Police remove cell phone talker from Amtrak quiet car

As much as I detest mobile phone talkers on quiet cars, bringing in the police does sound a bit extreme. As much as I love using the trains over here in France, I can’t stand the Eurostar because they don’t have quiet cars. This usually means bumpkins who have probably never experienced electricity jumping onto their mobile phones to give play by play details of the train pulling out of St. Pancras station, as if the train was just created the day before. How scintillating. I have been known to bark at loud talkers who usually are shamed into behaving.

Of course, there are always a few who just can’t appreciate how little others care about the blow by blow details of their life. Sixteen hours? Really?

Civilians and quiet-car champions are supporting her ejection for violating policy at high volume during the 16-hour journey. It doesn’t help her cause that she became belligerent when confronted about it by one of her fellow passengers.

KOMO News reports that Lakeysha Beard says she felt “disrespected” by the incident, though passengers said it was Beard who was being rude by refusing to stop yapping while sitting in one of the train’s designated quiet cars. She had not stopped talking since the train pulled out of Oakland, California, 16 hours before it reached Salem, Oregon, when a passenger confronted her about the talking. That’s when Beard got “aggressive,” KATU reports, and conductors stopped the train so that police could remove her and charge her with disorderly conduct.

Amtrak created quiet cars in 2001 when a group of passengers who rode the Philadelphia to D.C. route every morning asked if they could reserve a car where cell-phone loudmouths weren’t welcome. Ever since, the rare havens of quiet have become a battlefield between silence-loving rule-followers and rebellious cell-phone addicts. Gawker suggested, not without a dose of sincerity, that the cops who removed Beard from the train were heroes, and that Beard should be charged with “unspeakable crimes against humanity and sentenced to life on some distant planet where there are no reception bars, ever.”

Note from JOHN: I always ride Amtrak’s quiet cars, when they’re available, and it’s a little bit of heaven (which is a hard thing to contemplate on Amtrak). Cell phones are NOT ALLOWED on the quiet cars – they can’t ring, and you can’t talk on them. You’re not even supposed to talk loudly to the person next to you.  So this really is a bit more than just a woman being unusually loud on her cell. She was breaking the rules and she knew it – she had an entire train on which to make her call, but chose to the quite car, probably because it was, well, quite – and she didn’t care. God bless Amtrak and the police for arresting her.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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