“I Don’t Think I’ll Feel Safe on the Metro Again”

"I Don't Think I'll Feel Safe on the DC Metro Again"

Location: 7040 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA (West Falls Church Metro Station)
Time: Late Night (12:00am-5:00am)

I was on my way to the Vienna station when this man entered the train around West Falls Church. He was visibly nervous and fidgety. He sat down in the seat across the aisle from me, and then he would stand and walk around, then sit again and repeat.

The last time, though, I noticed he had unbuttoned his pants before he sat. I didn’t look at him directly at this point, but I did notice that he was facing towards me with his legs up on the two seats and started masturbating while staring at me. This was just past the Dunn Loring station and I knew my station was next, so I sat up to stand near the door, as I felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsure of how to react to this disgusting behavior.

This startled him, and he also stood up and started pacing again. When I got off the train, I took the steps and he followed me the whole way up, close behind. I had to start swinging my keys in fear of him getting closer. Finally when we got close to the gates, he ran in front of me and ran towards the South Entrance.

I thought of reporting this incident, but I noticed the Metro employee was sleeping, and I have not heard about any helpful responses from WMATA concerning sexual harassment so I decided against it. I don’t think I will feel safe on the Metro again. I hope CASS will be able to provide services more frequently for people like me, who are prone to become victims of sexual harassment and violence.

Submitted 1/21/15 by “YS.”

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Share 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: 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).

Charming and Handsome Attacker Part II

I had submitted a post last week entitled “Charming and Handsome Attacker“, and I’m so happy to tell you all that he has been CAUGHT! It’s funny, the thing I felt so stupid about (giving him my phone number) is the very thing that led to his arrest. I had filled out my police report last Thursday (the incident occurred last Wednesday night). The officer had coded it as a simple assault (it was later re-coded by the detectives as a sexual battery).

On Friday morning, I received two silent phone calls from an unlisted landline in VA. I called metro detectives to inform them of this, as I was 99%certain the calls were from him. They said that if he called me again, I should try to set up a meeting with him, and at that meeting the police would arrest him. Sure enough, on Saturday night I get a call from that same number, and it’s him. We arrange to meet on Sunday at 4pm at the West Falls Church metro station. I arrive at 3pm on Sunday and meet the detectives, who are in plain clothes, along with two officers in uniform. I get a phone call at 4:10 from him saying he is running late.

I am standing outside of the turnstiles with a female undercover detective. Another undercover detective is on the other side of the turnstiles, and the two officers in uniform are hidden near me. At 5pm, I see him come off of the escalator and tell the detective beside me. She motions to the other officers. He comes through the turnstiles and slows down, seeming to notice that something is going on. He gets out his smart trip card to turn around and go back to the trains, but then he sees the undercover detective coming towards him and books it for the exit. After a brief struggle, the officers arrest him. He has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery. A court date is set for October 29th. I also also petitioned for a protective order. The hearing for that is set for October 9th.

I would like to thank Shannon an d Chai for posting my story, and thank the folks who left me such kind, encouraging comments. I would also like to thank the Metro police, Detective Jim Duncan, and especially Detective Kate Loran, who made me feel at ease during a scary process, and was incredibly helpful and kind in helping me petition for my protective order.

Submitted by Emily on 9/24/2009

Location: West Falls Church Metro Station

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.