It’s been rough going for men who grope women and girls on public transit. Last month, some creep on the New York City subway got the crap beaten out of him by college student Shayne DeJesus, who filmed the incident with her phone, and was ratted out to the po-po by his brother. And on Friday, an off-duty cop shot a 22-year-old man who allegedly groped an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old.
According to The New York Post, around lunchtime on Friday, an 18-year-old girl waiting on a subway platform began yelling that a man had groped her. Moments later, a 13-year-old standing nearby also started yelling “Mommy, the man groped me!” The 13-year-old girl’s mother then yelled at a station agent for police, which apparently attracted the attention of an off-duty cop standing nearby. A 22-year-old suspect was then identified by the 18-year-old girl and the off-duty cop ordered him onto the ground. The two got into a tussle, the cop’s gun went off, and the suspect was shot in the lower back.
It turns out the alleged groper had 19 prior arrests, including two felony assaults on cops, as well as robbery and reckless endangerment. He was arrested with a seven-inch folding knife with a three-inch blade.
As a citizen of New York City, I would love to know why someone with 19 prior arrests — including two assaults on cops — is walking around on the streets. But more to the point, I am thrilled that these alleged groping incidents were taken seriously by everyone involved. When women are sexually assaulted and sexually harassed on public transit — regardless of what city or town it takes place in — it’s sometimes seen as just something that happens that you have to get used to. (Take, for instance, a blogger for Jezebel who had some guy jerk off to her on a subway platform and the NYPD didn’t even show up when she called them!) To me, the interesting part of the story isn’t that the gun was discharged (it is unclear if the cop fired the gun, or it fired during the tussle) and the alleged groper was shot — it’s that the mom cared enough to yell for police and an off-duty cop cared enough to intervene.
If more people make a scene when sexual assaults and sexual harassment occur in public — like Shayne DeJesus, like those involved in this incident — one hopes it will send the message to creeps that women and girls won’t just grin and bear it.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.