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Have you ever been in a stressful situation and thought to yourself, "I wonder what Mariska Hargitay would do right now?" That is exactly what one 32-year-old Oakland resident did when her life was threatened while on the train.
Julie Dragland was riding San Francisco's BART train last weekend when someone standing behind her handed her a note that claimed there were two guns pointed at her.
“There are 2 guns pointed at you now,” the note read in red ink. “If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet [sic]. Do not turn around until after you have left civic center + you will live.”
“When I read the note, I started freaking out,” Dragland told the SF Chronicle on Sunday. “I did not want to give up my stuff, but I had no idea who was behind me.”
After failing to get the attention of nearby passengers -- she tried to mouth "help me" to a man standing close to her -- Dragland realized she would have to improvise.
“I probably looked very ridiculous,” she said. “I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigor so people would pay attention.”
Thankfully, a couple standing nearby came over to her and asked if she was OK. She then handed the couple the note while continuing her ruse, so as to not put them in danger as well. She suspects that the would-be mugger got off at the next stop.
“The victim was not sure who handed her the note, and did not see anyone with a weapon,” police wrote in a summary of the incident.
How did Dragland come up with the idea of faking a seizure? Television, of course.
“I think it had something to do with watching a lot of ‘Law & Order,’" she said. "I think I saw that in an episode. I was very impressed with myself.”