NY1 says there’s a serial butt-slapper riding the trains. Cops say they’ve received about a dozen reports of the man slapping butts in and around Crown Heights. Councilmember Tish James denounces the assailant as a “lowlife” and a “coward.” He is thought to be in his mid-20s, between 5′ 10″ and 6′ and between 175 and 200 pounds.
Sexual harassment on the trains is a big hidden issue. A 2007 poll found 63 percent of respondents reporting some form of it in their commutes, and HollaBack NYC chronicles such incidents every week. Last year the MTA planned an anti-harassment ad campaign in the trains, and briefly backed off, some thought because officials feared giving a bad impression of the subway; the MTA later reinstated it. But the butt-slapper hasn’t gotten the message.
In some foreign jurisdictions they have gender-segregated cars to accommodate women who don’t want to be slapped, groped, or humped. We wonder how long it will be before somebody proposes this here.
Update: An arrest has been made.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2009