Did Groper Strike Near Truman HS?
Two Victims Reported in Co-Op City
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 17- Police are hunting a serial groper wanted in 9 recent attacks on girls, teens and young women-- an individual who may have now struck twice in Co-op City.
The still-unidentified suspect had been wanted for nine attacks in the Wakefield, Edenwald, Williamsbridge and Eastchester neighborhoods since February.
The 47th Precinct, which serves those neighborhoods, received 50 additional officers on July 7, due to a recent uptick in violent crime, which may explain the suspect moving to the Co-op City area that is covered by the 45th Precinct.
In the latest incidents reported on Thursday, July 10, a 14 year-old and an 18-year old reported being attacked as they walked over the I-95 overpass along Eastchester Road.
Police were still investigating the latest incidents to determine if it is the same suspect or a copycat.
Outside of Harry S. Truman High School, most students had not heard about the attacker.
One female student recalled, "We were talking to this man yesterday and he was asking for my friend's number," a second girl added, "And we told him were only 15 years-old, but he kept following us and talking to us."
The girls stated that the "buff" brown-skinned man said he had just got back from serving with the U.S. Army.
Waiting for students outside of Truman, a driver with the Consolidated Bus Transport Service suggested, "They should put signs on the busses to alert people of this guy."
On June 24, the NYPD released a wanted flyer with a police composite sketch of the individual wanted for nine separate incidents of forcible touching of females between the ages of 12 and 21.
The first incident was reported on February 13, at 7:50 a.m., when a 14-year-old female was attacked on her way to the subway along Eastchester Road.
On February 15, a second attack was reported by another 14-year-old girl who was violated by the creep as she walked passed the intersection of Burke Avenue and Eastchester Road at 9:30 a.m.
The pervert waited more than a month when he struck again, this time he inappropriately touched a 13 year-old as she walked along Magenta Street at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 28.
A fourth incident was reported on Monday, April 28, when he grabbed a 13 year-old from behind as she walked near Baychester Avenue at 8 a.m.
Again waiting more than a month, he struck again on Thursday, May 29, when the suspect jogged up to an 18 year-old victim and forcibly touched her in the area of Burke Avenue.
The suspect struck again the following day when he approached and attacked a 12 year-old victim in the area of East 233 Street.
On Monday, June 9, a 16 year-old reported she was attacked at 6:55 a.m., along Boston Road.
On Wednesday, June 11, at 8:15 a.m. a 21-year-old woman reported a forcible touching attack as she walked along Fish Avenue. Fifteen minutes later a 12 year-old reported a similar incident as she walked along Schieffelin Avenue.
Although traumatized, none of the victims were physically injured.
Police describe the suspect as 20 year-old black male, 5 foot 10, thin build and was last seen wearing a black hooded jacket, blue jeans and black sneakers. Investigators say the suspect also has a scar under his right eye.
A similar crime pattern was reported in the area of the most recent attacks, along the Eastchester Road footbridge leading to Co-Op City between September, 2010 and June, 2011.
In that string of groping incidents three, 19-year-old females were attacked by a black man between 22 and 28 years-old, 5 foot 6 tall and weighing 160 to 180 Pounds. Police could not immediately say if this suspect was ever apprehended.
The attacks have prompted a local citizens group called the New York Hero Imitative to patrol the affected neighborhoods in searching for the suspect and passing out flyers to residents.
One group member, "Spectre" said the group was encouraged by the communities reaction to their presence and added, "We're going to re-visit a few areas where we had some promising leads on this case."
One source at the local community board stated that the local community was informed of the attacks in mid-May, after a fourth attack was reported.
One police official questioned could not explain the delay in alerting the public to the pattern-crime.
The source added that detectives and police are in the process of going back to all nine locations in a search for surveillance video of the suspect.
Anyone with any information on the suspect is urged to call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls remain confidential.