Best reason to cab it: The subway groper

Freddie Johnson was arrested 53 times for rubbing against women on mass transit.

Published April 16, 2008 8:24PM (EDT)

How was everyone's commute this morning? Did you get a seat on the subway? Smell any new and exciting body odors? Well, at least you didn't get molested by The Subway Rat, who was arrested in New York City for the 53rd time after pelvis-grinding a female commuter last week.

Freddie Johnson has appeared in court so often for rubbing against women on the subway that his records brand him as a "recidivist transit grinder." He recently escaped a lifelong prison sentence after a judge ruled in favor of releasing him back into society under heavy surveillance. Unfortunately, Johnson wasted little time before grinding against another commuter in front of plainclothes cops, forcing authorities to weigh the merits of placing him in an expensive civil confinement center for the remainder of his life.

Exhibitionists have an extremely high rate of re-offense, but as the article notes, aren't likely to fall into more violent patterns like rape or assault. Petty but compulsive criminals like Johnson expose the holes in our underfunded, under-staffed remedial system that lets small-time offenders slip through the cracks. Is it worth the time, tax dollars, and limited space to lock away a "transit grinder" when rapists and child molesters are released into society every day for lack of better reformatory programs? It seems a little draconian to slap someone with a lifelong confinement for grinding against strangers. Until it's time to board the subway back home. Can I move to Missouri yet?

By Annsley Chapman

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