“While standing in line, a man behind me slapped me really hard on the ass, and slinked away with a satisfied, perverted grin”

Alleged incident at Petworth Market just north of metro stop

“Dear PoPville,

Last night, I went into the store around 10:40pm to get some matches. While standing in line, a man behind me slapped me really hard on the ass, and slinked away with a satisfied, perverted grin. I only saw his side profile. He was young, in his mid 20’s, with a curly high top, and light brown skin.

The man behind the glass was laughing so hard. He apologized, saying, “I’m so sorry to laugh, but in my country, nothing like this ever happens, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen so much crazy shit!” He offered to show the video to the police, but I was so damn mad and humiliated that I just wanted to go home.

My friend told me that a lot of these incidences have been happening to women, so I just wanted to let someone know in case this pervert is serially assaulting random women.

If this man would have slapped me in my face with the same vigor, it would be assault no question. But because he slapped me on my ass, it was funny. I was so shocked that it happened, even I had to laugh a bit. What kind of fetish is this? I mean, it wasn’t like child’s play. He slapped me so hard, my ass was stinging all the way home. And that look on his face… I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so upset.”

64 Comment

  • I’m sorry this happened, and I would have loved to see someone punch the perp or at least yell at him.

    But…this is hilarious and spot on ” “I’m so sorry to laugh, but in my country, nothing like this ever happens, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen so much crazy shit!””

  • It’s still assault. When something very similar happened to me (http://www.popville.com/2014/08/friday-question-of-the-day-have-you-been-the-victim-of-a-crime-while-livingworking-in-dc/#comment-828270), I think the police said it was “criminal second-degree sexual assault.”
    Did this happen at the store shown in the photo (Petworth Market)? There’s no caption saying “stock photo from PoPville flickr pool user ______,” so I’m assuming it did.
    If you haven’t already reported this to the police, I would strongly encourage you to do so. There might still be time for the store owner to show them the video.

    • If this did indeed happen at Petworth Market, it was in Police Service Area 407. I went to a meeting for PSA 409 on Wednesday night and met Inspector Alisa Petty, who oversees (IIRC) PSAs 407, 408, and 409. She introduced herself and gave me her card. She struck me as very professional, and community members who’d been to previous PSA meetings (this was my first) spoke highly of her.
      I’d encourage you to call her at 202-576-7447 or e-mail alisa [dot] petty [at] dc [dot] gov.

    • And I understand your rage. When it happened to me, I was so furious that if I had been carrying a handgun (N.B.: I don’t own a gun or have any desire to do so), I’m quite sure I would’ve shot them.
      For the next three weeks or so, every time I’d see a guy on the street who fit the basic demographics of the assailants (I didn’t get a good look at them, since they were on bicycles), I’d wonder: “Was it him?”

  • Face or ass — it’s still assault, no question. So sorry this happened to you.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I’m sorry that happened to you and that people think it’s funny. No one should be touching or slapping people like that.

  • I would turned right around and slapped the a*hole across the face! Sorry this happened to you.

  • Report the mofo.

  • She didn’t smile.

  • I would like to walk down the street just once, with my dogs, or in my workout clothes, or in my work clothes, whatever, and not get some comment from a man, young or old, who thinks its okay to throw at me some comment about my looks, what they are thinking about me, or what have you. I should be able to walk down my street in peace, without harassment.

  • “But because he slapped me on my ass, it was funny. I was so shocked that it happened, even I had to laugh a bit.”
    I am a bit confused by this. This doesn’t sound funny in the least. If that had happened to my wife, let’s just say there would have been some major problems.

  • The same thing happened to me last summer when walking home from Wonderland Ballroom with my roommate. We were walking from 11th down Girard toward 14th street when the same thing happened to me. I was wearing shorts and his fingernails scratched me pretty bad on the back of my thigh. Again, I was so scared that I just ran home. I should have called the police. This guy should be kicked hard in the nuts. No respect as all.

  • I am so sorry this happened to you. I’ve heard about a number of incidents like this in the last month. Ugh. I would have froze and been just as upset. I think you reacted like most of us would have and I hope you think about contacting the police, just in case they can do anything now. (Can they?)

    I was in the produce section of YES! Market yesterday on Georgia and a man behind me loudly commented on my ass. Yes, I was wearing yoga pants (I had just gone to yoga!), but seriously? I can’t look for mushrooms and lemon grass without getting loudly cat called? He smirked at me when he walked by and continued shopping. I’m so tired of this shit.

  • I am so sorry that you encountered such a misogynist pig. I’m sorrier that the fool behind the counter didn’t even try to help you. The inaction and co-signing of this behavior by the so-called “good guys” makes the predators feel that much more free to target women like this.

    • Actually, the ‘fool’ behind the counter did try to help her. He asked if the victim if she would like the video sent to the police.

  • Between the article about the guy masturbating in the Dupont Panera yesterday and this, it makes me realize a lot of people are still completely oblivious to the fact these incidents are unwanted, disgusting, and very much unfunny. Some might find that it’s easy to laugh about them, but only because you’re forgetting this happened to a very real person with very real thoughts and feelings.

    Remember that a person’s body is a private space. It’s illegal to enter someone’s private property without their permission, so think of a person’s body in that context. Wouldn’t you feel violated if someone came into your house and took your belongings? Well, I feel violated when someone touches a part of my body without permission. I don’t want or need a stranger’s attention/touching/catcalls for any type of validation. It’s ridiculous that the only time I don’t get comments from strangers on my way home is when I’m walking with another male.

    My body is in no way part of your space. Leave it alone and please respect it.

    • +1 to “Between the article about the guy masturbating in the Dupont Panera yesterday and this, it makes me realize a lot of people are still completely oblivious to the fact these incidents are unwanted, disgusting, and very much unfunny.”
      It’s dispiriting to realize from the comments how many people Just Don’t Get It.

    • Emmaleigh504

      Well said.

    • +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    • +2340890234. I wish I could high five you.

    • Well said times a million. Thanks so much for eloquently articulating what we all were thinking.

  • Police Police Police Police.

    That’s what you do to, report it to the police.

  • Let’s not hear about what any of the people who weren’t there “would have” done. You honestly never know. I think that I would freeze in shock until it was too late to do anything, and then seethe with fury for the next week. That’s what I’ve done in the past. Oh, I would fantasize about putting my fist straight through to the back of his head, but never having punched anyone in my life, it seems unlikely.
    Then again…. someone shoved me and screamed at me once when I was with my baby (in a stroller), and the mama bear took over. I slammed him against the wall and pushed him to the ground. It was the most violent encounter of my life, and there was ZERO conscious thought involved. (he got up and ran away.)
    OP, do go to the cops. You were assaulted. He’ll do it again. (Tell yourself that when the cops stonewall you or try to convince it it was harmless hijinks.)

    • +1 to “OP, do go to the cops. You were assaulted. He’ll do it again.” And he might escalate to worse.
      The cops called me about a week after my incident because (IIRC) there had been a rape and they suspected that it was the same guys. But I’d already given them all the details I could remember and couldn’t offer any more.

    • So true. I always thought I’d “be strong” and say something to a guy if I was in this situation. Then two years ago I was groped at a bar by some drunk asshole. I was shocked and embarrassed. I pushed him off me and instead of calling him out, I just went to the bathroom and started to cry. I hated that he made me feel like the helpless victim even for just a few seconds. And I felt angry with myself that I didn’t stand up to him like I always thought I would do.
      OP- I’m so sorry this happened to you. It sucks and it’s not right. I understand that it can feel humiliating but absolutely go to the police.

    • Agreed. When I was in Japan, I had a drunk college kid grab my breasts in a bar – just full on grabbed me with both hands. I was so shocked that I couldn’t react, I just sort of stared after him thinking “Did that… really just happen?” It’s hard to know what you would actually do.

  • I would have called the police and gotten the security footage. Reported the incident no question. Because he did it and got away with it, he’ll do it again, no question.

  • hammers

    Not okay. Women do not exist for entertainment. Hope this guy gets his comeuppance, and you do not lose the feeling of safety in your neighborhood. You should take the convenience store guy up on his offer.

    • hammers

      Plus, as your neighbor, also a woman who passes this corner all the time, and uses that store occasionally, you’d be doing me, and the whole community a solid by working to get this punk some repercussion for being an animal.

  • Did you proceed to punch him in his face, then slither away sheepishly with a grin?

    Cause….ya know… you should’ve.

  • Report it! It’s still assault and this guy needs to be stopped. Maybe they had a camera in the store?

    Grrrr….this is very upsetting to all women!

  • What the heck is a curly high top?

  • These stories are really eye opening to me. I had no idea that women were harassed so much in this city.

    • Women are harassed like this everywhere. Regularly.

    • Harassment happens daily. Assaults are common, but less frequent.

    • “I’ve spent very little time on the Internet during the past several months”

    • It’s not just in this city. And it’s not just women. For some of us, this sh*t starts when we’re fourteen. Or twelve. Or, in my case, about eleven. And what it can do to your worldview, your self image, and your sense of safety to have to protect yourself from grown men acting worse than dogs when you’re eleven, really isn’t pretty. Oh yeah: “smile baby”! Between the harassment and the victim blaming and shaming, and the sense that you have to be constantly on guard, it’s a lot for anyone at any age to have to deal with just to go outside.

  • skj84

    So sorry you had to go through that. I’ve had my ass grabbed by strangers and it’s shocking. One man grabbed me as we passed on a metro train and I didn’t even have a chance to retaliate. Shame on the clerk behind the counter. I hate men like that. Entitled attitudes.

    • Yes, I had a man grab my ass on a metro train as we crossed paths entering and exiting the train. So by the time I got my wits about me and realized what the hell had just happened, he was already off the train, behind closed doors. I’m still wish I had called him out, but like everyone has said, you really have no idea how you’re going to react to a situation until you’ve lived it.

  • I would imagine this and lesser offenses have happened to many women in DC. Although I have never been physically assaulted, I get cat calls almost every day when I’m walking my dog, or walking to or from work, etc… I’ve decided that no matter how small the offense seems, I’m not going to take it, and even though it’s difficult, I have started saying something EVERY TIME IT HAPPENS. When I hear men making comments about the way I look, I stop, look them in the eye and say “those comments make me feel unsafe walking down the street. Please don’t do that.” Usually the men are so stunned and embarrassed that they have no response. I hope that it makes them think twice the next time.

    • good for you. that is a good comment.

    • I do the same. I started loudly (so anyone around can hear) repeating what they say to me like this: “I can’t believe you just told me xxx. Stop harassing me!”

      99% of the time they get so embarrassed and fade away.

  • This is just awful. Report it to the police, if you can now. There should be aware that this person is out there and can look out for him. I’m sorry that happened to you.

    As for you judgmental commenters, how about some compassion? This is physical assault and quite serious.

    When I get verbally harassed, especially in Spanish, I call people out. I say, is that how you want people to talk to your daughter or sister or mother?

  • I’m not sure I understand why he was allowed to walk away on two good legs.

Comments are closed.