Woman fakes seizure to thwart would-be robber in move learned from 'Law & Order'

by: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

A California woman feigned having a seizure Friday after she was handed a threatening note while riding a train in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to multiple reports.

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Julie Dragland told SFGate.com that she got the idea to fake a seizure from the long-running “Law & Order” TV series.

“I think I saw that in an episode,” she told the news site. “I was very impressed with myself.”

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Dragland told KNTV that she got on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train Friday at the Daly City station, south of San Francisco, bound for her home across the bay in Dublin. She said a person wearing dark clothing got on the train as it passed through downtown San Francisco and handed her a threatening note.

“There are 2 guns pointed at you now,” the note said. “If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet. Do not turn around until you have left Civic Center + you will live.”

Dragland told KPIX that instead of complying with her would-be robber, she decided to create a scene.

“I was terrified and then I started to be like, is somebody really going to shoot someone for a phone and a wallet? I don’t know. I started to question it a little bit, but I was still really scared,” Dragland told the news station. “I started (slumping) over to the left and started shaking, and people started to notice and they’re like, ‘Are you okay? Are you okay?'”

Dragland said that she believes the person who handed her the note, who she described as an older woman with a suitcase, slipped off the train at the next stop amid the confusion of her feigned seizure. 

BART police said they are reviewing security video from the train in an effort to identify the would-be robber, although Dragland told SFGate.com that she did not plan to press charges if the person is identified.

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