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Wearing a Padres luchador mask on the evening of Saturday, September 14, a man on a southbound Blue Line trolley began a rant almost immediately after boarding: “All of these fucking people on the trolley,” he stood and yelled as people boarded the car at the 12th and Imperial transfer station.

Elaine Reed was a witness to the ordeal. “Everyone was looking at him with mixed reactions,” she said. “Then he sat back down and talked about killing himself.”

The trolley was at a standstill, scheduled to leave at 8:30 p.m., but the man in the luchador mask repeated his threats to kill himself.

“That will teach everyone, and no one can throw anything at my face again,” the man reportedly said, repeatedly. Finally, after the masked man began kicking the seat in front of him, a big, solid-looking man approached the troubled luchador and said, “You need to stop that now.”

The order stopped the outburst momentarily, but it didn’t last for long. The masked man went off about being on Social Security and being psychotic and having the need to be locked up. He continued the threat to commit suicide. Within minutes, trolley cops boarded the car and removed the mask of the disturbed man.

“He looked to be 26 or 27 years old. He seemed normal, wearing glasses and a Padres baseball cap,” Reed said. “He seemed shocked that they would take him away, but he went easily.”

After the man had been removed from the trolley car, the trolley cops reboarded.

“They asked everyone if they had been threatened in any way directly by the man they had removed from the trolley car,” said Reed. “No one replied except for one young woman, who exited in order to give a statement. But I didn’t hear him threaten anyone except for himself.”

Apparently, passengers were more concerned with the extended time in their commute.

“After a 20-minute delay, everyone just wanted to go,” Reed said. “But I felt sorry for him after they removed his mask. Once they removed the mask, he looked so innocent. Just to see that face.”

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shirleyberan Sept. 15, 2013 @ 8:35 p.m.

That was definitely a cry for help. I hope they show the poor guy some compassion. Mental illness is physically painful enough.


FatCatSegat Sept. 16, 2013 @ 7:56 a.m.

Sometimes in our hurry to get back to our little selfish lives,(me included) we put blinders on when we board the trolley. We sort of have to. Unfortunately, every passenger, every day is subject or witness to some abnormal behavior by the many sick people that also board the trolley. I'm not saying its a big problem but it is an annoyance when all you want to do is get home quietly and suddenly some guy calling himself Eleanor Roosevelt sits right next to you reciting Monty Python. The young man in the story will be a couple of day at County Mental Health probably for further evaluation. If he's okay, then its up to him from there on, right?


Yankeedoodle Sept. 16, 2013 @ 8:12 a.m.


Yep, it's every man for himself in this society. Women too. We make a religion of it.


David Dodd Sept. 16, 2013 @ 9:37 a.m.

If he's lucky then he gets a trip to County Mental Health. It's been my experience that the majority of people who threaten suicide aren't really threatening suicide, it's something else. Hopefully, that's what it was in this case. But I thought that the Padres luchador mask was a nice touch.

And yes, it has been my experience that the trolley has a lot of "interesting" people within the ridership. Sometimes it gets pretty wild.


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