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December 8th, 2009
09:06 AM ET

Would you chase after your runaway purse?

Have you seen this video?

A woman whose purse was stuck in the door of a Boston subway train was pulled along the platform as the train left the station. She was injured when she hit a wall, and the train attendant was fired.

The story got us thinking.

Women, if your purse was stuck in a similar way (or guys, your “man bag”), would you hang on and risk injury or worse, or would you just let it go? Would you become a bounty hunter for your purse?

soundoff (65 Responses)

    I would rather let it go, and later I will file a law suite against Subway

    December 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  2. traveling rose

    Heidi she is not holding onto her bag. It looks like she is trying to pull it out. I would probably do the same.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  3. Victor

    Heidi, I would definitely use my man strength to yank my "man bag" out, or just let go! LOL

    December 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  4. Rod Legg

    You gotta let go of the purse to pick up the baseball bat which you will need to hit the train employee who ok'ed the shutting of the doors....

    December 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  5. Alexa

    Let the purse go! My life is the most irreplaceable "thing" I own.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  6. April R

    It depends....if it is my Coach, Chanel or Kate Spade purse, then it would be worth the pursuit. Otherwise, I can always purchase another purse and cancel the credit cards.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  7. Mort Meisner, Huntington Woods, Michigan

    If I carried a "man bag" I would definitely let it go. After all, how difficult is it to get all of your credit cards, identification, checkbook and money replaced?

    On second thought, I would take my chances and "go for a drag". 🙂


    December 8, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  8. Vince Tumbarello

    If the purse is so extremely valuable, why wasn't it the first thing she pulled out of the subway car. I have a feeling she didn't think ahead to the possibility of her purse getting caught in the door, or running into a wall eventually. Now her failure becomes an opportunity to claim a law suit against the transit authority. What a wonderful country we live in.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  9. Tom Ifyp

    1) I had this happen to my Man Purse on the MARTA.
    2) I lost my wallet, keys, iphone, and actuarial manuals.
    3) ????
    4) Profit.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  10. Michael

    If I were trying to board a subway train and were carrying some luggage with me or whatnot, I would definitely attempt to get my hands back on it and run the risk of being injured to do so! Unfortunately, I would imagine that peoples purses get caught in the doors almost on a daily schedule.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  11. Rory Welper

    I was stunned to watch this woman stand half way into the train car. i would be reluctant to charge the train operator/conductor for dangerous behaviour and very poor judgement on this woman's part. There are consequences for stupidity and this video makes clear those consequences. To think that she will likely file a lawsuit on this basis is disturbing.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  12. Sandra T. (Virginia)

    She should have let the bag go! She could have been seriously injury holding on to the bag. I worked for Baltimore subway and I can not tell you how many times I have watched passengers do the exact same thing. Passengers will throw their briefcases or bags into the door as it's closing, in an attempt to stop the doors. Once the door close and trap the bag they tried to put it out and find themselves running with the train. At the end of the platform ther is normally a concrete divider and if you collide withit you are going to be injuried. Yes, the operator should have watched his door until they were complete closed and clear before proceeding. However, passenger need to know this type of action on their part is very dangerous.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  13. theresa m fantazzo

    this woman is considering a lawsuit?..i think she should consider seeking therapy!..take the responsibility of your actions, lady and use a smaller don't need to carry a bag that's large enough to tote "the kitchen sink", ca-ching, hear that cash register ring!..YA MADE A BAD DECISION!

    December 8, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  14. Charles Leon

    Am a little shocked about how this woman endangered her life for just a purse. Well, I do understand that perhaps she may have had something very important in that purse,but I don't think it was necessary for her to have put her life in such a danger. What I would do in such a situation,is to let the "purse or " bag" go rather than trying to kill myself, and that's what I think this woman should have done. Now, listen to this: what if you loose your life, would you still have access to your purse or bag?

    December 8, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  15. DeeDee

    If it was a Gucci,Fendi or Lui V purse I would of held on with dear life!

    December 8, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  16. lifeasatrucker

    I may not be in tuned with how these trains operate so if this response is off base just delete it. Thanks

    From the report with my limited knowledge of train operation. How is anyone at fault.

    Did the train operator leave early or something the reason he got fired?

    I just assumed that a person is to observe the timing and get clear of the door in time. I also assumed that when the door close it would close kind of like an elevator door meaning that you could force it open in case you got caught. If that is true how is it the operator's fault if the door didn't open up to let the lady pull the bag out?

    As far trying to get it back, I think i would have pretty much done as she did, if I were a woman. (try to pull it out as long as i could)

    The more general and important point I have though whether my assumptions about this particular case or not is something I have been wanting to voice for a while.....

    People need to stop thinking that life is fair and that someone is to blame for everything that happens to us. I am not even talking about those things that we bring on ourselves and then assign blame to someone else for our circumstances.

    I am simply talking about the fact that things happen in life that is just a result of a misfortune, misunderstanding, or even bad timing. When people understand this they can live better without feeling like a victim and looking for someone to blame for everything that happens to us.

    Thank you

    By the way, I wish the lady the best of luck in recovery and I hope she got here bag.

    This post is really not about her, it's about life.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  17. Rayginna

    At the consequence of possibly losing my life... DUH! that's a "no brainer" situation. LET GO!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  18. shauna Jay

    What was she thinking??!! The exact type of person who would swerve to miss hitting a squirrel, crashing into a tree... Just plain DUMB...

    December 8, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  19. Dave

    I don't own a man bag, but if it were any type of bag with my wallet or phone in it I would have slammed into that wall as well, but a lawsuit? You can only blame yourself for holding onto the bag and slamming into the wall.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  20. James

    Definitely time to let go. By the way, the fact that someone actually lost their job over this lady's stupidity is terrible.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  21. Tony

    It's the attendants fault for shutting the door, it's the lady's fault for holding on. Let it go lady, just let it go.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  22. James Steuding

    Well, I cant tel from the video...but if the woman had her purse on a strap over her houlder...safty people hav told women for years not to carry a purse like that. If the woman was holding the purse in her hand...gosh Heidi...she why he heck didnt she plain...let....go?

    December 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  23. Keith R

    I would do what that woman did, maybe let go sooner, I don't know. It's too bad people got hurt, lost employment, etc. I would not sue unless there really was negligence. – You're so cute!!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  24. E

    It looks like she missed this train and should have waited for the next one. This is no different than the people that put themselves at risk trying to catch an elevator. And why was attendant fired?

    December 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  25. joe

    I guess your first reaction is too hold on,but the bigger question is why does the train move with something stuck in the doors? I know the subway trains in toronto, ont. will reopen if something is stuck in the doors, could of been a childs arm stuck in the door then what??

    December 8, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  26. Ronnie

    she was probably like any other woman , taking her time getting on!!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  27. Tony Hinds

    Same thing happened to me with my briefcase. I was livid because the Philadelphia subwayman did not stop the train until I had run the entire length of the platfom.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  28. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    Heidi, you're a hottie! Seriously, I don't care what kind of bag it was, or what it had in it, I would have let the darn thing go! Second, I would stop spending so much money on a worthless bag. Third, I would seriously think about carrying a "wallet". Suing the subway is frivolous, and quixotic. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  29. Orlando G.

    The only way I would run after a bag stuck like that is if there was more than $1,000 in cash. I bet the lady that got the bag stuck was trying to force her way in the train after the doors was closing, I see many people do that in my cities subway. (Philadelphia)

    December 8, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  30. david newsson

    yes i would have tried to retrieve my man bag and very proud of it there are men who would rather carry a man bag then have things in my pockets make your clothes look messy.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  31. Subway Ed

    As a Subway Conductor in NYC I see plenty of Stupid Things people do,each and every day, just to get "THAT TRAIN". There are other trains following one, ya know, but they have to have that one! Believe me... that woman now knows that it's worth the wait to wait for the next train. BTW did you notice that the Train Operator was 2 cars ahead of her – the T/o was of no help because his just is to "proceed on Signal" so the responsiblity falls upon the train Conductor. Also, it's pretty obvious she was "shopping" for a better seat.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  32. Denise Coleman

    She should have let go because it's not worth losing your life over a purse. And the employees ended up getting in trouble for it which I think is wrong because this incident could have been avoided if she would have let go of her purse.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  33. Shirley

    Hedi, I would have let the bag go, now of course once the bag was lodged in the door and the train started to move I would have tried to pull my bag from the door but once that train start picking up speed i would have let it go.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  34. bbcgrrrl

    I've been on subways all over the world. I've seen some pretty stupid moves by passengers and operators, but nothing like this. I can't believe this woman is considering suing! If the train is in motion, LET IT GO! Yes, the train attendant should have been fired. But that does NOT excuse this woman's utter stupidity! It's not like she was caught up in the strap. She CHOSE to hang on, risking injury or death. She missed being a candidate for the Darwin Awards, by thismuch! Sadly, our gene pool remains polluted.....

    December 8, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  35. Subway Ed

    Another point – While the Mass Bay Transit uses a newer type of subway car with doors that send a signal to the conductor that all the doors are closed, it's still the job of the Conductor to inspect that no person or thing is hanging outside the doors of the train. I didn't see the Conductor "looking" – but the tape was shorten for the broadcast.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  36. Emily

    Aren't there more important things going on in the world besides this woman holding on to her purse???

    December 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  37. Cathy

    Just don't try to squeeze onto a train when the doors are closing!!! There is always another train!

    And if you value your handbag (arm, leg, whatever) don't stick it in the door before the rest of you. The same rule applies to elevators, by the way.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  38. Phil

    I think the real issue is being missed......Why is there not a safety feature in the trains that stop them from leaving the platform if the doors are nor fully closed or something is within contact of the outer door?

    December 8, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  39. Carol

    OMG there is NO way I would plant my face into a wall for a purse!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  40. Austin

    This woman was trying to board the train late, and holding up other passengers. She should've waited for the next train, but instead she decided to disregard the multiple warnings and stupidly shoved her purse through the door. All oweness is on her.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  41. David in Cincinnati

    She should sue so as to correct a problem with the train. The train should not have been able to move, because a person could have been caught.

    Once I was on a train when a girl somehow caught her foot in the door about 3 feet above the ground when the train was about to leave the station. All of her was dangling outside, except for her foot. At the last moment I was able to kick her shoe, freeing her.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  42. David Thornton

    I would have hung on like crazy. I just would have just let go a little sooner. I'm not that crazy.

    dave – Ontario Canda

    December 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  43. violet

    that actually happened to me while in Berlin, and no, didnt let go of my purse, some good people in train forced the doors open. i wasnt planning to let go of the purse, i was praying to God a miracle happens and it did!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  44. William

    After you lose your purse holding on to it, and slam into the concrete wall and see how disfigured you are for life,(after coming out of ICU) you'll then learn how important the handbag was.


    December 8, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  45. ROGER

    I am a man and i wouldn't have a man bag? But if by chance a wife made me wear one. I would try to save it ? because the beating I would get for losing it. may be worse than hitting a steel beam...

    December 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  46. Fatou

    i would let go. I don't wanna risk being killed , my life is irreplaceable. the purse i can always replace what ever is in d puse and canccel my credit cards

    December 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  47. Reggie

    Maybe she could not let go and was dragged. If possible I would let it go, material things can be replaced. Regardless someone should be fired for not making sure the platform was clear.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  48. Khisaun Ferguson

    As an avid "man-bag" carrier I would consider two things: what was in the bag and two if the bag itself was worth it. I would definitely chase after my Gucci messenger bag for a few steps but not to the point that I am at a full sprint and I risk running into a wall like a cartoon character.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  49. William

    Phil............if they had a safety device like that, the train would never get to leave the station.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  50. Barbara

    I would say not and common sense would tell you otherwise...but it is the spontaneous things we do and reactions that we have that takes over. I once had my purse stolen at night in the rain in Wash, DC and what do I do? I chase the guy! Me?!

    So you never know......

    And no, I didn't catch him.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  51. Ola

    Yes I will run for a Sec to see if it will be possible to Free my Bag, but irrespect of what Brand it is LV, Gucci even Hermes or its contents, name it, I will let go and wouldn't wait to be slammed to a wall and risk being dead or coming out alive as a Vegetable. My life is too important to end that way.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  52. SHELAH, North Dakota

    YES, I would definitely chase after it, and approximately the same distance she did. Unlike most people with the security of family to come to their rescue my purse is my life line, in it is everything I need to help me survive in the world as I struggle outside of my home on a daily basis. Some things cannot be replaced. Perhaps she felt this please let us think twice before we think about what is worth a life threatening moment, Thank You.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  53. Bella Mia

    I would run after it, in the heat of the moment, my whole life is in my purse!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  54. James N. Tabb Jr.

    Good morning Heidi! Merry Christmas from Chi-Town. In regards to the purse dealy bop. If I were her, I would have let it fly and say goodbye. I believe woman put the wrong things in their purses, namely, the important things like Id's, money, and their wallets. I would bury those items in a deep pocket in my coat, that way, when descision time comes, you can make a quick safe one. Muggers and trains have a big appetite for loose hanging bags. One of three confluences came into play here. One, her father (supposing she had one in her life, failed to teach her well about such matters. Two, she does'nt have a loveing man in her life. Three, her husband has not tended to these matters of safety. In any case, I feel bad for her. In my case, the woman that I love so dear, gets my undivided attention regarding any matters of safety. I want her to come home to me! She works very hard and so do I. We help each other in all ways of life. It's a nurturing love that that will always guarantee her safety. The warmth I feel in my home is something that is more valuable than all the money in the world. It is my greatest asset and I make it my business to protect that. Without that, I would not be the man I am. I could not bear to lose that. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. It's time for the snowblower!

    December 8, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  55. Fabadu

    I'm not even going to lie. My first instinct would be to hold onto my bag and attempt to retrieve it forcefully. Eventually I would have let go if the train continued to pick up speed.

    December 8, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  56. Will

    I've ridden on subways and I can't tell you how annoying it is to have someone like that use their personal belongings to stop the doors from closing completely just so they can get onto that train and not have to wait for the next one. It's the same attitude as someone trying to make a railroad crossing and drive under the gate-arms as they are coming down. i can't honestly say that I would hold onto a bag that had gotten caght between the doors because I'm not stupid enough to use my personal belongings to take that kind of risk. I've studied risk management and people like that should consider the risk to themselves and their property before making that kind of conscious decision.

    December 8, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  57. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This gives new meaning to big city purse snatching except this event is to laugh for.

    December 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  58. Mari

    The purse could have been a Child !!! This lady was obviously considering boarding and there must not have been enough room.
    What if she had been holding a child's hand and the DOORS closed on the childs arm ???

    Must get all the facts but definitely there was carelessness on the transit system employees or method of conducting boarding.

    December 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  59. Tom Wasson

    I'm sure most people would release their grip if they had time to think about it. Unfortunately the events happen so quickly your mind doesn't have time to react. I had an similar experience when I was a boy stacking hay on a truck. The automatic hydraulic loader would take hold of the bale in the field, elevate it to the top of your load and if it had free space underneath it would release the bale. You could hear it release. I heard it click and sunk my hay hooks into the bale. It did not release the bale and catapulted me off the truck. All I needed to do was release my grip on the hay hooks, but your mind does not have time to send that message.

    December 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  60. David

    Let go of the purse, she's got someone at home who loves her and would like to have her back safe and sound.

    Thank you for airing this, don't they have a signal that tells the conductor or engineer when one of the doors is not coming closed?

    At the beginning of the video it looks like she's struggling with the door. Is she trying to get on the train, pull the doors open, or is she trying to get off the train but the doors have closed on her handbag? It looks like she gets bumped from behind by another passenger or was he rushing up close to try to help her? What is the object at the edge of the platform that she bumps into? Is that supposed to be there? Who gives the all clear, someone on the train or in the station? Does the person driving the train have a video display showing whats going on on the platform? Is the train driver supposed to check personally how things look on the platform, if any passenger are trying to get on or off the train or are near the train, before starting the train? Was it just her handbag that was caught or was she caught, her hand or arm, or her coat? It looks like there something stuck in the door when she gets loose is that a piece of her handbag or what is it? Is it something else, not a part of her handbag that is stuck in between the doors? What is the sequence of things the train driver is doing? What are we seeing there? How many people are supposed to check the platform before the train goes in motion?

    December 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  61. desi

    depends whats inside..

    December 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  62. Maria Mercer

    You have only one life ,you can have many purses in your life time ...I would let the purse go maybe someone will tell this idiot driver to stop and get the purse back to this lady witch is not too smart...she can easily get killed just because a purse ,she is lucky ....
    I know someone very rich who was mugged and robbed ,he fought and got murderer the watch was expensive the robber got the watch .This guy can have many of those expensive but choose to fight and loose his life over something so insignificant ,is what I said in only one LIFE!

    December 9, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  63. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This lady evedently left her cell phone in her purse.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  64. Sabina

    How are the numbers of H1N1 patients calculated? There must be many people like myself who believe to have had the virus but did not visit a doctor. How accurate are these numbers?

    December 11, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  65. charles

    safety is the most important issue in rail safety. This wouldnt have happened if they would keep conductors on the train. Saving money is metopolis main goal so they remove conductors form the trains. Conductors are the train operators eyes and ears. I guess saving them some money is worth a couple of lives

    December 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |