The family of an elderly Florida woman is furious that she was hauled off a commuter train because she was singing spirituals and are considering legal action.
The family of Emma Anderson, 82, claim she was injured by a Metro-Dade Transit security guard who they said roughly yanked her from a train seat and escorted her off the train on Feb. 20.
Anderson of Miami-Dade, was singing spiritual hymns from her train seat when a security guard asked her to stop. The security guard told Anderson that 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 told ABC News affiliate WPLG.
A passenger started recording Anderson and the guard’s interaction on his cell phone. The video shows Anderson being forcibly removed from the train.
“By what we saw on the footage, she was dragged off the train. She wasn’t escorted,” Anderson’s son, Kenny Anderson, 42, told ABC News. “She was just singing to the Lord, preaching to the Lord, and he grabbed her bag and drug her off the train.”
Kenny says the security guard pulled the bag his mother was holding so hard that she fell backwards and hurt herself.
“We took her to the hospital and they took X-rays. Doctors say she has a bruised hip and shoulder,” Anderson said.
One of the witnesses is heard on tape demanding the name of the security guard.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Transit told WPLG in a statement, “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.”
The spokesperson said singing, dancing or playing an instrument are prohibited without permit.
“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,” the statement said.
The Anderson family said they have hired an attorney and plan to pursue legal action for their mother’s injuries.