AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer
A Detroit, Michigan woman says she’s angry and concerned after witnessing an incident involving a man exposing and fondling himself in a Dearborn mall. Stacy Crawford says she went into the women’s restroom in the basement of the Macy’s at Fairlane Mall as she’s done many times in the past, but this time got the shock of her life.
Crawford was there when she heard another young woman already inside.
“As I was going in, she was wrapping up, I’m in the stall, she’s beating on the stall (saying) ‘Ma am, ma’am’ and I hear the urgency in her voice,” Crawford said. “I’m like what’s going on.”
Crawford said when she opened the stall door she spotted a black man appearing to be in his mid-to late 30s touching himself. He was looking at the other woman who got so terrified – she pulled out a gun.
“She was so afraid she didn’t want to do that. She felt threatened,” Crawford said.
Crawford and the other woman screamed for security and blocked one of the doors to leave, but the man casually took another way out – through the mall.
“Through Macy’s and made it out to the mall – security, no one stopped him,” Crawford said.
Not to second-guess either of these women, but if you’re truly in fear for your life, better that the person get away than end up attacking you in a confined space.
I do understand the desire to try to ensure that the suspect was caught, however, and the two women are rightfully angry that the man was simply able to walk away.
“The security guard from Macy’s asked if we wanted to call the police,” Crawford said. “I asked what is Macy’s policy if something like this happens? of course we want you to call the police.”
In a statement to FOX 2 – a spokesperson with Macy’s says ” We are committed to providing a safe and secure shopping environment and ensuring all customers and colleagues are treated with respect and dignity.”
Macy’s goes on to say that it is fully cooperating with police.
“I’m angry. I’m afraid that no one is concerned enough,” Crawford said.
I imagine that there are lots of people who are concerned, but not nearly as concerned as the women who were actually impacted by what happened. In fact, I suspect that some of the concern on the part of Macy’s and the mall is about bad publicity, not just public safety.
I’m not sure what the mall could do to ensure that restrooms aren’t harboring creepy Peeping Toms, but I do know what women can do to ensure that if they are threatened or assaulted in a public restroom they can fight back: get a gun, get trained, and start carrying. As with most defensive gun uses, the armed citizen in Dearborn didn’t have to pull the trigger to protect both her and Crawford from the strange man in the Macy’s bathroom, but having that gun may have prevented the crime from escalating to sexual assault or worse.
If Macy’s and the mall really want to take a positive step, how about ensuring that their properties aren’t “gun-free zones?”