One of those familiar strangers charged with groping woman on the Red Line, then again at Downtown Crossing
A Cambridge man was ordered to stay off the T following an incident last week in which he allegedly ran his hands up the thigh of a female Red Line passenger when she closed her eyes, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
According to the DA's office, Transit Police nabbed Bashir Shaikh, 63, of Cambridge, on Monday - on the same afternoon train he had long shared with his alleged victim.
The woman told police she and Shaikh were familiar strangers - she recognized him as a frequent traveler on the train she'd take each afternoon out of Central Square. According to the DA's office, on the afternoon of March 13, she closed her eyes as the train on her trip:
The woman told officers that she felt someone touching her thigh after she closed her eyes. When she looked up, she said, she saw that it was Shaikh, who allegedly told her he'd been reaching for something he’d dropped.
The woman closed her eyes again until the train reached Downtown Crossing. When she stood up to exit the train, she reported, Shaikh took her arm and said she seemed tired. As she made her way toward the Orange Line platform, Shaikh allegedly groped her forcefully before fleeing the station.
After speaking with the victim about her prior observations of her assailant on the Red Line, Transit Police detectives arranged to shadow her in an attempt to locate and identify the man. On March 18, they met up with the victim at Central station and, in plainclothes, boarded the same car that she did.
Within moments, the victim signaled that she saw the man later identified as Shaikh. He was staring and smiling at her. The detectives moved in and identified themselves as police and took Shaikh off the train. After the victim again identified him as the man who assaulted her, Transit Police took him into custody.
In addition to being ordered off the T until his case is resolved, Shaikh had his bail set at $1,000, the DA's office reports.