Thanks, everyone, for your kind words of support, concern, and advice when I posted about my creeper problem earlier.
So, who wants a creeper update? (warning, long post ahead)
At my last post, I'd snapped a picture of the creeper after seeing him on my morning commute (I'd only seen him on my evening commute previously). At this point, I'd still managed to convince myself it might all just be a coincidence. But the next day (Friday), he showed up on my morning commute again. And the following Monday, it escalated.
On Monday, I started my commute late, thinking I might miss him. On the train platform, I walked far, far away from where I usually stand, far away from the stairs where he could potentially see me on entering the platform. I looked around, didn't see, him and relaxed a bit. And out of nowhere, he siiiiidled up behind me. Had he just been standing on the platform, looking, waiting for me? Panicking a little, I turned on my heel, and briskly walked to the other end of the train platform, looking for a cop or at the very least an MTA employee. Glancing behind me, I saw that he was following me down the platform. The train pulled up, and I stopped in front of one of the doors, the creeper behind me. I saw that, one door over, the train was more crowded. I waited, and at the last second ran to the other doors right before they closed, hoping to be the last one in the crowded car. But to no avail - the creeper followed, shouldered through the closing doors, and squeezed in right behind me. At this point, he'd dropped all pretense that it was a coincidence - he made no bones about the fact he was aggressively following me. My heart was in my fucking throat. White-faced and hands shaking, I resolved that I'd get out at the next stop. If he followed, I wouldn't stop until I found a cop.
When the doors opened at the next stop, I ran out of the train like a cat on fire and muscled down the platform, looking for any kind of authority figure. The creeper, possibly realizing what I was doing, elected to stay on the train and didn't follow me out. Thank fucking god. Not seeing a cop and already running late, I waited for the next train and made my way to work.
At this time, I was thoroughly freaked, upset, and felt like sobbing. I told my boss what happened, and he was sympathetic - although when I asked for advice, said "if it was my wife, I'd go find the guy and beat the shit out of him" Helpful. But I knew I definitely wanted to make a police report, because this shit had gone too far.
So, I arranged for a guy friend who works in the area to meet me at my train stop after work. We walked into the station together, and I asked the MTA attendant to ring for the transit police so I could file a report.
One lesson I've taken from this whole thing is not to expect instant results from the NYPD. My original plan had been to have my guy friend check the platform for the creeper, and to try and have the cops apprehend him and run his creds. But when the transit police took twenty minutes to arrive, the creeper was long gone (if he'd ever been there at all - my friend didn't see him). And when the officer arrived (a dead ringer for Detective Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine) she couldn't have tried harder to convince me not to file a report.
"Well, did he talk to you? Rub up on you? Said something to scare you?"
"No, he's just following me. But it's been going on for weeks, and the last time he got very aggressive about it."
"But it's not like he hurt you or anything...I just don't see the big deal."
Because apparently it's no problem for a six-foot-six guy to just follow you around morning and night...apparently that's just fine.
After I finally convinced her that yes, this behavior did count as threatening behavior and I was genuinely scared (and wanted something on the record in case the behavior escalated), she grudgingly agreed to file a report for harassment. "but it's just harassment, understand, and without a name or anything it's not going to go anywhere." YES, THANK YOU, I GET IT. She also asked me why I hadn't just confronted him already and told him to buzz off, to which I replied, "because you're a badass lady cop and I'm just a regular person," which at least wrung a smile out of her.
Her partner, who helped fill out the report (who looked like Officer Drew Wu on Grimm - don't know why both these cops were right out of central casting) was much more sympathetic. "That's totally weird - lotta weirdos in this city, though" he opined.
I kind of understand why they were so reluctant to fill out the report. Four pages, handwritten, with a million questions. And no ability to take the picture I had and file it - she could only use the picture as a guideline for the description. The told me I should change my commute, told me "we can't officially tell you to carry mace but...you should get some mace" and let me on my way. My guy friend, who had bravely soldiered through the whole thing with me, rode the train home with me and kept me entertained by fantasy-casting a hypothetical Wheel of Time movie.
So, TLDR? Creeper escalated, I panicked, I tried to file a report with the NYPD, who apparently reaaaaally don't like filing reports for this type of thing, I then successfully filed a report, and will be changing my commute. I haven't seen the creeper on my new commute for the rest of the week so far - but I'll probably also be buying some pepper spray. Just in case.