Grandma removed from Miami train for singing

Miami-Dade Transit says county rules prohibit anyone to do so without permit

Published On: Mar 07 2013 08:04:32 AM EST   Updated On: Mar 07 2013 08:04:57 AM EST
Woman on train
MIAMI-DADE, Fla. -

A 82-year-old woman was forcibly removed from a Miami-Dade Metrorail train for singing during her ride.

Emma Anderson was sitting in a seat on the train and singing a spiritual hymn when a private security guard approached.

The guard, hired by the transit system, first told the woman she was being disruptive.

"I was beating my little beads with the bottle and I was singing a song, and he came up to me and said, 'Ma'am, you're making too much noise,'" Anderson said.

A passenger recorded the exchange on his cell phone. On the video, you can see the security guard grab Anderson's bag. She clings tightly onto her bag and is ultimately pulled from her seat.

"He said, 'You gotta get off this train,'" said Anderson.

The confrontation turned dramatic as the security guard is heard telling Anderson to leave.

"He snatched so hard until I fell. I fell backwards," said Anderson.

Several witnesses said they were shocked by what they saw: an elderly woman knocked to the ground. One of the witnesses demanded the name of the security guard.

"When I look at them snatching my 82-year-old mother up off that Metrorail, it's disgusting to me", said Donald Anderson, Emma's son.

Karla Damian, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Transit released a statement about the Feb. 20 incident.

"Miami-Dade Transit has a responsibility to all its passengers to provide a safe and comfortable travel experience. The elderly passenger, Ms. Anderson, who was escorted from a Metrorail train, was initially asked by a security guard to refrain from singing loudly and playing an instrument while on the train.

She refused to comply. County rules associated with transit use prohibit anyone from singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument unless a commercial permit is issued by MDT. Further, Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard.

We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit."

View: Metrorail Passenger Rules

The Anderson family took Emma to a doctor to be checked out and came home with X-rays, in which they believe prove the incident left the grandmother with possible shoulder and hip fractures.

"They should've had another way of removing her out instead of dragging her off," said Donald Anderson.

The Andersons have filed a police report over the matter and have since hired an attorney.

Emma Anderson

--Emma Anderson