FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Police are searching for a man who lifted a woman's skirt and then took a picture of her in the Fulton Street subway station on Thursday morning, NYPD said.
A 30-year-old New Jersey woman was listening to a podcast on her headphones while taking an escalator toward the station exit at William and Fulton streets, when a man came up behind her, lifted her skirt and snapped a photo at about 9:30 a.m., the victim, a paralegal, wrote in a blog that she created to tell her story.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, immediately notified the incident to an MTA worker, who called police, she said. Police confirmed that a report regarding the incident was filed.
"He touched my clothing and he violated me," the victim told DNAinfo. "I have the right to determine who gets to look at my butt."
The NYPD said on Friday afternoon that the complaint was filed as harassment, a violation that cannot be prosecuted if no officer was there to observe the incident. But later that day, an NYPD spokeswoman said that the charge had been upgraded to unlawful surveillance and added that they're actively investigating the case.
Although the three police officers who responded to the call were courteous, the victim said she didn't feel they took the situation seriously.
"They just did not know what to do," she said. "I had to point out the [surveillance] cameras" in the Fulton Street station, which police told her were not running at the time, she said.
An NYPD spokeswoman said they weren't aware of whether the cameras at the station were working or not.
The victim said her first reaction to the attack was to blame herself and downplay the incident, but then she quickly realized she wanted to stand up for herself.
"We've got to stop thinking that this is just a part of daily life, a price to pay for living in the city and being a woman," she said.
She decided to wear a dress to work the next day, she said.
"He's not going to make me not wear a skirt," she said of the man who attacked her. "He's not going to change my lifestyle."