Catching a Crook and My Moral Dilemma

Posted: July 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the “What would you do?” category…

Last night Kelly and I were coming home from our vacation in Chicago on the South Shore train.  By the way – I love public transportation in Chicago!  Seriously.  There isn’t anywhere that a subway, train, or bus can’t take me!  I hate driving in Chicago.  Anyhow, lots of action on the Friday night south shore train (mainly drunk people).

We sit down in our seats and I notice a guy in the aisle across from me two seats down bend over and pick up a ticket that was below the chair of the girl one seat behind me.  Then the Conductor comes by and collects tickets.  Guess what?  The girl can’t find her ticket.  The Conductor simply says, “Look around your seat,” and leaves giving her some time to find the ticket.

My moral dilemma:  I can’t prove this guy took her ticket.  Maybe he dropped his own ticket and was picking it up.  Maybe the girl really did lose her ticket.  All I know is, I saw him pick up a ticket under her seat, and now she is missing a ticket.  I’m convinced it was her ticket that he STOLE.  He was 28 years old, an IU alum, worked in “financing in Chicago,” etc. (I know because he was flirting with two girls next to him), drinking a super-sized lite beer, was getting more drunk by the night and was obnoxious to me.  So I lean over to Kelly and ask her if I should say something.  She immediately gets nervous, her stomach gets in a knot, she pictures me getting in a verbal shouting match, if not an all out physical alteration.  She begs me not to.

So I sit there wondering, “What if this is being videotaped and I’m on one of those ‘What Would You Do?’ TV shows on ABC where they later want to interview me on why I didn’t do anything?”  I think, “Is this what Spider Man would do?  I don’t think so!!”  My spidey-senses are tingling, I’m ready to jump to action, I have my whole plan laid out.  When the Conductor comes back for her ticket, I HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING!

And then…the Conductor never came back.

Moral dilemma:  What would you have done?  Did I wait to long?  Should I have put the guy in a sleeper hold and held tight until we made it back to the South Bend Regional Airport?  What if I had to go to the bathroom and let go of the sleeper hold?  Would he get away?  Oh…ethical dilemmas.

  1. Lori says:

    We had quite a heated discussion in my ethics class on a very similar scenario. I don’t think we ever came up with a right answer lol 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    My vote: Unless you are >=97% sure that you saw him steal the ticket, keep your mouth shut.

  3. david says:

    Life’s too boring — say something. Then, either way, you would’ve had a really cool blog post.

  4. Kirk says:

    I’d agree with David. You shoulda, woulda, coulda said something…. but you needed to think of it in a non-threatening way…. Maybe, “hey, did you just pick up her ticket?” and then the ball would be in his court. Sort of moves the dilemma to him to make the call. Be honest or not…his call

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