A 21-year-old woman is sharing the frightening experience she had when a stranger yelled at and harassed her for 10-straight minutes at a Metro station this week in Washington, D.C.
Helen Molteni, of Arlington, Virginia, said she was on the platform at the Foggy Bottom station when a man came up to her and started harassing her.
“The situation kept escalating. He kept yelling at me. He moved closer,” Molteni said a video on TikTok about the experience.
Molteni's video has since gone viral and garnered an avalanche of responses.
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”The words that he was saying, they were sexual expletives. They were comments saying that he wanted to do sexual things to me, and I felt very unsafe,” Molteni said in an interview with News4 on Thursday.
Molteni said she called for help, but no one — including police and Metro employees — at the station came to her aid.
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The man continued harassing her for about 10 minutes until her train showed up, she said.
Then, she said the incident was made worse when a bystander was rude to her.
"After I got on the train, one man who had witnessed the whole altercation and was one of the bystanders
said, 'Well, you know, you are just as bad as him because now you are making us feel unsafe.' So I was just feeling very scared.”
Metro’s new General Manager Randy Clarke says he personally went back and watched security camera video of the harassment.
”That type of behavior that she described is completely unacceptable – not just in Metro, but society," Clarke said. “We should all agree and call out despicable behavior when we see it.”
Molteni said it's not clear if any charges will be filed because there was no physical altercation.
She said the one thing she wants to come out of the situation is for people who witness similar incidents of harassment to step in and help.
"One thing I've learned in this situation is that it's been happening to so many women in D.C. and in other major cities so I just want to let them know that they're not alone, and that I, as a potential bystander in the future, will do everything that I can if I see something, and I hope that they can do the same for me if I experience this again," Molteni said.
News4 has posted a guide with tips on how to safely intervene in situations of public harassment.