Freak in full flight
Caught in mid-jerkOnan The Vegetarian
The story of a raw-food guru turned “subway perv.”
By Russell Scott Smith
As soon as the subway doors opened, Thao Nguyen could sense she was in trouble. A short blond man boarded the train and locked his eyes on her. She felt a jolt of panic as the uptown R accelerated into a tunnel and the man sat down across from her and started rubbing his crotch. Nguyen, 22, was wearing a blouse and long pants, having just come from a job interview in Soho. He unzipped his fly and grinned.
She looked away but could see the man’s increasingly agitated reflection in the pockmarked train window. To avoid eye contact, she reached in her bag and pulled out her camera-equipped cell phone. She turned it on. Turned it off. Thought about the Mace canister she was carrying as she fumbled the phone to the floor. When she sat up, the man had his penis out of his pants.
Just a few feet away, a Japanese tourist couple chatted, oblivious to the goings-on. Nguyen’s Mace was right there, at her fingertips. She thought one more time about using it—then snapped a picture instead.
The man zipped up, and when the doors opened at the next station, he bolted. Nguyen took a deep breath and a couple of moments to compose herself, then looked at the shot she’d taken. There it was, captured in the lurid yellow subway light. She got off the train at 34th Street to report the incident to a policewoman. The officer took the report but didn’t want to see the photo. So that evening, Nguyen, a Web designer, uploaded the image to the girl-power site Laundromatic.net, hoping someone would identify her flasher.
Soon, the page filled with posts from other New Yorkers who had been flashed, ogled, or groped on the subway. “Why does this always happen on that damn R train?” rainey_daze wrote. “This has happened to me TWICE on there.” More sites started linking, and within a week, some 45,000 people had seen the picture. On August 27, the Daily News ran the flasher photo on page one, propelling the story around the world, from TV stations in Japan and the Netherlands to papers in Israel and Australia. “Holy shit! That’s Stu from accounting!” one wag wrote beneath the photo on Gothamist.com, noting the wholesome appearance of the perpetrator.
With his black polo shirt, dress socks, and sensible sneakers, he simply didn’t fit the widely held perception of subway perverts. Weren’t they supposed to be greasy men in shabby raincoats? Some are. Just two weeks before, local blogs had linked to photos of a real “old-school trench-coat flasher,” in the victim’s words, with hollow eyes and an unshaven chin. But this one looked like a soccer dad
Convicted of public lewdness, a misdemeanor, on February 27, Hoyt is awaiting sentencing on April 18, when he’ll likely receive two years’ probation. He’s already begun court-ordered counseling, but he finds the sessions “a little long-winded.” He’s looking into an alternative therapy called EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which Hoyt believes removes emotional problems like stains from a shirt. “They go right to where the stress points are and eliminate them,” he says.
The subway incident has spawned a mini-movement of sorts. Inspired by Nguyen, a 15-year-old Queens girl used a cell phone to snap her own picture of a man who flashed her on the 7 train on March 3. A group of Nguyen’s East Village fans have started Hollabacknyc.com, a blog that encourages all women to “holla back” at street harassers by taking cell-phone pictures and posting them online. Nguyen “took the leap to say, ‘Uh-uh. This is not okay,’ ” says Hollaback co-founder Emily May. “She’s our princess,” adds another co-founder, Lauren Spees. “He picked the wrong person to do this to,” Nguyen says.
Not surprisingly, Hoyt himself disapproves of such tactics. In his account, the perpetrator is Nguyen, who misread his intentions (he claims he was already mid-masturbation when she stepped onto the train) and then humiliated him by posting his picture on the Web. He says he didn’t even realize he’d been photographed. “Even so, I wouldn’t imagine somebody throwing it up on the Internet for millions of people and destroying your life like that,” he says. “It’s one thing to take it to the police. But on the Internet, I read a lot of people saying, ‘That was not too cool of her. That was really screwed up.’ ”
Hoyt believes that if he and Nguyen had only met under different circumstances, she might really like him. “You know, she’d go, ‘That guy’s pretty cool. He’s got this restaurant, and he’s fun,’ ” Hoyt says. “She’d probably want to go out with me.”
Two pullouts from this article: He claimes that one can live without eating in a perfectly clean environment ("breathism") and that the woman he flashed was "wrong" in posting up his pic online and would "probably think he was cool and want to go out with him" if they had met under different circumstances. Can you say egomaniac?
Let's see, he whips out his dick on the subway, waves it as a 22 year old girl and thinks "she would go out with me".
Here's a statement :DON'T WHIP YOUR DICK OUT ON THE FUCKING TRAIN
He's lucky he didn't run into teen boys because he would have been beaten shitless. Whether they thought he was coming on to them or their girlfriends, violence would have ensued. I've seen a lot of shit in the subway, but this asshole got exactly what he deserved. As it was, she was going to mace his punk ass on the spot. And he's worried about being online?
They still have peep shows in Manhattan, you know. Lack of self-control is a mild description here.
posted by Steve @ 5:39:00 PM