A woman says she was groped on a Metro escalator earlier this week.
Tammy Ferguson, a pastor at the Bridges to God Ministries, recently began commuting to work by Metro again after stopping earlier in the pandemic.
She was on the escalator at the U Street station at about 4 p.m. Monday when a man on the opposite side reached across the divider to assault her.
“He reaches over and he clearly grabs my backside,” Ferguson said. “Because I’m thinking, What’s going on? I’m thinking somebody’s up against me from behind.”
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She said the crime left her feeling violated and humiliated.
Seeing a News4 report on the viral TikTok from a 21-year-old woman who was threatened and sexually harassed at the Foggy Bottom station prompted Ferguson to tell her story.
“They have a very clear picture of this guy, and I’m hoping they’ll air that so he can be seen and hopefully be apprehended,” she said.
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Metro confirmed it is investigating.
“It was horrifying, and I was terrified,” Ferguson said. “And I’m looking back, and he looks at me with this smirk.”
Hill East Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Denise Krepp said she filed a police report after she and her husband were threatened by a man with a knife at the Metro Center station in April. She has spent years trying to get statistics on how many people arrested by Metro Transit Police are released back onto the streets without being prosecuted.
“I feel empathy for this poor young girl that we’re all hearing about on TikTok,” she said. “The guy who said those awful things about her probably has probably been saying a lot of things to a lot of women.”
A 2018 study commissioned by Metro shows women are twice as likely than men to be sexually harassed while using the transit system.
If you witness abuse or harassment in public, here are potential ways to safely intervene.