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Mar 17 2013

Jumping up to get a better view

A guy got beaten up by shouty racist bully-boys on a Manchester tram packed with football fans, and nobody helped, instead everybody just watched, as if it were an entertainment.

Prakash Patel, 56, from New Moston, was on a tram with his daughter Devyani  at Trafford Bar when he suffered a tirade of racist abuse followed by a sustained vicious assault. He was punched in the face and head more than 18 times and suffered two black eyes and concussion.

He tells what happened.

WE had been to the Fulham match at Old Trafford. We go as often as we can because we are big fans, we’ve been going for 25 years and never had any trouble. There were more than 200 people just in our carriage, it was so packed you couldn’t move. About six men or seven men came on to the tram and started making indecent racist comments.

Myself and my daughter felt distressed and very uncomfortable about this so I said ‘just behave’.  I said it again ‘please behave’ and that’s when it started. There was one in front of me and one behind me both punching me in my face and on the back of the head. They were hitting me in the face, the eyes, the head.

And no one helped. No one helped. All those people, and no one helped.

Both of them are horribly upset by that. It is upsetting.

Devyani Patel, 21, is an estate agent who lives with her parents in New Moston.

Reliving their ordeal, she said: “I was screaming at them to stop. They were punching him over people’s heads, but nobody did anything or said anything. I was trying to pull them off my dad and shouting at them to get off my dad.

“The one facing me was just staring at me with these cold evil eyes. I am tiny and I’m a woman. I don’t understand why nobody did anything. I was just being his daughter.

“That’s what hurts the most – that nobody did anything, nobody said anything. I have lost my faith in society.

“Later at the police station, they showed us the CCTV footage. You can’t see the men but you can see all those passengers watching – it sent a shiver down my spine when I saw that. Some of them were actually jumping up to get a better view.”

[shiver]

 

 

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Argle Bargle

    As Edmund Burke may or may not have said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  2. 2
    phil zombi

    It really is grotesque, the things that happen in crowds. I wonder how many people thought: “I don’t need to get involved. Somebody else will.” It’s reprehensible.

  3. 3
    sheila

    I wonder how many people were scared to help? Scared that the 6 or 7 thugs would turn on them.

    Awful.

  4. 4
    mildlymagnificent

    It’s common even when people aren’t being despicably horrible. The instructions for people learning first aid are to get others to call ambulances, clear spaces and so on, otherwise a couple of dozen people can literally stand idle while someone dies in front of them. All it would have taken would be for someone other than the daughter to say something and the whole tone of the carriage might have changed.

    Nobody needs to be a hero – just say clearly that someone better call an ambulance (or the cops) and some people will be happy to have something positive they can do.

  5. 5
    hyperdeath

    sheila:

    I wonder how many people were scared to help? Scared that the 6 or 7 thugs would turn on them.

    Exactly. Can anyone here say for certain that they would intervene? It’s easy to be brave in the face of hypothetical danger.

    Clamoring for a better view is inexcusable though.

  6. 6
    Jenora Feuer

    The instructions for people learning first aid are to get others to call ambulances, clear spaces and so on, otherwise a couple of dozen people can literally stand idle while someone dies in front of them.

    Not just to get others to call ambulances… get specific others. Don’t just say ‘Call an ambulance!’; point to someone, and say, ‘You! You call an ambulance!’ You get taught to deliberately sidestep the usual diffusion of responsibility by actively focusing it. Because, bluntly, without specific training a lot of people will just stand around gawking, wishing they could do something to help while doing nothing.

  7. 7
    deepak shetty

    Shocking but not surprising. And truthfully while I hope that I would react differently, I have never been in such a situation so I don’t know whether I would risk my life and limb.

    I also wait for the American conservatives to conclude that the problem is that the victims and the passengers weren’t carrying guns.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    No, true, I can’t say “Oh I know I would intervene and risk a punching.” But I think if one person does then other people rush to assist. I saw that happen on a bus once – someone started hitting the driver and there was paralyzed horror for a bit then one guy bounced up, saying “Help him!” (I think) and then everyone within reach did, and the hitter was pulled off and subdued instantly.

  9. 9
    deepak shetty

    But I think if one person does then other people rush to assist.
    Yes I think this does makes a difference – even in my head i can visualize that joining in is easier than being that one person. I guess the more difficult part is being that first person.

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