Could you imagine if this law were in place in the New York subways and a New Yorker, rushing to work, is stopped by a cop for not holding a handrail? That confrontation would be worth videoing!

Anyone who has ridden an escalator and bothered to pay attention has seen – and likely ignored – little signs suggesting riders hold the grimy handrail.

In Montreal’s subway system, the friendly advice seems to have taken on the force of law, backed by a $100 fine.

Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn’t hold the handrail Wednesday she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined.
Ms. Kosoian, who studies at the Université du Québec à Montreal, was riding an escalator down to catch a 5:30 p.m. subway from the suburb of Laval to an evening class downtown when she started rifling through her backpack looking for a fare. Ms. Kosoian, who grew up in Georgia when it was still part of the Soviet Union, says she didn’t catch the officer’s instruction to hold the rail when he first approached.

When he told her again to hang on, she says she replied, “I don’t have three hands.” Besides, she had been sick and feared catching a new bug. That’s when the officer demanded identification so he could write her ticket, she said. Ms. Kosoian started arguing.

The officers handcuffed her and threw her into a small holding cell. The officers searched her bag and gave her a $100 ticket for failing to hold the banister and another $320 ticket for obstruction. The handcuffs bruised Ms. Kosoian’s wrists and an officer’s boot scraped skin off the top of her foot.

  1. Benjamin says:

    There are just no words.

  2. Mr. Fusion says:

    I think some policeman is about to be retrained. I really can’t see any prosecutor going through with this.

  3. highaman says:

    “Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”
    -Albert Einstein

    I guess the real question is not about the law enforcer, but about the law enforced : what’s the point of forbidding people to take the escalator without holding the ramp!?

    I take the same subway network than her on a daily basis and guess who will take next escalator with hands in the air? The problem is I will never get bothered because the officers are not from the same agency in the city subway than in the suburban stations. I can still imagine a mass protest in support of respectful laws and law enforcement. I demand freedom of not holding the F****** ramp!

  4. Buzz says:

    I certainly would never like my han to be cuffed.

  5. Improbus says:

    What happens to our society when the public loses all respect for the enforcers of the law? I know I have already reached that point. Don’t even get me started on the makers of the law.

  6. Nimby says:


  7. eaze says:

    So why the fuck was her bag searched?

  8. Patrick says:

    Yet, another lib state protecting individual rights…

  9. faxon says:

    Get your ammunition now, folks!

  10. JimR says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t taser her to death.

  11. Dave W says:

    It happened in Montreal. Perhaps when questioned by authorities, she answered in English. That would account for the treatment.

    C’est la vie.

  12. RBG says:

    Lucky woman. This should be like winning the lottery in court. Oh. Canada.


  13. Jägermeister says:

    Bienvenue à Québec, vous cochon étrangère.

  14. harold says:

    That’s why we call them pigs.

  15. sargasso says:

    Wow, tough! What do they do if you litter?

  16. Billy Bob says:

    Thank God the Nanny State is there to protect us!

  17. Peter_m says:

    I am angry and ashamed. All I can say is: FUCK!!!

  18. father time says:

    I suppose the next step is to fine men who urinate without holding their penises?

  19. Nimby says:

    # 19 father time “I suppose the next step is to fine men who urinate without holding their penises?”

    Is that possible? Sometimes I only need ONE hand but NONE?

  20. Patrick says:

    # 16 sargasso said, “Wow, tough! What do they do if you litter?”

    In Canada, the more heinous the crime, the lighter the punishment. Cut off someones head and don’t go to prison…

  21. Thom says:

    We should be allowed to shoot cops who do this crap.

  22. Mr. Fusion says:

    #21, Cow-Patty,

    Once again Cow-Patty has opened his virtual mouth to show how empty his skull is. If brains were made of dynamite, Cow-Patty wouldn’t have enough to blow his own nose.

  23. Uncle Patso says:

    Inspectors should visit the homes and offices of each and every person involved in this woman’s arrest and check that all those mattress tags are still there, all their software and music are paid for (with receipts), as well as follow them around all day for at least one day and write up every smallest infraction, including steep fines for not answering each and every “Good Morning” or “Bon jour.”

  24. Jason says:

    Given that Quebec has language police, this really does not surprise me…

  25. Patrick says:

    They keep threatening to leave Canada. They should, for the betterment of that country.

  26. ChuckM says:

    Obviously one side of the story.

    But if this is close to what happened. I hope to god the police do some re-training… this is not supposed to happen in Canada.

    I’m supposed to read this type of stuff about other countries… sigh and say thank god I live here… now I can’t.

  27. Red_Eye says:

    The entire world is a police state nowdays, there are no exceptions. The world is either run by criminals or fascist nutjobs.

  28. simon says:

    @#21 Good one =)

    It was in every local papers and on TV. So if there was another side of the story, it would have been covered also.

    It’s just sad that if I catch a cop doing the same thing, I will most likely get arrested for another obscure and sillier reason.

    There really isn’t anything we can do to punish them back for these kind of power abuse without having to go through a long and painful process. Their intervention can last less than 10 mins and you get a pricey ticket. We have to go through the justice department and get lawyers and spend time and money.


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