When you SEE someone who might need help, you DO something.

By Nicolette Clairmont

Yesterday on the bus, a drunk guy kissed me on the neck. He was in the process of being kicked off. Once off, he yelled something at me through the window and licked it, leaving a 4-inch-long saliva streak in the dust.

Prior to that, he had sat next to me and bothered me for 30-40 minutes.

This dude was a 44 year old (he told me), 6’5 (he told me), ex-convict (17 years in prison, he told me) with a large scorpion tattoo on his neck and what appeared to be knife scars all over his face. He punctuated every sentence with a loud, “the fuck you talkin’ ’bout?” and frequently took pulls from the bottle of rum in his coat.

Photo by Aleksey Malinovski

He’s not why I’m writing this post. He was an aberration on a 5pm bus ride. I’m writing this because of the 10-15 other passengers on the bus who watched what happened without lifting a finger to help.

At one point, he sat next to another guy and talked about how he was “thinking about kidnapping that girl.” (Me). “Amber alert, bro, know what I’m saying?”

The guy’s response? “Yeah, this is my stop.” And left.


During Spring Jam, there were maybe 5 semi-conscious girls that I approached and asked if they knew the man escorting them.

When I saw a girl passing out in the bushes after a football game, I left my group dinner to walk her home safely.

When I saw a woman wandering around in a T-shirt in December, I immediately ran to bring her inside. And what do you know? She’d just been beat up and kicked out by her boyfriend.

When you SEE someone who might need help, you DO something.

Or so I thought.

He mentioned the “wolves” he met in prison who kidnapped, raped, and cut up women, and the “monsters upstairs.”

He said things like, “You’re so gorgeous, I just want to suck on your face. God, I want to bite your nose off.”

Every time I looked around, no one was looking up from their phones. One woman near me had her eyes closed.

Maybe I confused everyone because I was calm. I was trying to reach him on a human level (“You shouldn’t say things like that. Look at it from my perspective. How do you think that makes me feel?”), but that’s another story. After he left, an attorney took his seat, informed me that I had just been assaulted, handed me her card, and asked if I was OK. Another passenger joined our conversation and said he thought I was “savvy” in how I’d handled that guy.

He added, “I was debating whether I should intervene or not, but right as I was about to, the bus driver kicked him off.”

P.S.A. If you’re ever that passenger, next time, please intervene as soon as you get the gut feeling that you should. The worst that can happen is your help isn’t needed.


Nicolette Clairmont.


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