I was walking home from work on June 1 when I passed a man next to me on the sidewalk walking toward me. He made eye contact and smiled. I’m generally a friendly person and had had a really good day at work, so I smiled back. As he passed me, he reached around and slapped me on the ass with his hand. It was almost hard enough to hurt, and I heard the impact even with my headphones in.
I literally stopped right there. At first, I thought maybe it was an accident and I had somehow bumped into him. But I turned around and he was walking away from me, with his head turned looking at me. He was grinning. I looked away and said “What the hell?” to myself, trying to decide what to do.
At that point, another young woman who had seen what happened walked up to me and said, “He’s been doing that to every woman he passes on the street for the last couple blocks.” That woke me from my haze and proved that I didn’t image what happened. I turned around and yelled at him, “Hey, man, that is so not cool. What you did was really inappropriate.” He grinned and shrugged his shoulders. I wish I had come up with something a little meaner.
At that point I took out my phone to call the police, but he turned and jogged across the intersection. So I just left.
I’ve been street harassed before, but never actually touched like this. It really freaked me out. I’ve even changed my route home from work. I told my boyfriend the story, and he was really upset about it too.
I’m not sure if descriptions are allowed on this site, but this man was about 6 feet tall, African-American, and in his 40s. He was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt, and a grey hoodie. (Note from HBDC!: We allow descriptions in cases like this.)
If any other women have a similar experience, you’re not imagining things! This guys is apparently spanking a lot of women.
Submitted by Amanda on 6/3/2010
Location: 14th & Vermont Ave. NW
Time of Harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.