The police released a horrifying video of a subway rider being groped while waiting for an R train last week.
The incident took place on Friday, November 29th, just before 5 p.m, on the southbound platform at the Union Square subway station in Manhattan. According to the NYPD, the male suspect "approached the 18-year-old female victim from behind and touched her vagina over her pants."
The suspect ran from the platform, police say, and "subsequently fled the station on a northbound '4' or '5' train." He is described as being bald, with eye glasses and last seen wearing a black jacket, a blue shirt, beige pants, light colored shoes. He also had a dark colored backpack.
Four years ago, Albany increased penalties for offenses like forcible touching. For recidivist subway sex offenders, some lawmakers have proposed banning them from subways all together, which raises civil rights issues. Recently most officials have been focused on subway "quality-of-life" issues like the homeless community in subways and fare evasion, prompting the MTA to hire 500 more MTA police officers. The crackdown on low-level offenses like turnstile jumping or sleeping in the subway has sparked protests against a policing strategy that disproportionately impacts people of color.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.
If you see or experience sexual misconduct in the subway, you can report it to the MTA and police on this website. There's also a place for you to upload photos and/or video.