A quick thinking Californian got herself out of a train-bound hold up by faking a seizure with a move she learnt from TV show Law & Order.
Julie Dragland, 32, was travelling through San Francisco from Daly City to East Bay on a BART train, when a truly terrifying note was placed in her lap.
The note, scrawled in red ink, contained a chilling threat which would have sent many people into sheer panic:
There are 2 guns pointed at you now, you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet [sic].
Do not turn around until after you have left civic center + you will live.
Speaking with The San Francisco Chronicle, Julie spoke of her immediate reaction:
When I read the note, I started freaking out,
I did not want to give up my stuff, but I had no idea who was behind me.
Julie tried to mouth ‘help me’ at a nearby passenger, but unfortunately he didn’t notice and got off the train. It was at this point, Julie knew she would have to get creative.
Luckily, the PR specialist from Oakland was a Law and Order fan and had it covered. She started to fake a seizure in a bid to attract attention, in the way a character on the TV show had done to escape a mugging.
According to Julie:
I probably looked very ridiculous.
I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigour so people would pay attention.
I think it had something to do with watching a lot of ‘Law & Order.’
I think I saw that in an episode.
I was very impressed with myself.
Thankfully, a concerned couple came over to check if she was alright, and Julie was able to successfully pass them the note.
Julie believes it was at this point the would-be robber, who she believed to be an older female passenger carrying a suitcase, exited the train.
After searching the Civic Centre station, police were unable to find the culprit, and are now looking through security footage on the train.
However, Julie just wants to put the whole nasty ordeal behind her and has stated she will not press charges if and when the criminal is located.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pleased my addiction to crime shows has a legit purpose. I’m not procrastinating after all, I’m clearly just preparing to fight crime!
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.