Riders on a train to Salem last night faced some unwanted terror: A man with a knife who threatened to carve them up, police say

Leclerc

Transit Police report arresting a man on a commuter-rail train bound for last night's festivities in Salem after, they say, he escalated from threatening other riders to fist fights to pulling out a knife when one rider asked him to knock it off.

Officers met the train at Salem station shortly after 6:45 p.m. and arrested Christopher Leclerc, 25, of Salem, on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon - the knife police say officers found in his pocket. Police say they also charged him with possession of class E drugs - which they say officers also found in his pocket, in a prescription bottle with somebody else's name on it.

Police described what happened as the train hurtled towards the Witch City:

Witnesses stated Leclerc was intimidating passengers, challenging people to fist fights, consuming alcohol and invading others personal space in an aggressive manner. A male passenger requested Leclerc cease bothering passengers and to calm down. Leclerc responded by producing a knife. taking a fighting position and threatening harm to the victim.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Riight.

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The guy has a knife and you are going to hit him in the head with a blackjack?

Be my guest. I'll wait for the authorities.

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Voting is closed. 6

Confined spaces aren't a good

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Confined spaces aren't a good place to be engaging in combat where bystanders could be hurt. But waiting for the authorities when thuggymcthugface or stabbymccrazypants is getting their violence on isn't the best option either. People need to be able to defend themselves from assault be it with fortifications like locking doors or defensive means & methods like a baton, pepper spray, tazers, or martial arts.

Civilized people have to be better at violence than uncivilized people. It's just that civilized people, unlike uncivilized people, only resort to violence when necessary to confront violence.

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Voting is closed. 18

stabbymccrazypants

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Not to make light of the subject but if you put a "lil" in front of that it is quite the modern rap name haha

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Reality

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People need to be able to defend themselves from assault be it with fortifications like locking doors or defensive means & methods like a baton, pepper spray, tazers, or martial arts.

OK. But that's not something you can do casually nor without consequences. Pepper spray on a train? Why do I think that won't work out well? Martial arts? Takes time and practice to become proficient at - and as many a martial artist has told me, "The winner in a knife fight goes to the hospital; the loser goes to the morgue." It's just the nature of the beast: it's a lot easier to do harm than it is to prevent harm, to yourself and to others. So you need to understand the limitations of "defending themselves". A lot of people use that phrase and think it means that there's a low-cost, low-risk, low-effort way to prevent all harm, when in fact it means (hopefully) reducing the harm and redirecting who is harmed to some degree.

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And this is why

so many bystanders don't get involved. Asking someone to curtail their crappy behavior will typically lead the perpetrator to escalate.

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Voting is closed. 33

True.

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But it depends on the circumstance. I guy who is an apparent angry drunk, I would not engage. But if someone is talking on their cell phone in the train's quiet car, I'll engage.

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Train

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NO WAY I would ask someone to be "quiet" in the quiet car. I tried that a few times and they snapped back at me like i was in the wrong. It's better to just ask the conductor.

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Quiet Car

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Feh. I constantly tell people they're on the quiet car, and I'd say 90% of them are fine with it. Maybe an eye roll, but whatever. Honestly, I've had more attitude when I ask conductors to tell people than I get from when I talk to people myself.

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Saving the link to this story

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Saving the link to this story for the next article where somebody complains about behavior on transit and all the car driving suburban commenters are like "BUT WHY DIDN'T U JUST SAY SOMETHINGGGGGGGG TO THE OFFENDERRRR"

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Voting is closed. 21

Guy, this is what they mean

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Guy, this is what they mean by 'rock bottom' . Time to cross over and join AA combined with anger management therapy.

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Voting is closed. 8

Terror Train

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Very scary but doesn't rise to the level of the terror train in San Francisco where the BART police arrested a whack job on the train who had a chainsaw threatening to cut passengers heads off. The MBTA should have assigned an officer to ride the train to keep the peace.

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More of the same from him

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He's well known to multiple North Shore police departments, Numerous priors for theft, A&B, possession, open container; in a recent arrest he was described as "homeless."

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I was sitting right next to him

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Before he got aggressive, it was noticeable how drunk he was. He kept telling people he had a CharlieTicket for Newburyport, then was offering people nips of alcohol, and he was incessant and wouldn't stop. While the train was paused in the tunnel before the Salem station, he stood up to try to get into the vestibule of the train, and that was when the conductor ordered him to sit back down (BASICALLY DOING HIS JOB), this clown started getting aggro and another passenger and the conductor tried to get him to settle down. He had pulled out the knife earlier (I saw it peeking out of his sleeve), but had put it back in his pocket. When he was told to sit back down and not enter the vestibule for his safety, he then started brandishing the knife. At this point, the conductor acted fast and pushed him into the vestibule to keep him away from the other passengers until we got to the station. It was really scary, and I'm glad that the conductor and passenger were on their toes to protect the other people on the train. Thanks, guy who was doing his Joker makeup for speaking up! You the real MVP!

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Voting is closed. 42

Ah yes

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Mr. Monday Morning outfielder wants to tell us how it is done.

Never mind that ON A CROWDED TRAIN YOU DON'T SHOOT PEOPLE ASSHOLE

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Voting is closed. 19

How, exactly? And with what certitude?

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What exactly, is the 'self-defense' scenario that you think would have resolved more quickly and with the same lack of injury as the reported account?

(I assume the 'self-defense' you refer to is of a physical nature and initiated by the passengers?)

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Oh, you know

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The self-defense scenario, obvi. The one where a good guy with a gun pulls it on the drunk asshole, and magically defuses the situation through sheer intimidation. Definitely not the one where the passengers panic at the sight of a gun and stampede for the exit, the good guy with the gun hits an innocent bystander with his first shot, and the drunk asshole with a knife stabs the would-be-Samaritan in the face with a weapon that is much better suited for close quarters. You know. The heroic scenario, that the self-defense zealots masturbate to.

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Voting is closed. 19

Obviously he has mental health issues

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And in addition, he's homeless. He needs more than AA and anger management. Unfortunately, our public mental healthcare system is horrible. Homeless shelters, the streets, subway tunnels, under bridge and highway overpasses, abandoned buildings, jails and prisons are where many mentally ill end up.

Amd if you were in his situation, you'd probably have a lot of anger, too. He needs to be off the streets.

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Just because the guy clearly has mental health issues and is

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homeless didn't give him the right to become abusive to other passengers on the train and to threaten them with a lethal weapon (to wit, a knife). The guy in question certainly does need to be off the streets, and behind bars for awhile.

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Voting is closed. 6

Something similar to this

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Something similar to this happened to me when I was 17 on the train from Ashmont to Fields Corner. Guy was drunk,had a knife,and claimed he had a loaded .45. He carried on for about 5-7 minutes, but as soon as he started threatening specific people on the train a couple of us who didn't even know each other started whoopin his ass and left him on the floor. Someone even tried to help him after the beating only to have racial slurs thrown at them. Long story short trains always have a bit of risk when it comes to the kinds of personalities of the people on it. I'm sure there is a verrryyy small part of me that felt bad after the incident for having to hurt the guy, but I don't want to imagine what could have happened if we didn't.

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