Liza’s Story: Stalked by a cop

I encountered the NYPD officer on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I was running errands Saturday afternoon of Labor Day weekend when he struck up a conversation with me while I was waiting for a light to change. Wary of the NYPD given their reputation for raping, assaulting, searching and violating our constitutional rights with impunity I was reluctant to speak with an officer of the law, but didn’t want to be rude so returned his “Hello” and said “It’s pretty hot out, eh?” After agreeing with me, the on duty, in uniform officer immediately asked “What are you doing tonight?” I replied with “Oh, thanks but I’m married.” I turned and continued on my way which is when things turned from unwanted and intrusive flirty to downright creepy as called after me “I’m going to steal you away!” and then followed me up the avenue, stalking me on foot block after block while I tried to call my husband on my cell phone to see if he could meet up with me outside of our apartment somewhere. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my husband on the phone right at that moment, so after being followed for about 8 blocks I slowed down, turned around and said “Oh, Hello.” To which he replied “Wow, you walk fast.” Yes, yes I do when I am trying to avoid unwanted interaction with an armed stalker…! At this point I was afraid for my safety, and very concerned about how to get away from this police officer without provoking him. He did not acknowledge my fear or reluctance and began asking me questions about my name, work and where I live. I gave the vaguest possible answers while scanning the streets praying to come across someone I knew or some other way to escape this unwanted encounter. The police man continued to walk next to me for a total of over 15 blocks asking questions, making unwanted comments on my appearance and asking for a date. Not that it matters, but I am over 35, stated clearly that I was married, and was wearing a knee length skirt and t-shirt – exactly zero indications that this attention was wanted in any way. After a harrowing 15 minutes, and getting perilously close to my residence (no way did I want this cop to know where I live!) I thought of a beauty supply place and took a chance that he wouldn’t feel comfortable going into such a girly environment. He made a lame joke about me “Not needing to be any more beautiful” and I went into the store still dodging his line of trying to get to know me questions. Once inside I started to shake, and spent over 30 minutes slowly browsing the aisles, killing time hoping he wouldn’t be outside waiting for me. He wasn’t outside… he was 1 block away across the street. Completely freaked now I worked my way across 86th street going into every shoe store, beauty supply etc. hoping he would get bored or distracted so I could shake him. Eventually, after losing another 2 hrs of my life to this game I came out of a store and didn’t see him around. I practically ran to my building and looked around like a lunatic to thoroughly case the area before going into my lobby. When I caught up with my husband and told him this story, he went out to look around and easily found this cop standing on street corner within 2 blocks of our building. Now, afraid in my own neighborhood I changed my weekend plans to stay inside as much as possible and am concerned about running errands/shopping in my neighborhood, afraid seeing this cop again will encourage his clearly psycho obsession with me and stalking women in general while on duty. I do have his full name, but doubt filing any type of complaint would have an impact and again and afraid to bring me in particular to his attention although I’m sure he has harassed other women while on duty and would love to be able to see him brought to consequence for it.

I've got your back!
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5 Responses

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  1. Liza says:

    Related, and also why I felt so powerless and frightened from the moment this encounter took a turn for the creepy: http://jezebel.com/5941373/its-your-fault-if-youre-sexually-assaulted-by-a-drunk-cop-and-other-lessons-from-arizona

  2. Lauren says:

    What a traumatic experience — how are “New York’s Finest” supposed to protect us when they are too busy violating laws and harassing citizens? Have you considered filing a civilian complaint? You can use the following link to access the online complaint form: https://www.nyc.gov/html/ccrb/html/complaint.html

  3. Julia says:

    That sounds terrifying. I’m really freaked out, being that I’m a rape and abuse survivor AND I live less than a block away from 5th Ave in Bay Ridge — so I know exactly the spot where they park the squad cars and then stand on the corner. Street harassment in this area is a huge problem that is clearly going unchecked. We literally get punished for having the “audacity” to be women in public.
    Anyway, I’ve got your back, on hollaback and in the actual street! lol

  4. Amy says:

    Liza, I’m also a Bay Ridge resident and I agree with Julia; street harassment is hugely problematic in this neighborhood. I am so sorry to hear of this encounter. It makes me sad, scared, and enraged. To echo Julia, I’ve got your back, here and on the street. If you ever see a short, busty brunette telling some asshole what-for, maybe you’ll have my back too. ;) In all seriousness, though – and I genuinely do hate to say this – the police presence in Bay Ridge makes me feel less safe.

  5. Mike says:

    Call the police headquarters!!!! Let them know! I’m in law enforcement and this needs to be reported!!!

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