Earlier this week, a woman boarded an F train in Brooklyn and headed to Manhattan. The rider thought a man sitting a few feet away from her was trying to touch her leg, but by East Broadway, she said, "I noticed his camera phone facing up my skirt."

Why does the rider, who we'll call Amy, think he was filming up her skirt? She sent a quick sketch/diagram, noting that she's the standing blue stick figure and the alleged offender is the red stick figure (there was a person, the yellow stick figure, in between them). Amy explained, "All the seats were taken and maybe a few people were standing. He was already on the train at Jay Street Metrotech... It was in between East Broadway and Delancey, that I noticed his camera phone facing up my skirt. Once I noticed it my mind blanked and all I remembered was grabbing his phone and screaming 'What the fuck are you doing' and we wrestled maybe 5-10 feet down the moving train while it pulled into the station.

2015_08_uppervdiagram.jpg
Reader's diagram

"He was yelling in Spanish and broken English stuff like 'I didn't do anything!' 'What're you doing?'"—Amy added that she's Mexican and understood him—"and I yelled back that he was filming up my skirt, I called him a pervert, I told him if he wasn't doing anything to just let me look at his phone and all the while no one around me stepped in... I think because the guy was feigning ignorance and everyone was really confused."

When the train stopped at Delancey, she says the man "ripped the phone out of my hands and got off" the train. Delancey happened to be Amy's stop too. She noticed that he turned right, as if "he was just trying to get away from me because it seemed like he didn't know the station very well because there's no exit to the right on this platform." So she waited for him.

"He came out a few seconds after me and that's when I started taking the photos. He was yelling at me about how he was going to report me to the police... [maybe] as a way to manipulate me and make me feel like 'Oh maybe he wasn't filming up my skirt,'" Amy guessed. But she doesn't think he was innocent. Referring to her diagram, "You can see that that is NOT a natural way to sit on the train. I was standing in front of other person [the yellow stick figure], so he was almost reaching over that person to get the video."

While in the station, Amy was determined to take a number of pictures of him. "Because I was so pissed and I was NOT going to let him just get away. He went up the stairs to the JM and at that point I felt like it was too risky to follow so I went to the MTA agent and she called the police who came down to get a report."

2015_08_suspperv.jpg
The accused

Because Amy didn't actually see any video being recorded, like the screen or a flashing light, she said that the police officers "couldn't just jump into a manhunt right away (not concrete enough evidence)." However, a detective called her back and said another woman reported the same thing happened to her at the same station with the same description of the suspect within the hour.

"The detective said it was too much of a coincidence," Amy said, "and that they sent out the photos to all the cops that work the stations. Long story short, there's strength in numbers! And if either one of us hadn't reported it the cops wouldn't have taken any sort of action."

2015_08_upskirtperv12.jpg
The accused

Exactly: When discussing a different incident, Sgt. Paul Grattan Jr. of the NYPD Transit Bureau told us that people should contact the police—whether an officer at the station, at a precinct or by calling 911—explaining that witnesses "can't rely on one person to make the report—if 50 people are calling 911, then we'll have better descriptions" of suspects, he said, and the police can construct what may have happened more easily.

You can file the incident on the MTA's website and detectives will contact you. There is also a place to submit photographs. As I've written before about what to do if you see a subway masturbator (or anyone else being disgusting), "It helps the authorities tremendously if there's supporting evidence—a photo, a video, another witness—so they can send out information to the media and, hopefully, arrest the suspect. So I'd say you should definitely take any photographs or video you can as long as you don't put yourself in harm's way... That means it'll probably be easier to take the photo/video on a crowded subway, while you might need to be more discreet on a less-populated one. Always keep your safety in mind. One of Native New Yorker Jake Dobkin's mottos is 'Don't be a coward, but don't get yourself killed.'"

I told Amy she was incredibly brave to go after the upskirt pervert, and she said, "Honestly it felt good that I confronted him, but also terrifying to think what could've happened had he had a knife or gun or just killed me with his bare hands or something. I play co-ed soccer so I can take a beating just fine—ha ha ha—but just know that I now have mixed martial arts classes on my to do list."