A California woman suddenly found herself in a dangerous situation when a threatening note landed in her lap, telling her that "two guns" were pointed at her and she would need to hand over her belongings if she wanted to live. To escape, she faked a seizure.
Julie Dragland, 32, was riding a BART train through San Francisco to her destination in the East Bay when she was handed a note from an unseen culprit. The handwritten note demanded that Dragland hand over her cellphone and wallet in a discreet manner and without turning around, according to SFGate.
Dragland said her usual approach to a mugging would be careful cooperation and to avoid any sort of confrontation.
"When I read the note, I started freaking out,” she said after the ordeal, remembering the chain of events. "I did not want to give up my stuff, but I had no idea who was behind me."
As Dragland was handed the note, she tried to get the attention of a man sitting across from her, mouthing "help me" several times. The man did not notice, and when he got off the train Dragland felt it was time for a more drastic measure.
"So I ... if I fake a seizure or fake like I’m passing out, I’m not even not complying,” she told KPIX. "I’m scared and reacting so, I started slumped over to the left and started shaking and people started to notice and they’re like, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?'"
Dragland said the scene she caused may have driven the mugger away, noting that the person she thought was responsible got off the train at the next stop.
She described the would-be mugger as an older white woman carrying a suitcase. Transportation police were not able to find anyone matching Dragland's description but are continuing their investigation. Dragland said if police do manage to find the suspect, she does not plan to press charges.
"I probably looked very ridiculous,” she told SFGate. "I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigor so people would pay attention."
Dragland said she got the idea from an episode of "Law & Order," a popular procedural crime drama that aired on NBC from 1990-2010.
She also said she plans to avoid train seats that have their backs to riders behind them, but won't stop taking public transportation, according to KNTV.