Witness to W train masturbator: ‘I thought that he was going to cut me’

Public lewdness suspect

By Sabina Mollot

On December 27, a man who boarded a W train headed to Union Square wound up getting an eyeful of a pervert who was sitting across from him, openly masturbating under his pants. The victim, 62, promptly snapped a photo and alerted police.

The incident was reported in Town & Village last week. However, since then, we spoke with the witness, a neighborhood resident, who said the suspect, who appeared to be homeless, gave him the creeps for an additional reason.

“I thought that he was going to cut me with a knife,” said the man, who asked that his name not be published. “He had crazy eyes. I was frightened.”

The photo shows that the public lewdness suspect took up two seats, a plastic bag of his belongings next to him while his hand was under the front of his pants.

The witness added that this was at 10 a.m. in the morning, so the train wasn’t even close to being empty. When he got on, a woman was leaving “and for some reason, she had a disturbed look” on her face. He discovered why as soon as he sat down.

Still, he added, “I’ve seen worse.”

The victim, who was once the victim of a violent mugging, also on the subway, then passed on the photo he took to the police. Cops soon arrived at the scene, though not soon enough to apprehend the perp.

The witness also told Town & Village he wondered if the so-far frigid winter would inevitably mean more similar encounters with mentally ill homeless people.

“Cops are reticent to interact because we have no more stop-and-frisk,” he said. “Stop-and-frisk, while abused, the concept was if you were doing something you shouldn’t be doing, cops have an entitlement to ask you what your business is.”

As of Tuesday, police said there has been no arrest made.

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