“It’s Unacceptable to See This as ‘No Big Deal'”: Public Masturbation on Bike Trail

Location: Metropolitan Branch Trail and R Street, Washington, DC
Time:  Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

I was just biking on the MBT. On the trail, a block north of R St, there was a man standing on the trail masturbating. He was doing this on my way riding northbound and later when I was biking southbound again in a 30 minute window. I didn’t know what to do, but I safely got away, and didn’t know what to do when I got home. After calling 311, who told me to call 911, and then calling the non-emergency police line, I got rerouted to 911. They asked for a description and the location and called a dispatcher. All this made me realize: It’s unacceptable to see this as ‘no big deal’ and to say ‘It’s not an emergency!’ I wished now that I had called sooner to get a dispatcher to the scene. I also have posted this on the Women & Bicycles page, and my friend suggested that I look into your work!

Submitted 12/22/15 by “TVN”

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If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).