer, Marc Albert, called Kerrigan's decision "offensive," saying it gives "blanket immunity" for transit workers to ignore straphangers in peril. "Simply pressing the button is enough," lamented Albert. "God forbid citizens are put in a position where municipal workers are not required to act and it leads to harm -- they are left out in the cold."
What do you think: was it cowardice or just being sensibe?
(Photo: Catherine Nance)