Woman Charged With Sex Abuse After ‘Humiliating' Twerking Attack in D.C. Gas Station

One of two women caught on video groping and twerking on a man in a gas station in Northeast D.C. has been arrested after an attack the victim said humiliated him.

Ayanna Marie Knight, 22, of Las Vegas, was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, police said late Tuesday, explaining that an "observant pedestrian" alerted them of Knight's location. Police are still looking for the second woman.

Video released Monday by the Metropolitan Police Department shows the man waiting in a checkout line at a gas station on the 1700 block of New York Avenue NE about 4 p.m. Oct. 7 when a woman in front of him begins to dance and rub her body against him. A second woman, dressed in red, follows the man and appears to grope him repeatedly.

According to a police report, the women "used force and grabbed (the victim's) groin and buttocks multiple times in a very aggressive manner without his permission and without his consent."

The victim told News4 he was humiliated by the attack.

"I was assaulted sexually," he said, asking that his name be withheld. "I felt 100 percent violated. I felt really humiliated also, because when someone is just grabbing your body parts without your permission, no matter who it is, that's just a violation completely."

The man said he tried to back away, but the woman continued to advance.


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"As they were grabbing me, it wasn't like they were grabbing pants or anything like that," he said.

The victim asked two cashiers at the gas station to call police, but they "just sat there," he said. Frustrated, he walked outside and started dialing the number himself. He said he tried to get into his car, but the women grabbed his arm and in an effort to prevent him from leaving. 

He broke free, walked into the gas station's car wash and called police. The women eventually left, he said.

Some on social media said they thought the victim should have welcomed the attention, but a D.C. group that fights public sexual harassment and abuse said viewers should remember they're watching footage of a crime.

"It's not a joke. It shouldn't be taken lightly," said Jessica Raven, interim executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces.

"This is a prime example of the public sexual harassment and assault that people across our city experience on a near-daily basis, and it is completely unacceptable," she added. "It absolutely happens to men, too, and it is not OK."

Anyone with information that can help police is asked to call 202-727-9099.

Editor's Note: Video of the incident on the D.C. police YouTube page had been made private as of 4:45 p.m. 

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