An online reporting tool helped Metro Transit Police catch a man who witnesses said was fondling himself on a train.
Robert Lee Scott Jr., 48, of Capitol Heights, Md., was charged with two counts of indecent exposure within the Metrorail system in the July 26 incident.
Witnesses had reported seeing a man masturbating on a train at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport station in Arlington. Police responded and officers detained Scott, who matched the description that witnesses gave to police.
The detective noticed that Scott was wearing a shirt with a logo that matched the description from two previously reported incidents: one reported online earlier the same day and one reported the previous day.
Scott was charged with two counts of indecent exposure. He pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday. Scott is expected to serve a total of four months in the Arlington County Detention Center, according to police.
Metro's online sexual harassment reporting tool, located at wmata.com/harassment, allows someone who feels they were sexually harassed to report the incident directly to Metro Transit Police.
The form has been online since March, and 70 reports have been filed so far, said Caroline Lukas, spokeswoman for the police department.
“We are getting a good response so far,” Lukas said. “We will continue to follow up on all reports of sexual misconduct.”
Information submitted through the site is sent to police for follow-up action, and people who report incidents have the option of remaining anonymous. Metro has also established an email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — to allow victims to send photo or video files to assist an investigation.