Today’s bus adventure by traveling from Lake Stevens to Woodinville using 3 transfers to board 4 different buses reminded me of an incident which escalated from a bomb scare to a scar I still have on my right hand.
September 25, 2000 – Seattle, WA. It was a Monday. A Manic Monday, as a matter of fact. I remember a fateful couple of minutes, too. I left the James Sedgewick Building, otherwise known as the Darth Vader Building later than usual.
I hustled to my typical bus stop: 4th and Olive.
As I waltzed up to the bus entrance door, the driver closed it in my face. I shouted to open it, he looked straight ahead and departed! Damn it, I cursed. I wanted to be on that bus.
As Fate would have it, I wasn’t supposed to be on that bus.
The next 311 was minutes behind, so I boarded. As we approached the 520 bridge, I settled into my seat. The bus driver pull into the station, but I noticed the first 311 is parked into the bay.
Our bus driver parked the bus about 400 feet behind the first one. He opened the doors, turned it off, and explained we can leave if we wanted to. He didn’t offer an explanation whatsoever.
Then my mobile phone rang; it was my girlfriend.
She nervously asked if I was ok. My eyebrows furrowed. She doesn’t ask those types of questions without the burden of proof. I heard the constant thumping sound of a helicopter hovering above us.
As I answered yes, I noticed there was zero traffic on the bridge in either direction when it was a peak commuting hour.
“Babe,” I start, “what’s going on? Police activity around us, no cars are on the bridge.”
She answered with a bomb threat was called in for the 311 bus, and they don’t which one particular bus it is. Well, that’s alarming!
From Scared To Scarred
I departed the bus through the open door. She advises me that the police have blocked off the bridge on both ends and both directions. They also locked down the surrounding neighborhood. The Evergreen Point Park and Ride, Medina, Hunts Point and a portion of Clyde Hill were sealed.
A man with an English accent motioned for me to follow him, with the words, “I know a way out”. I’m literally in an impromptu filming of Escape From Hunts Point! We encountered a chain-link fence that protects the area. A trail had be matted down from wildlife trampling it adjacent to it.
He led the way to the overpass bridge. As he clamored over the top of it, I witnessed 4 Medina Police Officers grab him and throw him down. I didn’t want part of that drama. Next to me was the chain link fence but then a concrete fence of a residential sound barrier.
I awkwardly climbed to the top, as I pulled my full weight up, I felt the sharp top of the fence sink hard into my soft palm skin. Instead of yelping, falling back down on to the same side of the fence, I hurled myself over the top.
I landed on my back on a wood pile, bounced off, and landed belly-flop style on the lawn. With my breath knocked out of me, I peered up. There’s a dog pen in this yard that I literally dropped in. I quickly pushed myself up, quickly remembering my injury.
I need to bounce now. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off flooded my mind as a Rottweiler should be chasing me down to protect his territory. It was unlucky the entrance gate was a wrought iron with few handholds, but lucky a dog wasn’t bearing down on me.
I would’ve transitioned From Scared To Scarred quickly. No one noticed my landing on the sidewalk. So I casually walked down the street towards a police road block. I glanced over my shoulder and those 4 cops were detaining that man!
I called my girlfriend to let her know I’m out of the containment area, and to pick me up at the nearby Walgreen’s. I bought first aid supplies, applied them to my wound as I waited for Charlene.
Hopefully this scar stays on my hand so long as I’m alive. Apparently, a man thought it would be funny to recreate a scene from the movie, Speed. He drew a picture of round ball bomb from a cartoon of Warner Bros. The driver of the first 311 bus was rightfully concerned, pulled over, called it into the dispatcher, and parked the vehicle.
He was the only one to see the humor as he was charged and sentenced for criminal mischief.
I only find it funny because the crazy story I earned out of the experience.
Comment with your crazy bus story (or public transportation incident and/or experience)