PORTLAND, Ore. – A woman who got pulled of an Amtrak train by police after passengers complained she was speaking too loudly on a cell phone said she felt “disrespected” by the entire incident.
Lakeysha Beard of Tigard was charged with disorderly conduct after police said she got into a “verbal altercation” with train passengers on Sunday. Passengers complained she refused to put down her cell phone and conductors had to stop the train in Salem, where police got involved.
Beard told KATU she was indeed talking on her phone, but said she didn’t understand why she had to be escorted off the train.
She made the comments during a brief phone interview. Beard declined a more extensive on-camera interview, saying she didn’t feel well.
An Amtrak official said a number of passengers complained Beard was being disrespectful during her prolonged phone conversations on the train. Salem police reported she had been on the phone non-stop since the train pulled out of Oakland, Calif. 16 hours earlier.
While this is an extreme example, social etiquette expert and instructor Jodi Blackwood said too many people don’t exercise basic courtesy when it comes to using their phones.
She said when people speak too loudly and have personal conversations in public places they don’t always realize the message they’re sending.
“What does that say to them? It says that you’re only thinking of yourself and that you are only aware of what you need and what you are doing and you are a less considerate person,” Blackwood said.
Amtrak does have a policy that riders can’t use cell phones in designated “quiet cars,” like the one in which Beard was riding.
Raw video of the incident on Sunday: