You see some really strange shit riding the subway, but if one New York City lawmaker has his way, serial sex offenders won’t be part of your daily dose of subway oddities. City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn) has proposed a ban that is designed to prevent recidivist sex offenders from riding public transportation.
The ban would apply to repeat offenders — anyone who has been convicted of sex crimes twice on a subway. That includes anything from groping, grinding, to other lewd acts.
“We need to protect New Yorkers.”
If the legislation becomes law, it could apply to all mass transit, including Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses. “We need to protect New Yorkers,” Deutsch said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his support for Deutsch’s proposal, declaring a need for legislative action to curb the ever-rising sexual assault statistics on the city’s beleaguered transit system. Mayor Bill de Blasio also voiced his support, which is surprising, given that sex offenders make up a not-so-insignificant fraction of his base.
“Two convictions for a sexual assault on a subway, you should be banned,” Cuomo said. “You have people who target victims in the subways and that’s where they go. Many people, crowded areas, certain techniques, that’s where they go.”
According to the NYPD, 2018 brought 866 reported subway sex crimes and 373 subsequent arrests. Of course, this isn’t news. Everyone who rides public transit is afraid that everyone else who rides public transit is insane.
NYPD Transit Chief Edward Delatorre said officers know many of the worst repeat offenders, but are “powerless to stop them” until they violate again, as they require probable cause in order to do anything more than try to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior from these individuals.
“We now have to follow them for hours and hours until they pick out their next victim,” Delatorre said. “This is the most heartbreaking part for our officers.”
But how will the ban be enforced?
Deutsch hasn’t offered any details on how NYPD officers and the MTA will enforce the ban, but one potential method would be to integrate ID checks, the same way the TSA screens airline passengers.
The MTA is onboard. Sorta.
“We support legislation that would ban serial sex offenders from the subway and we look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to implement it into law,” the agency said in a statement.
However, the MTA stated it has no plans for adding increased security checks to the ticketing process, citing the increased wait times associated with checking travelers’ IDs. When asked for comment, the agency stated they had no intentions of implementing random ID checks either, due to the “inconvenience it would impose on riders.” We certainly wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone in a hurry to enjoy lounging in the piss-soaked seats of the dangerously over-packed and under-maintained
subway cattle cars.
Keep in mind, this is the same agency that decided the best way to deal with excessive trash was to remove trash bins. Rest assured, New Yorkers, the MTA is making sure you can expect a smooth, 40-minute-behind-schedule trip to work involving several typical, unexpected train transfers, while seated next to the standard amount of pedophiles.