Man Gropes 12-Year-Old Girl at Coney Island Subway Station: NYPD

Police are searching for the man they say groped a girl at a Coney Island subway station.

The 12-year-old girl was in the mezzanine area of the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station earlier this month when the 30-something-year-old man approached her.

The man grabbed her rear end and then took off, according to police.

With subway ridership approaching all-time highs, averaging 5.6 million daily riders, reports of sex crimes are also rising, up nearly 57 percent.

New York police say there were 431 reports of sex crimes from lewdness to forcible touching in the subway from mid-2015 to mid-2016, up from 275 over the same period the previous year. There were also 72 more arrests for such crimes over the same period.

Such numbers pale in comparison to transit systems around the world, such as Japan, where nearly 64 percent of women in their 20s and 30s reported being groped on trains or in transit stations, or India, where the problem has prompted separate cars just for women.

But they were enough to draw the ire of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who sent a letter to the MTA asking the agency to take all the steps it can to increase patrols and work with the police department to "crack down on this sort of depraved behavior."

The NYPD asks anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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