Life for Metrorail customers seems be getting quite savage these days. If the cell phone snatchings and in-car fighting wasn’t bad enough, the subway seems to be in the throes of a public masturbation boom.

The most recent complaint about this issue comes, via Hollaback DC, from a woman who was catching the Red Line from Union Station. As usual, the concrete benches in the station were full (R.I.P. chivalry), and she searched for a spare piece of bench to sit on while she stuck out the 20-minute wait.

She was just sitting down next to a younger woman when she noticed a man she assumed to be homeless “oggleing” the both of them. She’d spotted him by the gates, and by the looks of things, she’d piqued his interest, and he’d decided to follow her down to the platform. Both women noticed the man’s hands repeatedly heading toward his, um, manly bits, and tried to ignore it, hoping against hope that he would stop.

No such luck. The man followed our storyteller onto her train and then, it happened:

“As he set down he stuck his hand in his pants and pulled himself out and I though eww he going to try to flash me; but no he had other intentions and he started to masturbate.”

Naturally, she immediately moved to the other side of the train, then fled to the next car when the train pulled into a station. The guy didn’t seem to care that he’d been spotted. When she switched trains at Chinatown, he stood up to watch her leave, his hands still lodged in his pants.

This isn’t the first time a Hollaback DC poster has complained about suffering this form of harassment on the Metro. Over the summer, another woman recounted an awful experience she suffered last February, when one of her fellow passengers apparently got all hot and bothered by the sight of her bundled up in her winter clothes.

Neither woman knew what to do—but who would, with something right out of Law and Order: SVU happening to you while you’re minding your own business?

Metro actually does have guidelines for this sort of thing, as City Desk reported last summer. Officials say customers caught in the sights of pervy riders, or other sketchy individuals, should either press the little red button on the train to report the incident to the operator, or to call the 24-hour Metro Transit Police hotline at (202) 962-2121.

Be safe out there.

Photo by hyku via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic