"In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous."
You've undoubtedly heard those words a million times before. But did you ever think the show they precede could end up saving your life?
For one clever California woman, a solid knowledge of the television series "Law & Order" was all she needed to stop herself from being robbed.
Julie Dragland, 32, of Oakland, claims she was able to foil a devious plot against her by faking a seizure, a maneuver she learned while watching the popular show.
Dragland was riding a Dublin-bound BART train from Daly City to East Bay around 5 p.m. on Saturday when her would-be robber dropped a handwritten note in her lap, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"There are 2 guns pointed at you now," it read. "If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet (sic). Do not turn around until after you have left civic center + you will live."
At first, Dragland says she panicked and tried to mouth the words "help me" to fellow passengers.
“When I read the note, I started freaking out,” she told the Chronicle. “I did not want to give up my stuff, but I had no idea who was behind me."
After failing to enlist the help of bystanders, Dragland says she realized she would need to improvise.
Remembering a maneuver she saw on television, the would-be victim proceeded to fake a seizure.
“I probably looked very ridiculous,” she said. “I slumped sideways and started shaking and crying. I closed my eyes and increased the vigor so people would pay attention.”
"I think it had something to do with watching a lot of 'Law & Order,'" she continued. "I think I saw that in an episode. I was very impressed with myself."
After fellow passengers began gathering around Dragland to make sure she was alright, she says she continued her ruse while quietly slipping them the note so they would know not to worry about her health.
Apparently, all of the attention scared off the attacker, who Dragland believes was an older woman with a suitcase.
Although police officers checked the Civic Center stop, where the robber allegedly disembarked the train, they did not find anyone matching Dragland's description.