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Man sexually assaults sleeping woman on Manhattan subway train in [VIDEO] while subway riders watch
In October 2012, Elisa Lopez was sexually assaulted while napping on a subway train in New York City, and the entire incident was caught on video and spread online like wildfire.
Late last week, more than two years after the shocking attack, Ms Lopez was finally vindicated when police apprehended her alleged molester, identified as 43-year-old Carlos Chuva.
The Queens resident was arrested last Thursday and charged with first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault.
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Vile attack: On October 20, 2012, Elisa Lopez (right) was sleeping aboard a downtown 4 train when a middle-aged man sat next to her and stuck his hand up her skirt (left). The entire incident was caught on video
Groper: The denim-clad stranger got off the train and vanished after Lopez punched him in the face and fled
According to a criminal complaint cited by Gothamist, the suspect admitted that he was the attacker when officers showed a screen grab from the infamous subway video.
The vile attack took place at around 4am October 20, 2012, aboard a downtown 4 train near Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Elisa Lopez, then a 21-year-old member of the Air National Guard, was on her way downtown to meet her boyfriend after attending a party in The Bronx when she briefly dozed off on the train, instinctively clutching her purse.
She woke up moments later to discover a stranger caressing her thigh and face and trying to kiss her.
The terrified straphanger punched the pervert in the face and fled the subway.
She did not realize the extent of the sexual assault she had endured until a work friend sent her the graphic video shot by a fellow passenger aboard the 4 train.
Justice for Elisa: more than two years later, police arrested 43-year-old Carlos Chuvo (left), charging him with aggravated sexual assault of Elisa Lopez
The grainy cell phone footage recorded by Brooklyn man Jasheem Smiley depicts a middle-aged man dressed in a faded denim jacket and jeans shoving his hand under the sleeping woman's skirt and groping her.
The 18-second clip of the attack quickly went viral, earning Smiley public censure for capturing the assault on his iPhone instead of trying to stop it.
Smiley released another video on his YouTube channel just days later defending his actions that night.
Bystander: Jasheem Smiley faced backlash for capturing the video on his cell phone instead of trying to help Lopez
‘There were 10 other people on the train that didn't do anything,’ he explained. ‘I was the one that did the most.’
Smiley pointed out that after the groper got off the train, he notified the conductor about what happened and went to the police with the video.
But according to the man, officers became interested in the case only after he uploaded the footage online and it attracted media attention.
The assault witness explained that had he physically intervened, the suspect could have accused him of attacking him without any provocation.
Smiley also claimed he was concerned for his own safety because he did not known if the middle-aged pervert had a gun or a knife or him.
‘God knows I did the best I can,’ he said in the video.
He did mention that he repeatedly tried waking Lopez, but the woman continued sleeping after a night out drinking with friends.
On her part, Elisa Lopez broke her silence about the attack this past December, telling Cosmopolitan that she was in disbelief when she first saw Smiley's footage.
‘I felt sick to my stomach. I was yelling, screaming. I was hysterical,’ she recalled.
Determined to see her abuser behind bars, Lopez released a video of her own explaining the circumstances of the attack and launched a Facebook campaign appealing to fellow users for help in bringing the subway groper to justice.
Silent no more: After seeing that her case was going nowhere, Lopez, a college student and member of the Air National Guard, went public with her story in December
Survivor: The 23-year-old woman has spent the past two years getting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, night terrors and depression caused by the shocking assault
Lopez said she has been grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and night terrors for the past two years. She also cannot bear using the subway.
Initially, she was hesitant to seek psychological treatment for fear of being ejected from the Air National Guard, but after realizing she was having suicidal thoughts, Lopez decided to go and find herself a therapist.
She also turned to art to help her cope with the trauma and adopted a puppy and a calico kitten. She is currently enrolled in the City College of New York.
In an interview with Pix11 about Carlos Chuva’s long-awaited arrest, Lopez suggested she now has come full circle, more than two years after the night that changed her life.
‘I'm at a point where i can say that i am ready to move forward with this,’ she said with a smile.
This is one of the craziest things I have ever seen!
I could not believe this story even as I watching the short video that was taken by a passenger (Smiley) on the 4 train in NYC. At about 3:30 am Saturday morning an unidentified man gets on the 4 train and spots a woman basically passed out. This nutbag decides he’s going to sit next to the woman and put his hand under her dress, WTF!!!!
As a rider of the NYC Subway system there have been PLENTY of times I have fallen asleep on a late night train back to Queens, but this is insane. What kind of crazy do you have to be to try something like that? And it’s not like the woman and the guy were the only people on the subway car.
Smiley was sitting across from the woman when this happened and quickly took a video (as evidence) of the incident and reported to the authorities. Now the question is should Smiley done something to stop the guy before taking the video?
Smiley said that he and others on the train yelled at the guy to stop but he would not, eventually the woman woke up when the man tried other things like put his arm around her. The woman did manage to punch the guy in the face before she got off the train; I can’t imagine what was going thru her mind as she woke up, smh.
In a perfect world we would expect Smiley and the other folks on the train to taken some kind of action other than yelling at the guy. I myself have played the role of ‘Super Hero’once or twice, but I am pretty big dude. There have been a couple of times where I thought afterward that one of these days someone is going to tell me to mind my business and take a swing at me.
So when it comes to Smiley and the others on the train I can’t really fault them for not doing more. This is NYC and we hear all types of stories of crazy nutbags attacking people, Smiley and others may have hesitated but if a guy is bold enough to jump on a subway car, openly grope a woman and not care who is watching… There is no telling what else he may do!
Wow, just when you thought you have seen/read it all….