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MBTA arrests for lewdness up 84 percent

The arrest of a man who allegedly masturbated in front of a woman on a Route 28 bus Friday afternoon marked an 84 percent increase in arrests this year for open and gross behavior on the MBTA.

The arrest of a man who allegedly masturbated in front of a woman on a Route 28 bus Friday afternoon marked an 84 percent increase in arrests this year for open and gross behavior on the MBTA.

“We are seeing the increase in reporting incidents,” T Police Deputy Chief Lewis Best said. “I think the public is convinced if they do say something, we will take action.”

That's exactly what happened after Level 3 sex offender Donnie McLean, 46, allegedly stuck his hands down his pants in front of a female passenger and "began to motion it up and down in a stroking manner," a police report said.

After the woman moved her seat, McLean followed, unzipped his pants and started masturbating again. The victim reported McLean to police at Ruggles Station before he was arrested.

McLean was arraigned yesterday and ordered to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse.

Best credits these passenger reports to signs posted throughout the transit system. The T renewed the public awareness campaign in collaboration with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center last year.

Best said media coverage of incidents have also helped. People also use smartphones to photograph suspects in the act.

“We encourage that when it’s safe to do so,” Best said. “That’s certainly another mechanism for us. I think people are just more aware of their surroundings.

“Often people zone out on the subway, but now people are more attune with their personal surroundings and the general public safety of others on trains and buses.”

 
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