Terrible predator, good bystander, useless police

[Story may be triggering]

I was walking to the subway on the way to class (college) at 930 am last week. On a tuesday. An older gentleman, maybe in his mid-50’s, appeared to be on the phone, but started getting closer to me commenting about my breasts and my face saying into the phone “this is what i like right here, these are the kinds of girls i want to f*ck right here. this ones’ gonna get it”.

i started walking faster. i was shocked that the street was full of people but he would say such disgusting things. he followed me, saying similar things for two more blocks. I didn’t want him to follow me into the subway station, because i’d be trapped with him down there. So i finally worked up the nerve and turned around and yelled, “Can you just leave me alone??? you’re scaring me and you’re disgusting!”.

at about the same time i started screaming, a street sweeper pulled over and the driver jumped out and ran up to the pervert. the pervert started screaming about how he was going to rape me, leaned forward, and pulled my shirt down almost tearing it off. at this point, the street sweeper grabbed him in a head lock and a grocery owner ran outside saying he had called 9-11.

i was late for class, and the police refused to take a report saying nothing ‘serious’ had happened. i spent the day in class shaking. took an exam almost crying. it was awful. thank god for the man who intervened while everyone stood by staring.

– anonymous

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

11 Responses to Terrible predator, good bystander, useless police

  1. elaine says:

    I do NOT understand what is going on with police departments these days. Women can be literally attacked in the street, WITH WINESSES PRESENT, and they will often do NOTHING, just as in your case. This is an incredibly disturbing growing phenomenon that needs to be reported on and given far more attention and publicity than I’ve seen it receiving in the mainstream media.

    I’m very glad that this piece of garbage didn’t succeed in hurting you even more than he did, and the two men who intervened should be given awards for their actions. But how horrible to know that the very police–whose salaries are paid by YOuRS and other women’s tax monies–did nothing to help you, and in fact, probably encouraged your attacker by giving him a clear message that they have no problem with his actions and don’t intend to prevent his horrendous behaviors in future.

    I would notify your local representatives of what happened to you, and the police response. This kind of thing should literally be made a federal case of!

  2. k says:

    im so sorry this happened and that it seems nobody cares. its important you share as people do care it is wrong. and the more we shine the light the less they can deny it is a problem.

  3. Juliette says:

    Oh God, that’s horrific 😦 I can’t believe how unhelpful the police were.

  4. Golden Silence says:

    I commend the street sweeper for taking action and keeping this guy away from you, as well as the grocery store worker for calling the police. However, I’m so angry that the police didn’t do anything. The nutjob loudly stated his intent and followed you—and to them that constitutes as “nothing happened”?! There needs to be an overhaul in the police department—better training and hiring better men and women!

    I am so sorry that happened to you.

  5. Rochelle says:

    i’m so sorry! something serious definitely did happen, and the fact that he grabbed your shirt and pulled on it was assault/battery on its own, let alone the fact that it was accompanied by threats of rape, which should have been enough to at least consider attempted rape charges. thank you so much for sharing your story – hopefully hollaback can help the world change so the police officers will actually enforce laws to protect women.

  6. Violet says:

    Oh my god. I am so sorry this happened to you…and I agree 100% this constitutes a federal investigation. Sick and horrific police indifference is the stuff nightmares are made of–being chased by a raving pervert screaming he wants to rape you and knocking on the doors of police officers who don’t open.

    Where’s the fucking outrage?

  7. Jen says:

    This story filled me with some hope towards the end about the street sweeper and store owner, then the police reaction just made me so angry! Like everyone else, I commend those strangers on the street who intervened, but it’s beyond me how two witnesses and an open threat of rape don’t constitute a police matter. I agree with Elaine – make a fuss about this to people locally and let everyone know that the police don’t think rape threats are a serious issue – it’s disgraceful.

  8. bunny says:

    So, i am the original person who sent in this story. i even spoke with a lawyer about this after it happened, who spoke with the police… and here is what it has come down to:
    if i do ask the police to pursue this matter, which they ignored the first time, they cannot promise after interviewing me and the street sweeper that this man will be charged with a crime. he will, either way, be given my name apparently, and he lives within walking distance of where i live (but at this time doesn’t know my name or my address).
    since they can’t even promise me any charges will be filed, my lawyer decided it is too risky to have this man have my information, since i do have to go out alone, and this guy did threaten to really hurt me. after speaking with friends, my partner, my parents (and yes even the street sweeper). we all decided unfortunately that for me to be safe, i have to basically drop this whole thing. it bums me out, but i’m accepting it and i hope everyone can respect that.
    thank you for your support and kind words!

  9. @bunny: Thank you for this update. I’m glad you were able to pursue the matter, though I’m disappointed in the option they gave you. It astounds me that they would give a potential rapist the name of his potential victim if you filed. This makes no sense to me.

    I’m so sorry that is your option and I completely understand why you are dropping it. It just makes me want to rally and march against these stupid policies all the more! How can we turn to the law for support and protection and justice if this is the way it plays out?! We can’t. And that is wrong. We are citizens of this nation and deserve the rights citizens are afforded.

    best of luck as you recover from such a horrible ordeal. xo

  10. Golden Silence says:

    This criminal is going to learn that his behavior is okay because of this ass-backwards policy. Horrible. Why are the laws protecting him but not you? Things have got to change.

  11. Toni says:

    Rochelle says, ” the fact that he grabbed your shirt and pulled on it was assault/battery on its own.” I was being grabbed on my neck from my back and pushed, The whole event started I asked the person in front of me stopped using the Fxxxx words to insult me. I did not swear, I did not raise my voice plus I did not even defense myself. I called for help and then the State police came. The police told me that he will not charge the person who did that on me for assault because it is in Connecticut. It will be considered as an assault case only when I got hurt. Plus he issued me a criminal charge for public disturbance which may have a criminal record. Please pray for me.

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