What to Know
- An NJ man caught masturbating on a Brooklyn-bound R train was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking the woman who saw him
- Reggie Frank was convicted of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and public lewdness in connection with the February 2018 attack
- The woman was treated at a hospital for cuts to her fingers, including a gash that required 15 stitches and caused permanent nerve damage
A 48-year-old New Jersey man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking a woman on her way home from work on a New York City subway when she woke up to find him masturbating across from her last year, officials say.
Reggie Frank, a 48-year-old with 20 prior convictions related to public lewdness, including felonies, emptied a canister of pepper spray into the woman's eyes when she confronted him on a Brooklyn-bound R train in Sunset Park Feb. 23, 2018.
All she did to "confront" him was ask what he was doing, prosecutors say. Frank then pulled out a folding knife and attacked the woman, holding it to her temple while immobilizing her head with his other hand -- and cutting her hand as she fought to get the knife away, according to prosecutors and court documents.
Frank punched the woman several times in his face and dug his finger into her eye; then he bit her hand, drawing blood, prosecutors say.
When the train pulled into the 36th Street/Fourth Avenue station, a good Samaritan boarded the train and pulled Frank off the woman. The conductor called police, who arrested Frank at the station and recovered the weapons.
The woman was treated at a hospital for lacerations to her fingers, including a gash that required 15 stitches and caused permanent nerve damage. She also suffered a corneal erosion in her eye that continues to affect her vision.
Frank was convicted in September of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and public lewdness following a jury trial. In addition to the 10 years of incarceration, he was sentenced to a decade of post-release supervision.
"This defendant’s deviant and violent behavior endangers all New Yorkers, especially those who depend on the subway," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. "The fact that the defendant has 20 prior convictions related to public lewdness is ample evidence that he is willing to disregard the law, the risk of incarceration and the harm to society."