The Daily Heights rings in with the first report of subway masturbation-- the alleged perp is pictured here in all his blurry glory. Bonus points for the shearling jacket!
On Thursday 12/29 at 10:35am, I ran into a subway masturbator on the Q train going over the Manhattan bridge. Believe me, there was no mistaking what he was doing. There were ~8 other people on the train, but all of them were sitting in other "sections" of the car.
I decided that I could disarm him by yelling at him, so as we went over the bridge, I said loudly something along the lines of "Excuse ME, but if you think I can't tell that YOU'RE MASTURBATING, you're wrong, and in case you're too dumb to have noticed, I just took two pictures of you with my cameraphone, which I will show to the police. There are usually lots of them at Atlantic Ave." This pretty much stopped him and got the notice of other people on the train. The train stopped between the bridge and DeKalb, and someone tried to go get the conductor, but of course all the doors were locked (thanks MTA!). Now we were trapped with this weirdo, who stood up and went towards the door, farther away from me, muttering some nonsense about how hard it is for a black man in this day and age to get "sucked off" when the world is full of "white and latino bitches."
When the doors opened at DeKalb, he ran off, and I and another woman went off looking for the police. We couldn't find anyone fast enough, but the token booth clerk phoned them and some officers arrived about 5 or 10 minutes later. I gave my description and showed my crappy, blurry photo and everything, but they didn't even take my name so I don't think they were intending to look for him.
With most 2006 cellphone models shipping with VGA cameraphones, this is sure to be the first of many subway masturbators to get his fifteen seconds of fame. Just be careful out there-- it only takes a few seconds for some crazy person to get his hands out of his pants and around your neck! [Related: Gothamist on the vegan masturbator back in September, and HollaBackNYC, for all your harassment needs.]