An alleged serial groper is rubbing his crotch against women on N-Judah and L-Taraval Muni trains as everyday riders call attention to safety aboard Muni.
The groper came to light after repeated complaints on the neighborhood social media website Nextdoor. The San Francisco Examiner is withholding the names of the commenters, as the social media site is not public to nonmembers and carries some expectation of privacy.
But the incident — and riders affected by it — also highlights the practice of San Francisco Police Department officers and Muni proof of payment officers patrolling Muni trains, all of whom play a role in transit safety.
“Do we not even get to feel safe on public transportation?” wrote one neighbor on Nextdoor about the alleged groper, asking directly, “Muni and SFPD … what are you doing about people like him?”
SFPD Cmdr. Robert O’Sullivan heads traffic company, whose officers handle traffic and transportation in The City, and who ensures SFPD officers at district stations patrol Muni trains and buses regularly.
O’Sullivan confirmed the SFPD Special Victims Unit is investigating an “incident which occurred on the N-Judah last Thursday,” March 30. He said only one report has been filed with the department.
A picture of the suspect has been disseminated to Muni Division officers, according to O’Sullivan, and a crime alert with specifics of the incident as well as the photo of the suspect “will be emailed to all officers” Monday afternoon.
O’Sullivan also said additional officers were directed to ride the N-Judah between downtown stations and the avenues.
One neighbor who wrote about the incident on Nextdoor said, “This is a PSA for all women and men on Muni to be aware and on the lookout for this man,” adding, “I have seen him TWICE molesting women on the outbound N-Judah.”
Allegedly, the suspect boards at Church and Duboce.
The neighbor wrote that the man’s method, allegedly, is to board crowded trains and rub his crotch “and get excited” against “unsuspecting victims.” He was described as wearing a jacket with duct tape on the sides, a camouflage-style backpack and a hat with wraparound sunglasses.
The neighbor wrote that she was allegedly groped by the man, who then screamed at her when she tried to defend herself.
Paul Rose, an SFMTA spokesperson, told the Examiner, “We are aware of the issue and are taking it very seriously. We reached out to the individual who made the claim to gather more information and will continue to work with SFPD to help support their investigation.”
After the neighbor’s post, a flood of comments came in, also writing they have seen this man, and witnessed him “sexually assaulting” women.
Another neighbor wrote that “the Muni operator told me to hit the big red panic button by the Muni train if I ever see this guy again.”