Courts: Subway perv free to ride rails

Sexual abuse on a crowded subway car should be a felony, some argue.

A man is back on the streets, and free to ride the subway, after he was convicted of masturbating on three young women during their morning commutes.

Darnell Hardware, 27, took advantage of the packed rush-hour crowds on New York City subway cars to rub himself against women who were unable to move due to the crowded train, said prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

He would ejaculate onto the women before fleeing the train car through closing doors.  His victims were 24, 22 and 17 years old.

Hardware was convicted of his crimes, but a Court of Appeals judges ruled last week that he will get three years of probation, plus one year of jail time already served. That’s because Hardware’s crimes were ruled misdemeanors, and not felonies.

A felony charge could bring up to seven years in prison.

Despite the DA’s pushes over the past decade to be able to charge so-called “subway grinders” as felons, the courts refused to allow it in Hardware’s case, because they say he did not use actual physical force against his victims.

The court’s decision is based on a ruling from a 2002 case where a court threw out felony charges against 300-pound Jason Mack, who was guilty of masturbating on a 14-year-old girl while she was riding the subway to school.

At that time, the court’s decision was based on a claim that the incident did not involve the threat of physical violence. Last year, state Sen. Bill Perkins introduced a bill to allow felony charges to be brought against offenders with two prior convictions. The bill passed in the Senate but was killed by the Assembly.

Subway incidents

Darnell Hardware’s victims were average New Yorkers on their way to work and school.
The first incident occurred at 8:15 a.m. on June 25, 2002, when Darnell Hardware attacked a woman on the uptown 4/5 between 14th and 42nd streets. She was 24 years old and on her way to work.
On June 1, 2005 at 6 p.m., Hardware attacked a 22-year-old EMT on her way home from work. She was on the uptown 1 train north of 96th Street.
His third victim was a 17-year-old girl on her way to school. She was on the uptown 4/5 train on December 9, 2005 at 7:30 a.m.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.