Groping 101: Pretend to fall asleep, fall, in order to grope women on the bus

Location: California & Columbia Road, NW (Adams Morgan)
Time:  Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was heading back to Dupont on the 90 bus after happy hours on U Street. It was a crowded bus, so I grabbed the last seat open, which was in the very front, next to a seemingly drunk man who kept nodding off. As soon as I sat down I could see him out of the corner of my eye looking me up and down, took a deep breath and braced myself for some sort of comment. Surprisingly he left me alone… for a moment. Then he pretended to drift off and let his head fall onto my shoulder then slide across my breast. He quickly apologized and at first I thought perhaps it was a accident. Unfortunately I made the mistake of making eye contact with him. It’s sad how this basic human courtesy seems to just be an open invite to be accosted and molested by pervs! As the bus lurched to a halt at the next stop, he braced himself… by putting his hand on my thigh… first on the part that was covered by my skirt then sliding down ’til he was on my bare skin. I jerked my leg away and fortunately the guy on the other side of me got up so I moved into his seat to put some space between us. I reached behind me to pull the cord for my stop, and he started trying to talk to me.

In April 2012 with help from CASS, WMATA introduced its first-ever public awareness campaign to combat sexual harassment on Metro trains and buses.

All I could understand was “you’re beautiful” and “I dream about you” (um. ew.) He muttered some other things that I couldn’t understand and probably didn’t want to. Then he asked if I had a boyfriend; I lied and said yes. He said something else that I couldn’t understand while leaning over to pat my shoulder. I guess my not slapping him for that was an invite to then rub his hand up my leg, starting to go under my skirt. I jumped up and said “stop it, you’re making me uncomfortable.” He put his hands up and said “ok sorrrrryyyy.” As we got to my stop he said “oh this your stop? I go too.” I let him stumble off the bus before me so I could see which way he was headed and immediately walked the other way, cell in hand, ready to call the cops if he followed. All he did was yell “where you going baby?” Ugh. Sadly, part of why I took the bus instead of walking back was to avoid walking alone at night and getting harassed!

Submitted on 7/22/12 by “LC”

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault?
Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police:; 202-962-2121.