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Guy On The Metra Creepily Tried To Follow A Woman Off The Train

By Mae Rice in News on Jul 28, 2016 9:41PM

Photo via Mobius in Mobili on Flickr

A man who appeared drunk and smelled like "rotten food and alcohol" sat next to a woman on a Metra train on Wednesday night and, when she got up to leave, attempted to follow her off the train, the woman told Chicagoist. Suzanne Miller, 30, managed to get away from the man, who appeared to have "soiled himself," she said—but she was "SO SKETCHED OUT" by the experience, as she wrote in a Reddit post.

Miller had been downtown for a work event and was headed back to Palatine, where she works, when she got on the 9:30 p.m. run of the outbound Union Pacific Northwest Metra line on Wednesday. She sat on the aisle side of a bench seat, putting her purse on the window seat, since there were "other open seats on the train," when an older man got on and sat down right next to her.

"He almost sat right on top of me, and I had to scoot over," Miller said. She immediately noticed he smelled strongly.

The man—who Miller describes in her Reddit post as a white man in his 50s or 60s, about 5'8", with a lanyard around his neck—started "muttering to himself right away," Miller said, and "looking at me out of the corner of his eye."

Miller said she at first though the man might have a disability, "so I didn't want to be rude and get out." But then the man took out his phone and appeared to make calls, on which he "sounded more lucid." She couldn't tell exactly what state he was in.

Throughout the ride, the other passengers on the train and the conductor didn't move to help her, Miller said. "People could tell he wasn't with me, that we weren't friends. I thought for sure someone would say something or give me a look." But everyone—including the conductor—was "completely ignoring the situation."

Halfway through the ride, Miller decided that regardless of the man's state, "I didn't want him to know where my stop was"—so two stops before her own, Miller moved to leave. The man said, "Oh, is this your stop?" He proceeded to follow her down the aisle to the area where passengers wait to get off the train. At this point, Miller said, "It looked like he had soiled himself."

In the dark of the area where passengers wait to exit, Miller managed to lose the man and duck into a different car. She clearly saw the man waiting outside on the platform for her, though, and decided to share her story to let other women know to watch out for him. (She may not be the only person this man has tried to follow.)

Miller didn't report the incident to Metra or the police—she said she was just "hyperfocused" on her own safety that night—and Michael Gillies, a Metra spokesperson, told us he hadn't received any complaints about incidents like this. However, "I have asked Union Pacific to keep an eye out for the guy," Gillies said. "I don't know if he's a regular rider."

Gillies added that in situations like the one Miller was in, passengers should tell the conductor that they're uncomfortable. "That's why the conductor is there," he said. "Never hesitate to talk to the conductor." If passengers can't find the conductor, they can call Metra police at (312) 322-2800.

We've reached out to Reddit user rodddstar, who reported a friend had a similar experience. We'll update this post if we hear back.