I'm writing to tell you about an incident that occurred this past Friday morning (7/8/11) on the Orange Line to Vienna around 8:30 a.m.Other items:
I boarded at New Carrollton and sat in one of the "sideways" seats next to an older gentleman. A younger, very small Hispanic girl (I'd say early-mid 20s) sat on the inside seat in the second row of forward facing seats across from where I was sitting. The car was semi-filled with almost a person in each row of seats with each person having an open seat next to them.
I can't recall exactly which stop (it had to have been Cheverly or Deanwood because we were still outdoors), but I noticed a very large African-American male board and make a bee-line for the open seat next to the girl I mentioned.
Something immediately felt "off" to me. There were plenty of other spots that would have been more comfortable. The guy was at least 6'4" and about 220-230lb. Big dude.
I began to subtly keep my eye on the situation. He had shorts on, really short shorts made of loose jersey net material. They were kind of strange.
As the train moved along, he started casually crowding the girl next to him, getting as close as possible. Then, I saw his hand, which was wrapped around his erect penis, which was hanging out of his shorts.
I couldn't believe my eyes. He had his newspaper folded in half to keep it covered but it was hardly covered at all, and I could see everything going on.
He was shifting his eyes around and would then turn his head to the girl with the most disgusting look on his face. He was starting to move his elbow closer to her as she kind of curled up in the corner as he played with himself right there in the seat.
As I said, this girl was tiny, and there was no way she was going to get around him. She had a terrified look on her face, and she was clearly on the verge of tears.
I can only guess why she didn't call out for help or scream or do something. She didn't seem to speak much English, and I guess she didn't know what to do. This all happened pretty quickly.
I was looking around to see if anyone could see.
I sat there for a second in shock trying to think what, if anything, I could do as he continued touching himself.
Then, the girl made eye contact with me, and that was it.
I jumped up and took a step in her direction and said something to the extent of "Do you want to get out of there? Do you want to come sit over in this seat? Let me help you over here."
She practically jumped at me, intensely nodding her head and saying "YES! YES!" She jumped into the forward facing seat next to me and said "thank you" several times.
Meanwhile, the pervert flipped out, cursing at me and insulting me over and over.
As he was screaming at me, I turned to her and asked if she was OK, and she said she was.
I was sure I was about to get pummeled by this dude. Although everyone's attention was now turned to the situation, I was positive he was going to at least take a swing at my face.
But he didn't do anything.
The second the train stopped and the doors opened, he jumped up and ran off the train. This makes me think he's a regular at doing this kind of thing and didn't want to draw additional attention to himself.
I need to mention that I was unaware of the emergency button in the back of each train that calls the operator. A friend told me about those this weekend. Had I known, I am not sure which choice I would have made, but that definitely would have been the safer one and is what I would recommend if anyone else finds themselves in such a potentially dangerous situation.
For whatever it's worth, the pervert had a few days of beard growth. He had a hat on and wore basketball shoes with white tube socks pulled a quarter way up his shin. He got on the Orange Line somewhere around Cheverly or Deanwood and jumped off around Capitol South or Eastern Market.
I think I will at least file a report with Metro police for the sake of making a record of the incident, but I doubt it will do much good.
Stay safe people.
Major track work this weekend (WMATA)
Shake-up puts two new DC members on Metro Board (Examiner)
Clarendon Metro improvements (Arlington County)