Al Capone. Jeff Dahmer. Ted Kaczynski. All subway fare-beaters.* Put aside the fact that jumping the turnstiles is cheaper even if you're caught, and that folks from all walks of life pass through an open emergency exit every now and then. Cheating the MTA is a gateway to a life of inequity and sorrow, or so implies the Daily News' Pete Donahue, who interviewed a 17-year-old freeloader.

Donahue talks to "Alicia," who he caught doing the naughty hurdle after school in Park Slope. Why would she debase herself so? "To save the fare." A student MetroCard only provides three rides a day, and she might want to "see a friend. Maybe a movie," reasons Donahue calls "the delinquents' rationale." And what about the cops? "I knew when to hop and where to hop. I know where the police are going to be and when they're going to be there." She's ALREADY using her criminal powers of observation. Quick, get Hannibal Lecter mask!

"The cops, the MTA, they're all going to get paid whether I pay or not," Alicia says. "I could put the money I save aside into a college fund or something," though Donahue states she doesn't sound "terribly optimistic or eager at the prospect" of higher education, and she says her grades have been "flip-floppy."

As she leaves a station "with brick parapets covered in gang graffiti" (that means you're in the bad part of town?), Donahue peers into the girl's future:

A young man with glassy eyes and a red baseball cap sat on the stairwell leading to the sidewalk. He looked like he, too, was once on a roller-coaster ride, a flip-floppy roller-coaster ride, and got stuck at the bottom.

We're pretty sure that Hogarth had a woodcut about this that could have saved Donahue a good amount of ink.

*May not in fact be fare-beaters