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Letter: Hostile stranger ruined train ride to Twins game

At 5 p.m. on June 19, I parked my vehicle at the Park and Ride in Big Lake, Minnesota, and boarded the Northstar Commuter Rail Line to Target Center for a 7 p.m. Twins game.

Not long after departure, a man, obviously under the influence, sat down across from me talking loudly and making comments about "f-n racist white people." I think just about everyone in the area heard these comments and I am sure he wanted everyone to hear. This man was looking for trouble and wanted people to react.

Security came through checking tickets, he made these comments in their presence. One security officer was male, the other was female. The female made the comment that she knew this man. Both officers were very condescending and made light of his comments and went on their way without addressing the fact he was obviously under the influence and belligerent.

He sat back down and continued his harassment. He would ask me a question and as I responded, he would call me a "f-ing liar and a racist" telling me he was a former boxer and 25 years old and could take care of himself.

I informed him that I was not a white racist, that I was Native American. He again called me a "f-ing liar" and said I was too light to be a 'f-ing' Indian. He again got out of his seat, flexed his muscles and wanted to fight. I informed him that I did not invite him to sit down across from me and insult me, that maybe he should leave. He got angrier when I refused to let him intimidate me and this continued until we reached Target Field.

As I left the train I noticed he was again talking with the two security officers. I informed the conductor of what had occurred. He didn't seem too concerned.

Other people in the car attempted to reach the Northstar Rail by phone to inform them of what was occurring and received no response. I am a 76-year-old man with a brace on my arm from a recent break and this man chose me to try to intimidate. What a man! I will wager that if I had chosen to get physical with him I would have been the one in jail. If you ride the light rail, know that you may not be safe.—Ed Smith, Detroit Lakes

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