ASTORIA — A quick-thinking straphanger snapped a photo of a man who allegedly exposed himself to her aboard a subway train last week in a move that officials say shows that women are "fed up" and reporting incidents more.
Cops said that the case, the latest in which the victim captured the suspect's picture in a cellphone photo, occurred last Thursday on the Manhattan-bound R train, police said.
When the train approached Steinway Street station around 11:30 a.m., a man sitting across from a 20-year-old victim exposed himself, cops said.
But the quick-thinking woman did not flinch, snapping a photo of the suspect with her cellphone.
That's the kind of reaction that local council member, Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) encourages. "Women are fed up with this and are reporting more," he said.
Vallone, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said that while this may have been the first reported flashing incident in Astoria in a while, the neighborhood has seen a significant increase in groping incidents in recent months.
The councilman said several victims had come forward after reading about similar incidents on a website called whyleaveastoria.com. "Women realized that these incidents were not isolated," Vallone said.
On Tuesday, female straphangers at the Steinway Street station seemed unfazed. "I'm very proud of that woman," said Aly Levy, who lives in the area. "The fact that she had the courage to take a photo, gives power to other women and shows them that they can defend themselves."
"Reporting this kind of incident will help keeping perverts away," said another female subway rider.
Police said the suspect is a balding man who is about 35 and has fair skin. He was wearing a beige blazer or jacket, a light-colored button down shirt, blue jeans, white Nike sneakers and sunglasses and was carrying a red backpack.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.