Police Seek Serial Subway Masturbator

NEW YORK – Police in New York are on the hunt for a rampant subway masturbator. The man was reportedly caught fondling himself in two separate incidents last week. And his public display of lascivious conduct isn’t new to him, according to law enforcement authorities.

Subway Masturbator

The man being sought is Robert Mannis, 61 (pictured). He was inside the Herald Square subway station on Oct. 2 when a 27-year-old woman witnessed him fondling himself on the platform at around 6:30 p.m., according to police.

The next day, on Oct. 3, Mannis was on an E Train at about 9:30 when a 27-year-old woman said she spotted him masturbating as he stared at her, reported the New York Post.

The second victim took a picture of Mannis with her cellphone before he exited the train at the Lexington Avenue/53 Street station.

Disturbing Trend

While this isn’t the crime of the century, it’s a disturbing trend. Moreover, a person willing to brazenly “whip it out” in pubic is probably capable of greater sexual offenses.

Mannis has an extensive arrest history for similar incidents, police sources said.

In March, Mannis was busted three times for exposing himself in the subway.

Police previously arrested the straphanger they say masturbated aboard a B train in February, days after exposing himself on a subway staircase, reported DNAInfo.com.

Mannis exposed himself and then masturbated on the train about 9:20 p.m. on Feb. 13 before fleeing at the DeKalb Avenue stop, police said.

Investigators later determined that he also exposed himself while walking up a subway station staircase on West 32nd Street and Broadway on Feb. 7, the NYPD said.

At the time, Mannis, of East Flatbush, was charged with two counts public lewdness.

Public Shaming

In the past, disturbed people who masturbate in public have been shamed off trains.

One incident in particular involved a middle-aged Brooklyn writer named Deb. She did not want her last name published because “people are insane” (fair) but whose identity has been confirmed by Patch. This past June she launched a guerrilla, one-woman perv-shaming campaign in the South Street subway station. In a series of tongue-in-cheek flyers posted throughout the station, Deb mocks a man she claims masturbated next to her on an uptown 1 train — “a deterrent,” she said, “for all the other perverts” lurking in the NYC subway system. In the flyer she included a photo of the man with his hands down his pants. The caption reads, “Please help this man find his d***.”

Using shameful comedy, the last sentence reads, “His **** is the size of a pencil eraser so it is VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE, so please EVERYBODY!! be on the lookout!”

“It’s hard to humiliate these guys,” Deb told Patch. “But humiliation is a really useful tactic when people try to intimidate you.”

Deb said she found writing and posting the flyers to be “cathartic and empowering” after such a “violating” encounter.

Increase in Misdemeanor Sex Crimes

Misdemeanor sex crimes in NYC, including reports of groping and masturbating on the subway, are up 13 percent as of June of this year compared to last year, according to the NYPD.

Unlike the “wanted” flyers posted by police, Deb said hers are less about tracking down another alleged subway masturbator and prosecuting him under the law, and more about shaming her violator — and others like him — on a public stage.

“This is really for him and for people that know him,” Deb said. “Let him get fired. Let him lose his job,” she wrote. But she wasn’t finished with her fury. “Let his wife see it. Let his daughter see it,” she continued.

“And in general,” she said, “this is for perverts.”

While writing her “little ode to a little d***,” Deb said she tried to dig into the psyche of the city’s subway pervs by targeting and mocking their very tools of violation.

“I was thinking, ‘What can I say that will make people look at this? And what will humiliate him the most?'” the author told Patch. “Because I want him to be utterly humiliated — and I want men to know women are going to do this.”

(Photo source NYPD)

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