EAST VILLAGE — The former co-owner of a raw vegan restaurant with a decade-long history of public lewdness pleaded guilty on Tuesday to harassment in the first degree for attempting to masturbate while leering at a woman on a subway platform.
Dan Hoyt, 53, former co-owner of East Village eatery Quintessence, was sentenced to time served for a Jan. 12 incident in which he approached a woman on a subway platform at Broadway and East Eighth Street and asked if he could masturbate to her, then ducked behind a beam on the platform to leer at her with his pants down, court records show.
According to a criminal complaint, Hoyt approached the victim at around 12:15 p.m. as she waited for the train and said, “Can I masturbate to you?”
The woman walked away from Hoyt, but then saw him standing behind a steel beam looking towards her as he pulled up and fastened his pants, causing her to fear for her safety, the criminal complaint states.
Hoyt is due back in court Jan. 24 for two similar incidents that occurred a day apart, in which he masturbated in the subway while looking at a female straphanger, according to a separate criminal complaint.
On Jan. 1 at around 8:15 p.m., a woman was standing on the subway platform at East Eighth Street and Broadway when Hoyt, standing several feet away, got her attention by calling, “Hey look over here,” the complaint states.
The woman looked over and saw Hoyt pleasuring himself with his pants stripped down to his knees, according to the complaint.
The same woman saw Hoyt the next day at around 8:05 p.m. in a subway car traveling between East Eighth Street and East 14th Street pleasuring himself while his pants were removed and draped over his arm, according to the complaint.
Hoyt was charged with public lewdness, harassment in the second degree, exposure, and serial acts of public lewdness for these incidents.
The chef has a history of subway masturbation. In 2005, the New York Post reported that he “manipulated” his genitals on the R train in front of three different women.
Hoyt’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
The guilty plea was first reported by the New York Post.