Accosted on the subway

I had the very unpleasant experience of being accosted in the subway train on the way to work. Fortunately, I am unhurt.

Unfortunately, my phone did not fare so well.

Picture of broken phone

What happened was that I was minding my own business, sitting down on a seat after getting on the subway train and taking out my phone to watch one of the courses from The Great Courses, when suddenly this crazy person sitting on the other side lunges to grab my phone and starts yelling like crazy. I don't know what this person was on about, and I didn't and still don't care, but he threw the phone and broke it. At least it didn't hit anyone, and the encounter didn't escalate beyond a broken phone and a yelling match.

I think I dealt with the situation poorly. I either should have been calm and mostly ignored what the person was doing in favor of gathering evidence (taking photographs of the person, recording audio, etc.), or I should have treated it as a very threatening situation and physically defended myself accordingly. As it was, I ended up doing neither and could have ended up in an dangerously escalated situation without having actively defended myself. At least this was a situation where I'm glad I do not carry a gun, since in the moment I may as well have used it as the completely unprovoked attack felt very threatening and I had no reason to think it would not get much worse, but in hindsight didn't warrant anything life-threatening.

In the bigger scheme of things, the harm was marginal, but it was exciting in a bad way at the time.