ST. LOUIS, MO—Following a string of incidents that have focused Americans’ attention on airline travel, the nation’s leading passenger rail provider, Amtrak, instructed security staff to randomly select a passenger and brutally beat him.
The passenger, Daniel Gardener, was on his way home to St. Louis from Houston, where he was visiting a terminally-ill family member.
According to Gardener’s attorney, the 64 year-old thrice-divorced father of seven, who is diabetic and suffers from early-stage Alzheimer’s, was pulled out of his seat by a uniformed Amtrak security officer and dragged face-down to the front of the rail car.
Before the security officer began his five-minute assault of Gardener, which left the man bloodied and unconscious, the security officer invited other passengers to get out their phones and film the savage beating. Another Amtrak employee who did not participate in the beating broadcast the event on Facebook Live.
Gardener remains hospitalized at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University where he is reportedly in a medically-induced coma. Brenda Gardener, one of the victim’s daughters, said doctors have told her that her father’s prospects for survival are currently “50-50.”
According to Amtrak spokesperson Janelle White, Amtrak had no other choice but to beat Gardener to within an inch of his life.
“We were concerned that all of the press the airlines have been receiving has had the effect of distracting consumers from the rail option,” she told Daily Bamboo. “We decided that the only way to address this was to demonstrate through our actions that our rail service can compete directly with air travel.”
After initially stating that Gardener deserved “what was coming to him” because he was sitting in the wrong seat, Amtrak’s CEO, Steve Miller, issued a heartfelt apology in which he stated, “Sometimes we forget that our passengers are made of flesh, blood and brittle bones that can be crushed. We can, must and will do better. In the meantime, please check out our specials on Amtrak.com. There are some great summer deals.”