(SAN FRANCISCO) — A California woman responded to an attempted mugging on a train by “faking a medical problem to attract attention from her fellow riders,” according to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department.
Julie Dragland told local ABC News affiliate KGO-TV of the San Francisco Bay Area that someone dropped a note in her lap while she was on the train on Saturday, which demanded that she hand over her wallet and phone.
“Somebody dropped a note into my lap, I didn’t see them, or like a hand or anything,” Dragland told KGO-TV. “The note said that there were two guns pointed at my head, which logistically, doesn’t really make sense, cause they dropped the note.”
Dragland said she initially tried to make eye contact with someone standing in front of her, and mouthed “help,” but the stranger ended up getting off at the next stop.
“I wasn’t sure that they … actually had guns,” Dragland added of the suspect, but said she still worried for her safety. “So, I was like, ‘If I fake a seizure, or fake that I’m passing out … they could just think that I’m scared and reacting.'”
“So I slumped over to the left and started shaking, and people started to notice, and they were like, ‘Are you OK?” Dragland said, adding that a few people came over to her, and that her actions “caused a commotion, and then the person got off at the next stop.”
BART police said in a statement today that surveillance video taken on her train corroborates her report. “There is no indication from the video the suspect was armed with any weapons,” the police added. Authorities released still images of the suspect, who is believed to be a white female.
Dragland said she got off the train and she reported the incident to police but said she did not want to press charges. “At the time, I wasn’t robbed, so I feel like there wasn’t damages,” she said.
When asked where she got the idea to fake having a seizure, Dragland said, “It might have been ‘Law and Order,’ I don’t know why I did it.”
She adds that she was surprised by the fact that even as she made a scene, “the majority of the people on the train had no reaction.”
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