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Woman racially abused as fellow passengers watched

FEELING EMPOWERED: Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid was inundated with supportive messages after her ordeal

A MAN who allegedly racially assaulted a fellow passenger has turned himself in to police after a social media report of the incident went viral.

Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid, 21, was left in tears following the encounter with the “normal-looking business person” on Wednesday, September 17, in which the man called her a ‘f**king n***er’ while members of the public looked on.

The incident occurred when the digital marketing executive got into the lift at Regent’s Park Tube station as she made her way to work in the morning rush hour.

She said: “The lift was packed so I felt there was no way anyone else would be able to squeeze in. All of a sudden I felt two hands shove me forward. I politely asked the man not to push me. He continued to kind of rock backwards and forwards as if to make more room for himself, but there was no space. Again, I asked him not to push me.

“When the lift opened, I tried to move as far away from him as I could. As I tapped out through the barriers, he kicked me on my shin. It wasn’t hard, but I was taken aback. Pushing me in the lift could be explained, maybe, but there was no excuse for this.

“That’s when I said something to him like, ‘What’s your problem?’ And he shouted back, ‘You’re my problem. You ‘f**king n***er!’”


Choudhury-Reid said that the comment was made within earshot of fellow commuters and Transport for London (TfL) officials, but no one intervened or even asked if she was ok.

She continued: “I was in total disbelief that a word like that could slip so easily from someone’s mouth and not a single person reacted to it as if it was completely normal. He continued to shout abuse behind me and it was when I got outside that I burst into tears.”

When she got to work, the traumatised young woman was encouraged to report the incident.

SEARCH: This image was released by transport police

“I thought there was no point, but my boss said that if even if the man was never caught, the incident would be reported and people would know things like this happen,” she said.

The model and blogger also wrote about the incident on her Twitter account and was overwhelmed with messages of support and stories from young women who had had similar experiences.

“It was the support I got that really empowered me,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it was so common; that young women had far worse stories than mine of being abused physically and verbally without anyone stepping in. It makes you think how far something like this would go before someone would intervene? Some people said that it’s just the way that it is, but it’s not. No one should accept this.”

Choudhury-Reid praised the British Transport Police (BTP) for their support.

The BTP issued an appeal with a CCTV image of the accused man. When she tweeted the link, it was reposted nearly 3,000 times.

Two days after the incident, the man turned himself in. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now decide whether or not to prosecute.

The west Londoner added: “I hope because of the publicity this story has attracted, people will think twice before they ignore an incident like this.

“I’m pleased that the man handed himself in, which perhaps shows that he knows he was wrong. If he apologised, I would accept it. I don’t know his situation or what environment he was brought up in that he felt that word was ok. Everyone makes mistakes, so I don’t want to ruin his life. Having his face plastered over the news is punishment enough for me. I just hope he learns a lesson.”

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