Greyhound Terminal / wrongful disregard
Waiting at a Greyhound Terminal for our connecting bus. I will just state the facts, without emotional comments and you draw your own conclusions. The two of us departed on a Greyhound bus from Tacoma eastbound to Pasco (both in WA). In my charge was the 14 year old son (minor status observed) of a long time friend of the family. He had been visiting my son and grandson (near the same age) over the Fourth of July weekend. Conveniently the young man and his parents live in Pasco and I happened to be returning there to complete unfinished work Since Greyhound Policy regarding underage travel required that he be with an escort I was asked if he could come along in my charge. Thus the reason we were traveling together. During the 2.5 hour layover in Seattle we rented lockers to stash our bags in, had lunch in the restaurant attached to the terminal, and then went about waiting out the other 1.5 hours for our bus. My charge became bored and asked if I had a CD player to which I replied no but I am sure we can get you one. I sent him next door to the store while I stood out and watched him but the store did not have one. So I asked to wait where I could see him and went over to some street people and purchased a player and headphone for 7.00. On return he was content with listening to his CDs he had with him. A bit later I stepped out for a cigarette which took about 10 minutes. When I returned from the cigarette break the young man told me that employees of Greyhound had ushered him upstairs to an office, questioned him regarding our relationship, if he had been kidnapped, was he okay, where we were going, who I was, etc. Are you detecting what their thinking was here? To be clear, apparently we appeared suspicious and they were concerned for the welfare of the youth in my charge. So I had the employee responsible pointed out and approached him to ask if there was some sort of a problem. His dismissing statement was, “Oh I took care of it don’t worry about it.” I told him that taking the boy under my charge up to an office for questioning without my knowledge was cause for concern. The employee then made the comment, “Well he is okay, and he is alright now.” I replied that he was fine before they abducted and interrogated him, what they had did was not right and not to touch or harass the boy again. The employee then began to ask me personal and insulting questions of the type he had already asked the boy while he had him in the Greyhound terminal manager’s office and I replied that it was none of his business, we are ticketed clients, and despite what they thought there is nothing going on here. Well another of the terminal Greyhound employees began to pose questions and make comments this time while I am right there. So I approached him and asked to speak to the station manager and was directed to the counter agent to whom I expressed my distain and stated that his employees needed to stop harassing us or I would see to it they did. Of course this fell on basically deaf ears without comment regarding my predicament. Now the second employee decided to really escalate his demeanor and dish out a rather lengthy and heated dissertation. He was so adamant to be rude and make his point that the first employee (to my amazement) stepped in to get him to stop. Mind you these people had me angry and humiliated at by now and I was very straight forward in my approach and mannerism. I had finally had enough and I called 911 to get the police involved so they would at least leave us alone. I informed them the police had been called. More of the same ensued from the second employee and this time the station supervisor decided to get involved. I told the station manager, I did not like the way they expressed their concerns, the manner in which they spoke with underlying insinuation that I was some sort of pedophile had me pretty angry, and pursuing their harassing and intimidating conduct led me to get the police down to the terminal. I then told him that I am finished talking to all of you and I stopped acknowledging them. I couldn’t help pondering why they didn’t just approach me with their questions instead of waiting till attention to my charge was averted, secretly ushering him away to a remote office for questioning, and then rushing him back to where he had been sitting so I would be unaware. To my way of thinking this was Gestapo tactics by Greyhound employees and terminal dock hands. I don’t think anyone would have trouble understanding why I was not okay with this. I have lived along time and never had anything remotely close to this happen. It is interesting to note that Greyhound employees are quick to expel you off the premises under threat of arrest on return for criminal trespass for any unruly behavior and I was never asked to leave. So I made a second call to the police to report the ongoing event. I was assured the police had been dispatched and were in route. The police and upon introducing myself asked me what happened. As I began to tell him why I had called the police the first employee steps up rudely to interrupt and interject his comments. The officer told him he would get his chance and could he please wait over there (pointing) while I finished. I quickly established my concerns, who were involved, and why I felt it best to get the police involved. There were 3 squad cars and several officers which separated the parties to obtain each version of the story I had just given him. The bus arrives and is being detained (yes with a full load of east bound people). The police talk with the employees some more and return with the conclusion that the employees had acted within their boundaries out of genuine concern for the youths well being, that they were told by employees of Greyhound that the only inference to the pedophile thing was by me, and by the way he could just take the boy into the custody of CPS right now since I can’t prove anything I told him. I had not been asked if I could prove anything up to this point but I most certainly could have. I made no further comments after the officer in charge said this because I sensed where this could go from here. It was being projected that I was the problem much to my astonishment. At this point we were both allowed to get our belongings and board the bus to continue on our journey together. Since the bus had been detained for 30 minutes I was lynched with dirty looks when I sat down in the bus but I understood the reason for the vibes. Despite this ordeal I calmed down, the passengers soon forget about the delay, and the rest of the trip was uneventful, full of conversation with the other riders, and we arrived in Pasco only 15 minutes late. They only source of negative experience during this trip came from Greyhound employees unwarranted detective work.
Pondering moment: Ask yourself this question...why did two dock hands employed by Greyhound at the Seattle terminal feel compelled to question the intent of an older white male traveling with an african-american teen ager? Why could these employees abduct and interrogate this young man without the knowledge of his guardian, admit to the police that all the above is true, and in conclusion have done nothing wrong. What happened to customer respect and the right of these two travelers to enjoy a safe and pleasant trip? In speaking with my attorney via cell phone shortly after this had happened, I explained everything that had occurred and her only comment was, "Wow, I can think of four reasons off hand why you should want to file a law suit." The point here is that the customer experience opened the door to litigation.
Concluding statement: Greyhound is providing the ammo, loading the gun, and shooting itself in the head. If this can happen while a ticketed customer is laying over at their facility what do you suppose will ultimately cause the demise of Greyhound Lines Inc.? In approaching the young man in my charge and me in this manner they have caused the loss of three families of customers and the people that we know. They are a pretty large network of people in this case. I am compelled to submit that if I had acted in a way that could be perceived as threatening or disruptive I would have had to leave under threat of arrest for criminal trespass if I returned. It should be noted that if the suspicions of Greyhound employees which caused concern for this young man’s welfare, as claimed, would have been supported by the Seattle police, I would have been arrested pending investigation and that young man would have been in the custody of CPS. Here is the kicker, after this happened the employees of Seattle Greyhound Lines terminal who were involved had done nothing wrong according to the Seattle police and we were allowed to continue our bus ride to Pasco. These supporting facts obviously uphold the wrongful and willful acts committed by these Greyhound employees. I am truly disappointed that the Seattle police department thought it was okay for these Greyhound employees to abduct a young man and interrogate him under false intent and conclude they had done nothing wrong. Yet what they did by abducting and holding this youth is the very thing they wrongfully suspected I was in the process of committing. It follows that Greyhound by proxy has reached an astounding degree of arrogant disregard for the rights and consideration that by paid contract, its legitimate clientèle deserve. I used to love taking the bus cross country when I was younger and I had no negative memories of those trips. Now, however, I would never consider another Greyhound experience.
Note: This whole event is well documented with witnesses to everything that took place. I have the name and badge number of the officer in charge as well as the station manager and employee names. The Seattle police however choose not to file a report saying it would only be logged as an event. I am going out on a limb here but I think that any company acquiring Greyhound is going to have real trouble pulling up from the sorry state that company has stooped to. Hop on your browser and make a search as there are hundreds of stories like this one to support my conviction to boycott Greyhound Lines.Inc. It is my intent to punish and hold accountable all the people involved to the fullest extent of the law because it is obvious to me that Greyhound Lines Inc. does not have the capacity or desire to do it for me. I like so many others implore everyone to call to arms and hold this company accountable for their actions and the treatment of the source of their revenue.
Respectfully submitted by Bob Caperon.