After Rochester sisters, 85 and 95, get booted off Amtrak train, another customer claims mistreatment
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – There is tremendous support for the local sisters who got removed from an Amtrak train 500 miles from home. That’s the story News10NBC shared with you last night.
Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean has heard from a man who says he got the same treatment.
The man didn’t get the police called on him or threatened with jail like the sisters did, but when he watched their story and how it began it sounded familiar.
“What they went through, particularly women that could be my grandmother or my aunt, that’s horrifying,” says Amtrak customer, Mario Cimino.
Cimino watched the story of Mary Scherzi and Angie Capone from his home outside Philly.
The sisters from Gates and Spencerport were coming back on an overnight Amtrak train from New Orleans. The next morning, they started playing cards on a table in the train’s club car. They say a conductor told them that wasn’t allowed and ordered them back to their sleeper car.
Mary says she was accused of being drunk and belligerent and it escalated to the point where police came on the train when it arrived in Charlottesville, Va. with an ultimatum.
“Quote and unquote – either get off the train or you’re going to jail,” tells Mary.
Cimino says on an Amtrak train outside Charlottesville last June, he was removed from the club car when he was eating lunch.
“I was told that, I guess because I had my computer with me, I wasn’t allowed to set up shop in there,” says Cimino. “And I was just nonplussed into what that meant. This shouldn’t happen to anybody. For it to happen to 85 and 95 year old sisters is incredible.”
To avoid jail, Mary and Angie left their train and had to find another way home. Charlottsville Police haven’t answered a single email from me. News10NBC requested their body camera video.
Amtrak says it doesn’t comment on customer complaints.
“My objective is a little tough love for Amtrak to try to get them to take these issues seriously and rethink their training and rethink their manuals and have them be consistent across the system,” says Cimino.
In a letter to Mary, Charlottesville police said it’s investigating what happened to her. Amtrak says it has the authority to remove passengers for disruptive behavior.