A video featuring a man shaving on a commuter train headed out of New York City has gone viral.
Now, the man — 56-year-old Anthony Torres — is speaking out about the mockery he received as a result of the incident, and is telling the real story behind the video.
What's this video all about?
Twitter user Pete Bentivegna — who has since deleted his account — shared the video on Thursday. It quickly racked up millions of views before Bentivegna pulled the video down.
The video featured Torres shaving on the train, checking his reflection in the window periodically, and discarding the used shaving cream onto the train's floor with a flick of the razor.
Bentivegna captioned the video, "Welcome to NJ TRANSIT!!!"
You can watch the video below.
🎥 A guy was caught shaving on an @NJTransit train and we can't look away. #firstname.lastname@example.org/QeicZJcQqr
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) September 14, 2018
What was the response to the video?
Many viewers, according to NPR and WCBS-TV, mocked Torres for shaving on the train, with some of them going as far as to personally insult him. Some viewers called Torres a "slob," as well as "nasty," and an "animal."
Others, however, did show some compassion, with users noting that it was easy to judge someone without knowing what they were going through.
What is Torres' response?
Torres told The Associated Press that he was hurriedly trying to clean himself up as much as possible while on his way to his brother's home in Atco, New Jersey.
Torres had spent the last several days in a city homeless shelter, and another one of his brothers had given him money to go to the New Jersey home after he'd reached out for help.
"My life is all screwed up," he told the AP. "That's the reason I was shaving on the train."
Torres added that the video caught him at a very vulnerable moment.
“I don’t want to say that I’m homeless, let everybody know,” he added. “That’s why I was shaving.”
Torres said that he'd lived his life going from job to job, and would often move for work. He added that he'd often sleep in motels when he had the money, or bus depots when he didn't. He added that he's also had health problems over the last few years, including two strokes, and was caught off-guard when he realized that he'd been the butt of a joke on the internet.
“I never thought [the video] would go viral, people making fun of me,” he said.
What did his brother say?
Torres' brother, Atco resident Thomas Torres, said that Anthony doesn't often think things through before he does them, and said that this type of behavior was typical for his younger sibling.
"When he did what he did, that, to him, was normal," Thomas explained. "He's not that kind of person that does it because of spite or because he wants the attention."
Thomas tearfully added that when his brother showed up at his home after the train ride, he asked for a sleeping bag so that he could sleep under a bridge.
“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 said.
Thomas, 57, explained that he decided to reach out to the media with Anthony's story in hopes that it would spread awareness to people who would otherwise judge the younger Torres.
"Maybe people will have more feeling knowing what this kid's been through," Thomas concluded.
After the AP published Torres' story Tuesday, people began feeling more compassion and a GoFundMe page was set up in Anthony's name.
At the time of this writing, the fundraiser has received over $29,000 in donations. You can track its progress here.