A man has spoken out after being widely mocked by blogs and social media users for shaving on a train.
Anthony Torres departed New York City on a New Jersey transit train to see his brother, about an hour’s ride away.
Another train passenger filmed Torres shaving on the train, with the caption: “Welcome to NJ Transit!”
The footage was shared across Twitter and other social media platforms, with many mocking Torres, calling him a “slob” and an “animal.” The footage received millions of views. A second video showed Torres after shaving with a beer in his hand. The videos were later taken down.
Torres responded to the video footage, telling The Associated Press (AP) that people shouldn’t judge him without knowing his life story.
The 56-year-old said he was shaving in an attempt to clean up after spending multiple days at a homeless shelter.
“My life is all screwed up. That’s the reason I was shaving on the train,” he said.
Torres said he was in a bad spot and reached out to his family for help; his brother paid for the train ticket, which he was using to get to another brother in southern Jersey.
“I mean I lived in a homeless shelter and I was like man where am I going to shave,” Torres told WTXF. “I wanted to look presentable. I hate going around looking like a bum.”
Thomas Torres, 57, the brother who Torres was traveling to, told the AP that his brother has had a hard life. After they grew up poor on a farm in Jersey, Anthony Torres worked a number of jobs to get by, including a casino security guard. Along the way, he’s sometimes slept in motel rooms or bus depots.
Anthony Torres has also suffered two strokes in the past two years.
Endured a Lot
Thomas Torres said his brother isn’t good with money and that he’s endured a lot over the years.
“For so many years, he’s lived this way and I feel sorry for him. It’s hard to see the life that he’s lived,” Thomas Torres said. He hopes the new insight into his brother’s struggles will cause people to think twice before judging strangers.
“Maybe people will have more feeling knowing what this kid’s been through,” he said. He added to WTXF: “You really shouldn’t judge people for their character because you don’t know their character. You don’t know their life.”
Meanwhile, a Washington man started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Anthony Torres, which raised over $31,000 in 24 hours.
“Anthony Torres was mocked online after he was recorded shaving at his seat on a commuter train headed out of New York City. He was just trying to clean up after days spent in a homeless shelter,” wrote Jordan Uhl. “We are trying to raise money for Anthony to help him get back on his feet.”