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Dear PoP – “Suspicious person photographing girls in metro”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Bogotron

“Dear PoP,

I’m writing you with a very weird occurrence that I observed on the metro probably 2 months or so ago. I would normally just ignore it but today my best friend told me she saw a very similar incident by a man who fits exactly the description. What I saw was a large (6’3″/250) African-American man who appeared and acted like he may have a mental or emotional condition indiscreetly snapping several cell phone camera pictures of a young woman probably mid-20s reading a book. He sat across from her pretending to text but my roommate and I could see clearly he was taking pictures of her. He even got up and stood next to her to take pictures. I wish we had said something but we didn’t know what to do. I had forgotten about it until my friend told me that she saw a man who fit the exact description, with the same blue flip phone, clearly taking pictures of another young woman’s feet.

Braver than I she yelled at him and called the train’s attention to what he was doing. I don’t remember the time or line from 2 months ago where I saw him, but last night she saw him on a Glenmont-bound red line, getting on at Bethesda around 5:50 pm. Can you please let your readers know that this suspicious man may be taking invasive photos, particularly of young women on metro trains, and to be alert and let a driver or station manager know if they see such activity? As a young woman who frequents metro herself, I am more than concerned that potential predators could be photographing me or even identifying information somehow.”

At first I wasn’t sure if people just didn’t like being photographed, like Pablo discussed in his street photography post. But then I read the part that said he was photographing – “young woman’s feet”. This is a really bizarre situation. How would you recommend dealing with this situation?

Photo by PoPville flickr user [F]oxymoron

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