A New York City subway passenger is earning the attention of both social media users and city officials over their "sociopathic" method of protecting their personal space.
The unusual incident made its way to the public on Friday, Feb. 7 when CNN journalist Pervaiz Shallwani shared a photo from his morning commute on Twitter. Shallwani wrote that the image was taken on the city’s A train line.
"A straphanger in morning A train pulled a bottle of ketchup from his bag and squirted a perimeter on the train car floor to keep folks from crowding his seat. Props to the woman seated next to him who is not going to give up her seat," Shallwani wrote.
A straphanger in morning A train pulled a bottle of ketchup from his bag and squirted a perimeter on the train car floor to keep folks from crowding his seat. Props to the woman seated next to him who is not going to give up her seat. #MTApic.twitter.com/efuc1YHoAX
— Pervaiz Shallwani (@Pervaizistan) February 7, 2020
Shallwani’s photo, which did not show the alleged culprit himself, showed several lines of ketchup spread across the train’s floor. The tweet quickly got the attention of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), who promised to investigate.
Thanks for letting us know. We'll ask our maintenance team to clean this up ASAP. ^TS
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) February 7, 2020
The MTA clearly took the situation seriously, as both littering and "seat obstruction" — preventing others from accessing available seats — are against the subway’s code of conduct.
Twitter users, however, had mixed reactions. Some found the alleged ketchup squirting to be humorous, while others were far more critical.
"That’s some sociopathic ish right there," one user wrote.
"Should be banned 4 life!!" another added.
"Why didn’t u get a pic of him & submit it 2cops, or mta? Screw this guy," another user asked.
It’s unclear whether the MTA was able to follow up beyond cleaning the train, but the passenger’s alleged behavior does violate numerous city rules. "Seat obstruction" is punishable with a $50 fine, while littering — which includes "dumbing garbage or liquids" — results in a $100 fine.