NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman who refused to be a victim was honored Wednesday night. She stood up against a subway flasher, and made sure he was brought to justice.

Now, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis, she was recognized as a hero.

It’s the YouTube video that had all of New York City talking – subway rider Nicola Briggs refusing to be victimized by a subway flasher, angrily calling for his arrest.

“I’m not leaving your side, my plans are done for the night, I’m escorting you to the police station,” she said in the video. “Oh yes, oh [expletive] yes!”

Her tough stand back in September was honored Wednesday by the Women’s Democratic Club of New York.

Briggs was being called a “shero” – fittingly at the famous Stonewall Inn, home of the Stonewall Riots for gay and lesbian rights – for bringing attention to subway harassment against women.

“I think it’s courageous, I think it’s beautiful, and I think it’s inspiring for many women,” Yetta Kurland, of the Women’s Democratic Club, said.

“At that moment, not one iota of fear – I knew what I needed to do, which is to take care of that individual and bring him to justice,” Briggs said.

Bring him to justice she did. Mario Valdivia, 50, was arrested, convicted, sentenced to four months in jail, and branded as a registered sex offender – a predator – for life.

“That’s what a predator is trying to do to you – to shut your emotions down, to shock you, to violate you to the point where you’re immobilized and not able to react against what he’s doing,” Briggs said.

It’s obvious when watching the video that Briggs wasn’t about to let that happen, but what viewers can’t see is how tiny she is, at just a feisty five feet tall.

“Frankly, when you’re petite, you’ve got to stand up for yourself,” Briggs said. “I learned from a very early age not to take any guff from people.”

It’s truly become a story of one woman’s courage setting an example for victims everywhere.

Briggs is a self defense instructor, but said it was her own sense of right and wrong that made her stand up.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (25)
  1. jacz says:

    poor bastad..picked the wrong chick only to be upstaged by someone that’s more not saying what he did was right but he doesn’t deserve to be registered as a sex offender and have a black mark for the rest of his life.there’s a difference between what he did and those real sickos out’s totally different when a chick flashes her t’&a in public right?

  2. mike l says:

    i’m glad she didn’t need to use her martial arts to detain him….lol

  3. Devenio says:

    She is NOT a hero.

  4. Mr. Armenia says:

    Why wasn’t this women cited for violating the privact act. Video taping someone without permission.

    1. John Brainard says:

      becasue she did not record it – a 3rd party did – watch and learn b4 u speak please.

      1. Mr. Armenia says:

        Sill its a violaion of the privact yact.

    2. Michael H. says:

      NY is a one party consent state. There is no expectation of privacy in public and only one party involved in any conversation/confrontation needs to consent to it being recorded.

    3. IDI_OT says:

      Mr. Armenia STFU. You’re in a public place.

  5. jimbo hector says:

    and like she aint had her share :P~~

  6. Raymond says:

    Why the Women’s Democratic Club ignores the fact that the city of NY allows a man to be naked in the middle of the street in the Times Square area. Tourists come to the city with little girls who come to visit and see New york not naked men.

    1. Michael H. says:

      Are you referring to the “Naked Cowboy”? If so, he’s not naked. He wears bikini briefs, which is perfectly legal. Both men and women are legally permitted to walk around with no shirt on.

  7. kk says:

    She nipped the problem in the bud.

  8. Raji Koshy says:

    god bless, you really need courage, and he had it … at the right time.

  9. max vonmeyerling says:

    Does anybody else, considering the context, think that the prize she is receiving might be a little inappropriate?

    1. John Brainard says:

      sure do… she is not a hero for standing up for herself… it deminishes the meaning of the word.

      1. Thankful that she stood up says:

        If you were a woman in NYC who rides the subways and has been harrassed regularly, you might feel differently.

  10. jh says:


  11. jolie says:

    well done, Briggs.

  12. old nasty says:

    So they decide to honor her for her brave stance against a pervert.By giving her a replica of a glass Dilod.
    Good thinking people!

  13. Vezzo says:

    “Shero” is the greek word for pig

  14. Neighbor says:

    Ricardo, you probably was in the next subway, flushing you things away LOL

  15. Richard fFedler says:

    JeezyCchristmas!! Back in the tough good old days of the 70s, people would laugh this flasher off, and that includes women’s reactions also!! now… what are we becoming??? The guy acted like a creep, but every woman in Manhattan now behaves like a cross between Rachel Maddow and Nancy Pelosi.

    1. Jimboy says:

      Whatsa matter, Richard? Afraid someone will recognize YOU? All those Nancy Pelosi liberals got your right wing stuff in a knot?

  16. norbert says:

    If this isn’t a case for lesbians in the military, then I don’t know what is!!!!

    Get thee to a platoon!

  17. pugphan says:

    Wow! Thank God that creep wasn’t violent. smokersodysseycom

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