#NYPDfail: they didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy

I work as a waitress in the lower east side one night a week. I was leaving work around 12:30 in a neighborhood that I have grown very comfortable in over the last year. I stayed with my coworker to shut the gate and we each walked toward our train stops (mine was the Grand Street B/D).

About 30 second away from the door I saw a man looking at me as I walked toward him. Not uncommon in the lower east side I continued as he adjusted his pants. When I was about 5 feet from him I realize he had he was jerking off as he stared at me. I decided to ignore him and walk past. He lunged at me , and I quickly veered passed him and around the corner, thinking he was just some crazy guy being nasty on the side of the road.

I walked about half way down the next block when I checked over my shoulder and realized he was following me. I picked up the pace, and saw a group of two women and two men ahead of me. I thought about stopping and saying something but I was nervous about slowing down so I sped passed them and took a quick right across traffic at Grand. From there it’s about three blocks to the B/D so I got at it quick.

I looked over my shoulder after I crossed Allen and didn’t see him so relaxed a bit, but looked again before I crossed the next street and he was a lot closer to me than I thought.

I picked up the pace but realized that he was jogging while I wasn’t looking or something because he was catching up to me really fast and there weren’t really any people on the street. The last block before the subway I didn’t see any people and he seemed to be getting close so I started to run. I looked back and he was running after me which made me really scared.

I got to the subway and went the MTA ticket guy and told him what had happened. He asked if the guy was in the station and I said no as I nervously looked toward the entrance. He said to just get on the train and that he would look out for me (even though I asked to talk to a police officer). I was grateful to be safe but felt weird about evading the situation and not letting the police know.

The next morning I worked again and was really surprised by the anxiety that I felt on the subway heading to work. I told my manager when I arrived and she urged me to call the police. I did. They came. I told them and even suggested some leads as to which businesses might have cameras outside that might lead to some kind of arrest. They not only ignored my leads but didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy. As I began to cry in front of them out of frustration they told me not to be scared. They assured me that they were working a double tonight and they would come by whenever I got out of work. THAT DOES NOT SOLVE THIS ISSUE!!
I told them no thanks if they were not going to follow up on the information that I gave them.

It seems that the community board that my job is involved with in combination with my work of mouth activism is the best defense we have in the lower east side. Please! Do not rely on the police for defense in this issue. They advised me next time to buy some pepper spray and/or ride the subway with a friend. Good luck servers of Manhattan. How many of you have a subway buddy? I certainly don’t.

I hope that all people who work on Broome will take the time to look out for themselves, and keep there phone in there pocket to get a picture of any asshole masterbating on the street so maybe the police will have some incentive to do their jobs.

Submitted by Rheanna

5 responses to “#NYPDfail: they didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy

  1. “Subway Buddy”, what a ridiculous, ridiculous idea. Grown women requiring escorts to go about their lives… No one has a subway buddy.
    I am sorry to hear that the police were not listening to you. This seems to be an ongoing problem. We should see if there is some way to make them to their jobs in these situations. Like filing a complaint with the Bureau or something.

  2. Do the police have a subway buddy? No. Here’s my guess — they’re dudes. And aren’t used to living with fear.

    I am so sorry this happened to you. Because I’m female, and unfortunately — we’ve all been in scary situations. It’s a fucking rite of passage, and it shouldn’t be.

  3. I was in a cab coming home from JFK a little over a month ago and the driver refused to take my credit card. When I told him I needed to go to the ATM across the street from my apartment to get some cash, after reminding him it was against the law to refuse my credit card, he locked the doors and proceeded to speed off. At a traffic light, I rolled down the window and shouted for help. Some business guys saw me and did nothing, and then two ladies who worked in a bodega came out and made him stop and let me out to get cash. I called the police AND TLC, and no one would take my complaint. The driver was TRYING TO ABDUCT ME and it was like “Well, next time you should have cash on you.” Disgusting.

  4. I’ve had many similar experiences — flashers, creeps following you late at night. Welcome to NYC! It’s the same in other cities, in fact when I lived in Paris it may have been worse. I’ve had my share of terrifying situations and at least one that was a physical attack.

    Someone wise gave me some good advice once, which is #1 take a self-defense class or some kind of martial arts class (which I did and tell ALL my girlfriends to do the same — it literally saved me.) We are women and we are smaller than men, there’s no getting around that. So we NEED to know how to protect ourselves.

    And #2 when someone is acting creepy, i.e. following you too closely or just you don’t like the vibe they’re giving, turn around and look at them, right in the face — so they know you see them. And get to a street/deli with other people as soon as you can. If they keep following you, say (or better yell) something like “hey, I see you, stop following me!” If you’re on an empty street seriously, look at the guy and yell something, it startles them out and turns the tables. Being assertive is a real turn off for predators who are looking to intimidate. Turning away and looking down, and running away are body languages that say “scared” and “victim.” It’s hard to do, especially when you ARE scared, but I’ve done it and it works.

    And don’t forget #1 take a self defense class! Hopefully you’ll never use it, but even psychologically to know how to fight back is really important.

    And pepper spray is a good idea if you work late.
    Be safe and be confident, and don’t be a victim!

  5. While it absolutely should not be necessary for me to have to make this suggestion, I recommend finding a self-defense class and getting that pepper spray, if only for your own peace of mind.

    My former employer gave staff (including the guys) self-defense classes after one of our girls was mugged; I actually ended up beating up the martial arts expert training us, so I promise you they can work!

    I second the suggestion that you make a complaint to the police about the actions of the officers, too. That’s not acceptable.

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