Stephanie’s Story: Subway Stalking

I was waiting for the “walk” sign so I could cross Houston Street in New York City. A man, likely 30 years older than me, stood next to me and said, “Hi, how are you?” I looked up and quickly nodded while giving a faint smile. He then started to tell me about himself to which I showed little interest except for occasionally saying, “Ohh.” He then began to ask me where I lived and where I was going none of which I responded to. He pulled out his cell phone and asked me to put in my number, I said “no”, turned around and went down the stairs of the nearby subway. I did not actually need to use the subway, because I lived nearby, but figured I could hide out there until the light changed and he crossed the street. However, he followed me down the subway stairs and said he needed to use the subway too. At this point I was very scared and started saying, “Please leave me alone. Please leave me alone,” expecting someone in the subway station to step in, but instead on-lookers dispersed, and I was left alone with him. I was scared to run up the stairs in case he continued to follow me or tried to pull me towards him, so I walked right up to the turnstile and fumbled with my wallet, pretending to get out my subway metrocard. He went to the turnstile next to me and put his metrocard in and crossed to the other side. I then immediately backed away as he yelled angrily at me, “Hey! Come back here! Come back here! Give me your number!” I was so scared and in shock that I just stared at him for a bit as he yelled at me, before turning around and sprinting up the stairs and down the street for the next four blocks.