A man who has previously been charged with assaulting women by grabbing their ankles, rubbing their feet, and taking off with their shoes has reportedly been a constant presence at the Newkirk Plaza subway station for years – and a neighbor told us he allegedly attacked her last Saturday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Sean Cumberbatch, 29, followed the neighbor onto a Manhattan-bound Q train and sat across from her, during which he “continuously looked at her as they rode the train” to Times Square. Cumberbatch then allegedly followed the woman off the train, and as she began walk up the staircase he “reached out and grabbed her ankle with two hands,” the criminal complaint said. When the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous out of a fear her attacker could locate her, “turned around, the defendant began stroking her lower leg and foot with both of his hands,” according to the same criminal complaint.
Cumberbatch was arrested and has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse and second-degree harassment, according to the Manhattan DA’s office. His next court date is scheduled for September.
The neighbor, who daily catches the train at Newkirk Plaza, is now pursuing a restraining order against the man, but it has yet to come through, and she reached out to us because she wanted to both warn others about his behavior and to see if others have experience something similar.
While we were not able to locate a photo of Cumberbatch, the neighbor did describe him as a “light-skinned black male with light blue eyes (pretty distinctive eyes)” who is about 5-feet-8-inches or 5-feet-9-inches and has a normal build. He was wearing a navy t-shirt and jeans at the time of last Saturday’s reported attack.
Previously, Cumberbatch allegedly attacked women in Park Slope while wearing a Superman cape, though the individual who spoke to us said he was not wearing any kind of superhero get-up when she encountered him.
“I see him regularly outside Newkirk Plaza, so I didn’t think anything of it when I saw him Saturday,” the neighbor wrote to us. “…When I was on the Q train platform, as the train was pulling in, I felt someone come up behind me – too close for comfort – and I tried to move, and he moved with me. It was him; he boarded the train with me and then sat across from me and stared at me the whole time.”
“The guy’s MO sounds like he’s been honing it for several years, and I really feel that someone else in this area has to also have been his victim,” the neighbor went on to write.
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