Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.
About 4:45 Friday afternoon I was riding the bus eastbound. At a stop in Mt. Pleasant about 10 Highschool kids (another person already on the bus later informed the officers who arrived later they went to Wilson but who knows) entered the bus from the back entrance (not paying) pushing passed people trying to get on. Their target was another student, a young lady, sitting with her friend in the back. It was clear from the body language and the egging on of the other students getting on that their plan was to jump this girl either on the bus, or ride it till she had to get off and do it then.
At this point two older women who were seated near the girl in the back jumped up to shield her and began loudly accosting the girls and boys who had got on – while the bus driver stopped the bus and went to flag down a nearby police car. While it took some minutes for the cops to arrive and kick the kids off, during this whole time these women stood up to the mob with various admonishments and threats of their own (such as “Why – I will smack you so hard you’ll call your mama and when she comes down Ill smack her for raising you like this.”)
While I generally would not condone threats, the loud chest-thumping was sufficient to deter the kids for long enough for the officers to arrive. While in the end no violence resulted and the worst that happened for most of us was a 10 minute delay and a very tense situation (I am still worried about the young lady though), I would also like to commend the two women who acted courageously. One of them exclaimed “it don’t matter if you’re young or old or a man or a woman – if a group of people are coming at you I’ma stand by you.”
I hope by sharing this alarming story that the silver-lining people take away is to stand up for the people around you
Oh also – I forgot to add that one of the woman also offered to walk with or stay with the girl till her mother could get her or she got home..