August 24, 2005

Nightmare on the Métro

During the time I lived in Paris, I spent a lot of time on the Métro. Public transportation, you see, is the way to go there. A car is more of a pain than it is useful - the streets are narrow and crowded and there is literally nowhere to park.

One night I was on the Métro heading home with my French roommate, Anne, and my friend Tupou who is from Tonga. It was around 10pm and we were sitting in the "booth" like seats, me facing the two of them. A young man was sitting behind and across the aisle from them - let's call him loner.

A couple of stations after I noticed the loner, two men got on, and they sat with him - one next to him and one in front of him. As the train barrelled down the tunnel, I saw the man next to the loner pull out a hand gun and stick it in his ribs. I whispered to my friends "you guys, that guy's got a gun!" and, simultaneously, all of the passengers sitting behind me hit the floor. Loner jumped up and grabbed the gun which was still being held onto by the other man and they began fighting over it, falling over the seats and into the aisle. Several shots went off as we were ducking and squatting, trying to stay out of the way. A window shattered, apparently shot out and bullets where ricocheting off the interior walls of the train.

As the train came into the next station and they continued to fight not ten feet from us, we dove for the doors. I was frantically jerking at the mechanism that opens the door (they open automatically, but some times stick) prematurely as the train screeched to a halt. As I crouched as low as I could get, a shot rang out and I felt the impact from the bullet on my foot. I jumped and let out a "yip."

The doors slid open and all of the passengers burst out of the car, me being one of the first. I have never seen one of those train cars empty so fast. I looked down at my foot fully expecting to find a smoldering hole there. No hole - it must have hit the floor right next to my foot. I was dumbfounded as I watched the passengers run one way up the stairs and out and the robbers run the other way.

The doors of the train closed and it left the station, the conductor having no clue what had just happened.

My friends and I were ok, and the loner was cursing and spitting on the tracks. One of the robbers had nailed him with mace. We asked if he was ok, and he managed to say that he will be, so we got the hell out of there and took a cab home. Needless to say, the three of us did not sleep for a long time, we had so much adrenalin rushing through us. We were fortunate to be alive and intact. In fact, as far as I know, no one was hurt. Amazing.

Side note - I didn't tell my parents about this until I came home 6 months later. Ignorance is bliss. heh

Next Episode: Hit & Run Psycho


  1. Scary but great story! Thank God I've never been shot at. I'd probably wet my pants if someone pulled a gun on me!

  2. Wow Celti,
    That is really scary. Did you have a hard time riding the Metro after that? Not sure I would have been able to jump back on that horse.
    Glad you were ok. {{{Celti}}}

  3. Makes ya never wanna ride again huh? I'm glad you were okay and able to share this scary story.
    Can hardly wait to read about Hit & Run Psycho.
    Lois Lane

  4. Loner was quite the hero. Glad you got out uninjured.

  5. Wow....quite a story...and makes ya wanna go back to paris I'll

  6. I've been on the firing end of a gun but not on the other side. Scary shit. I don't think I would have relayed that to my parents for a while either.

  7. Pat - thanks. It was scary!

    Boo - Yep. Interestingly enough, no, I didn't have a problem after that. I knew it was an isolated incident. thanks

    Lois - Nah, what are the odds something like that would happen again? Hit & Run Psycho is a strange and scary tale.

    InfoCow - He stood up for himself, at least. Me too!

    Mike - I would go back in a heartbeat.

    Vince - After that, I can say I've been on both ends. I prefer the firing end! Yeah, I thought it best to save that story for when I was home safe.

  8. Ah! The ringing ambiance of Paris Metro. So when did your heart stop racing? ;)

  9. Holy sheet!!!

    I didn't know you lived in Paris, that sounds kinda cool!! I'd love to do some traveling in Europe. Hopefully someday!!

    Glad you're safe :)

  10. definitely a cool story... good for the scrap book. lol

  11. It's the thing about being in a confined place with lots of people. If it starts going pear shaped, there's nowhere to go. I'm glad your foot made it! :D

    (Imagine the horror of the people in the carriage of the innocent Brazilian man who was shot three times in the head as a terrorist on a full London Tube train recently.)

  12. wow, great stories, glad you're here to tell the tales!

    That's just so fucking wrong when peeps are willing to use deadly force to steal just a few measly bucks, I'm sure that you wished the bastards involved an untimely and painful death. Karma can be a tough bitch, hehe


  13. Wow! I spent many years taking the tube in London and came across many strange and scary situations - nothing like that though.
    Hit and Run Psycho? Not even sure if I wanna read it! Can't wait!

  14. That was a lot scarier than my Metro ride!!!

  15. Seamus - I don't remember. A few hours at least.

    Vicki - I lived there for a year - went to college there. There are several more Paris stories in my archives around Sept. '04. Europe is awesome.

    Denny - it's one I'll probably tell my grandkids. lol

    Owl - You're right. I'm glad my foot made it, too, right along with the rest of me. :) I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had someone been killed. Yipes!

    Se7en - ...and they're true! It is wrong - people can be suck asses. Oh, I'm sure they got theirs.

    Cali - I had many strange experiences, too, but nothing topped this one. Hit & Run Psycho is actually going to be hard to write - it's the worst I've ever been hurt.

    Inanna - I'm glad! :)

  16. Loner's lucky to have escaped with his life intact. Very good odds this would have been a much different post if it had turned out as these things usually do.

  17. Hey, finally Linked you on the second try!!!