D.C.

D.C. woman chases Metro groper for blocks until police arrive

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When a D.C. woman was groped by a stranger on a Metro escalator, and no one took action to help her, she took the matter into her own hands.

The 20-something D.C. woman fought back after a man groped her while she was on an escalator at Metro's Union Station.

"Once it registered that someone had put their hands between my legs, I just started screaming," she says.

It was a busy Friday morning so there were plenty of people around.

"I screamed, 'this man touched,' me hoping that somebody would do something," she says.

Once on the platform, she says she confronted her attacker.

"I started screaming, 'this man put his hand in between my legs,' and I kept on screaming that and people definitely stopped and stared."

She says during the two-minute confrontation, he yelled back at her.

"Calling me crazy, that I am making it up," she says. "At that point I was to the point of rage, thinking about all of the women that have had to deal with this on Metro."

She says there were at least two Metro employees there as well, but they did nothing

"I could not let this guy get away with this," she says. "It was so much bigger than me."

She followed him out of the station and chased him for blocks.

"I maintained a half-block distance. I was screaming at him to stop, the police were going to get him. I called 911."

Officers arrived and found the man hiding inside a church on North Capitol Street.

Collective Action for Safe Spaces, which helped Metro with its recent sexual harassment education and reporting program, posted her story on its blog this week and the response from women, they say, was overwhelming.

"I hope that they take away that they have a choice and they don't have to stay silent and they are not powerless," says Zosia Sztykowski of Collective Action for Safe Spaces.

For Metro employees, the agency says additional plans are in the works for expanded training for sexual harassment sensitivity.

Caroline Lukas, a Metro spokesperson, says Metro wants "to ensure that all of our front line employees do handle these situations with the utmost care and compassion."

And to people who walked past, "You are not putting yourself in danger calling 911 for somebody," says the woman who chased her assailant.

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