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A woman saw a man masturbating on the subway, snapped his pic, and took it to the police. Problem solved, right? Not at all. They told her to submit it to 311, the city’s information hotline. Considering that according to a 2007 report, 10% of riders are assaulted and only 14% ever report it, this news is no less than tragic. This woman took a leap of faith, only to be shot down. How are we ever supposed to end harassment and assault on the subways if the authorities are insistent on pretending it doesn’t matter?
From the Metro New York:
“It’s an ongoing problem of the police showing insensitivity to harassment, lewdness and violence against women on subways,” said Emily May, co-founder of Hollaback NYC, which encourages people to post images of their harassers. “It discourages women from reporting.”
Kudos to the woman who took the picture and filed the complaint. The city needs more heroines like her. As for the police, better protocols and some sensitivity training are in order.
I was waiting for the train in a mostly empty station at 2:30 AM on 8/1/09. Soon a man walked down the stairs. I glanced up at him and looked back down at my game. About 5 minutes later, I looked up again and saw that he was staring at me and masturbating on to the track. I was so freaked out that I didn’t say anything or take a picture. I just ran to the other side of the station. People walked down to the track soon after and he ran away. He looked pretty unremarkable. White tank top, blue jeans, fair complexion, and dark hair.
Submitted by Aria
He sat next to me on D Train in Brooklyn and masturbated. I got up and sat across from him to take a picture. I got off the train and with help from transit workers got the police. I gave a report of the incident and emailed pictures later in day. This perv smelled like homeless man but looked clean cut.
Submitted via SMS.
July 16th. Sat in the park on the grass. Man came up and sat behind me and pulled his penis out and stared at me. I responded by yelling at him and leaving.
July 16th. Going into my apartment, man blocked my path and asked me if I was looking to get pregnant tonight. I told him, “No, I’m looking to walk down the street with some amount of dignity. Do you have a problem with that?” Man responded that “Obama is president.” I responded, “ Say something to me when a black woman is president. And then I ranted about rape and harassment. “ Man responded, “I wasn’t trying to start a rap off, I was just playing, sorry. “ Friends stood laughing looking kind of surprised at me.”
July 17th: Man followed me around the good will licking his lips at me. I finally turned to him and yelled “ What?” He did not respond but gave one last gross lip licking look up and down and then left.
July 18th: I sat with a friend at a table outside a café eating a salad. An older Russian man with a cane walked by and stopped in front of my table. He turned to face me, pointed at me then to himself and in broken English said, “ You like to me. I like to you.” I did not respond in anyway. He repeated himself once, louder, and pointed to me and himself again, in case I did not understand. I still did not respond. Then he smiled and waived and kept walking. (I admit, this is not really “sexual harassment.” This is just odd.)
July 19th. Walking down the street. Young man clicks his tongue at me like I am a small animal, says in a very sexual voice, come here cuttie, holds his hand out as I pass in front of him repeating, come here, come here, come here sexy, in high pitched tones…like I am a small animal.
Submitted by Chavisa
This guy was attempting a jerking session to this topless woman on the beach. She was totally oblivious. The guy kept looking at me nervously, saw me taking pictures, and then left. When he got up his shorts on one side were crunched up to his crotch area.
Submitted by Kismet
Yesterday, a guy who looks nerdy in sweatpants was staring from across on the N-train, sitting forward and trying to look up my dress while I’m sitting. My guess is he was jerking off because sometimes he would cross his legs and put his hand in his pocket trying to find his little thing. He was shaking his body, looking at me up and down, and moving his eyes away when I looked at his nasty ugly face. I’m glad there were other people on the train because I don’t know he might have flashed me.
Submitted by Sabrina
I want to tell you about a disturbing trip on the D line I had the other night. It was really scary. I was coming back from school. As usual I climbed aboard a jam packed train and had to squeeze in front of some people to grab a handle. As I grab a handle I noticed that this guy slid right in behind me and grabbed the same handle. Let me tell you there was no where AT ALL for me to move and I think he knew that.
He was looking at me like a piece of meat looking right at my tits and at my crotch…So he immediately pushes his crotch against my butt. Which has happened to me before…..do they think I am just there for their pleasure??? This guy was all in my business though. Im like 15 and he was at least 30 and strong enough to push me against the other people so I couldn’t move.
This is when it gets worst though. I KNOW he actually pulled out his penis because I the thing poking and literally throbbing as he was grind up on me. The whole time his face was like 1 inch from me. I really felt scared. BUT yes this guy really did it. I think it was him. But a hand started rubbing my crotch too like really rubbing it.. I was too scared to even look back and it could have been someone else too. I heard him sayin stuff like you little rich bitch, do you like you ass fucked? you like you little pussy licked? It was SOOO tight I couldn’t go anywhere.
Anyway he kept going then all the sudden pushed really hard and stopped. Just then he got off the train quickly and I never even really got a chance to see his face. However he did leave a disgusting wad of something on my jeans. I don’t know if it was spit or I HOPE not what I think it was. I have had guys like stare at me and stuff but this was tooo much. I am actually taking the bus for a while…. I was totally degraded and I would have taken a pic but I was like petrified and just tried to shrivel up and go away. I really love your site and I think it is really helping! I wish that creeps piece would fall off. I just wanted to share this with you in case there are other D train victims out there.
Submitted by Krista
Just before the N pulled into Canal, 5:45 am.
I wait 30 minutes for an N train at Union Square. As the train heads southbound, out of the corner of my eye, I see a man staring me down. I stare intently at my newspaper, annoyed but accustomed. After Prince, I realize he’s making a disgusting motion. Then, I realize, he’s actually masturbating. While staring at me. I don’t know how to describe how I felt, but it instantly manifests in anger. I start to scream at him. I yell, and he yells– he’s mad at getting his public jerkoff session interrupted, I suppose. He heads towards the train door as we’re pulling into Canal. “YOU CAN’T FUCKING DO THAT,” I yell, and proceed to stick my camera phone in his face. I then chase him out of the train, on the N/Q platform. At some point, he turns around to yell at me, and calls me a “white woman” and a “bitch”, and says something about an “L.U.D.”, or maybe a “V.U.D” or something. I proceed to yell more and cause a scene, and chase him up some stairs. Then, I lose him. All I am really thankful for, I guess, is that he didn’t put his dirty hands on me and that I ruined his erection. I was worried about reporting it, thinking the police wouldn’t take it seriously, but the 72nd precinct took down a full report, and contacted the city stations as well as the transit police.
Submitted by Monique
I’m writing to report an incident that happened to me on the subway today. At approximately 9:30am on the D train going between Atlantic-Pacific St. and Grand St. (right before the Manhattan Bridge), I awoke to the sight of a man masturbating on my arm.
I was napping with my iPod on, and I woke up because I felt something repeatedly hitting and rubbing up to my arm. When I looked down, I saw an uncircumcised penis being masturbated right on top of my arm. Luckily, he hadn’t finished yet. (Though the police mentioned that it would have been better to have DNA evidence. Ew.) I immediately screamed something like “OH MY GOD, GET OFF OF ME YOU SICK MOTHERFUCKER!”
At that point, the man mumbled something like “sorry” and walked quickly through the crowd to the other side of the train. I was stunned that no one tried to stop him, and even shifted to let him through. I screamed again “DID ANYONE SEE THAT? THAT ASSHOLE WAS MASTURBATING ON ME!”
No one did anything. No one saw his penis, because my arm was covering it.
So I took my camera-phone out and went after him. He had taken a seat more towards the front of the carriage and pretended to be asleep. I snapped these two pictures of him (attached). And then when I was done, I screamed again “I’VE GOT YOUR PICTURE NOW, YOU SICK FUCK. I’M GOING TO REPORT YOU TO THE POLICE!” Of course, this got the attention of everyone around us and everyone was staring at us except the pervert who was still pretending to be asleep. There was no way he didn’t hear me. So I went back to my seat.
Later I did report him to the police, and am still waiting to hear back.
Submitted by Alice