I was walking home from the bus stop around 8:30 pm on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. The bus stop is only about a block from my house. I decided to stop to get dinner to go from a local Mexican restaurant. As I was exiting the restaurant, I walked about 25 feet down the street.
There was a man with dreadlocks, dressed entirely in navy blue (navy blue t-shirt, navy blue shorts) walking toward me. He saw me, and immediately changed his demeanor. In order to go around him safely, I would have had to walk into the street, and cars were zooming by. He was held up the side walk for about 15 seconds and wouldn’t let me pass before I decided to just walk around him, squeezing by. As I started to walk around, he aggressively leaned forward and blew air very hard into my face with his mouth. I yelled, “WHAT THE FUCK,” and hurried off, looking back at him. His breath smelled very pungent and alcoholic. The whole encounter left me very shaken up and disgusted.
Two women with children were walking up the road approaching him. I watched him either do the same thing or something similar to them, as the children that they were with screamed/screeched.
I called the PG County police and reported the incident. Afterward, I called back three separate times. They didn’t even send a squad car to the location until two hours later. By then, he was gone.
I am routinely and consistently harassed, both sexually and harassed by other means, on my way to and from the bus stop near my apartment complex. Men driving by in cars yell at me, cat call, stare (in the most blatant, disgusting manner), and call me names. Once, I was walking alone and a car stopped right in front of me. It had tinted windows, and would not get out of the driveway, which was blocking the sidewalk. I started to reach into my purse to grab my phone, and the driver must have seen this, because he/she immediately drove off.
Because of incidents like these, I seriously fear for my safety. I dress conservatively (suits, usually) due to my job. I walk briskly, arms swinging, head held high, thinking that this will deter people from thinking that I’m easily taken advantage of. Nothing works.
Submitted by JW on 6/30/2010
Location: Riggs Rd and University Blvd
Time of Harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)
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