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King Coot Wins Court Battle Over Subway Slapping

The Subway

Photo: Getty Images

Apparently it’s okay to be one of those people who engage in superfluous confrontations on the MTA. You know how sometimes on your commute to work, a person (okay, usually an old, insanely crotchety person) will start yelling at somebody nearby, for no reason at all? Or for talking on his cell phone, or for not getting up for a woman, or for bumping into the crotchety old person? (Trust us, crotchety old people, if we could erect a barrier around you to prevent touching, we would.) Well, today a Manhattan judge cleared the ringleader of that army of angry old coots of any wrongdoing, after an incident during which he slapped a woman twice and called a young man a “fucking faggot” for talking on his cell phone on the subway LIRR. The man, John Clifford, has a history of such incidents, it turns out: He’s thrown coffee at fellow passengers, hit cell phones out of their hands, and once punched a five-foot-tall woman in the head. Yes, apparently these people are within their rights to take minor distractions like cell-phone conversations and blow them up into ugly, disruptive conversations that ruin the mornings of entire train cars’ worth of people. It’s a lesson we take to heart. Because the next time it happens on our car, we’ll also remember that sometimes while commuting, you’re allowed to punch people in the head.


King Coot Wins Court Battle Over Subway Slapping