CTA Tattler reader Celeste remind riders to be watchful and smart about smartphones. Here is her story:
I thought I would send you a tip (and get an upsetting experience off my chest!). I was coming up the side staircase to the Ashland Green line stop, when I noticed a teenage boy coming up fast behind me who had been across the street just a moment before. I tried to quickly swipe my Ventra card and go through the turnstile but the gate didn't budge (darn Ventra glitches!).
The guy was right behind me at that point, trying to jump through the turnstile behind me? Anyway I backed up and told him to go ahead of me. He blankly stared at me with his hands in his pockets and just kept asking me "do you know what time it is? Do you have your phone?"
With my cell phone zipped up in my bag, I simply told him "it's almost 8." I asked him to scan his pass so I could go through, since he was blocking me from the gate, but he wouldn't move. When he started moving his right hand in his pocket like he had something (I'm saying something because even his fist was enough to make me run), I started shouting for him to leave me alone and he finally backed down. I quickly swiped my card and bolted through the gate to report it to the CTA rep.
I could have run down the stairs but I was scared he could have had friends around waiting on the street.
Anyway just a tip to your readers, NEVER take your phone out even if someone is asking for a favor, unless you feel 100% safe in your surroundings.
Thanks for writing Celeste!