Tag Archives: groping

Suspect sought in Elmhurst gropings


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A man groped three women, including a teen, on the streets of Elmhurst last month, cops said.

The gropings took place in separate incidents on the morning of Aug. 11, Aug. 13 and Aug. 26 at Haspel Street and 55th Avenue, 44-20 Ketcham St. and 52-12 Van Horn St.

The suspect approached each victim, ages 28, 21 and 17, grabbed her breast, then fled on foot, according to authorities.

Police describe the suspect, who was caught on surveillance video during the Aug. 26 incident on Van Horn Street, as Hispanic, 25 to 35 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 170 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Cops looking for suspect who groped teens, women in western Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A man is wanted for inappropriately touching two teens and two women in Woodside and Astoria Tuesday morning, police said.

In each incident, the suspect approached the victims, tried to speak to them and touched their buttocks over their clothing, cops said.

The man first came up to a 23-year-old woman about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday at Northern Boulevard and 57th Street in Woodside, according to officials.

Within about the next hour and a half, he touched three more victims, ages 25, 16 and 14 in Astoria. He came up to the 25-year-old at a Rite Aid, on Steinway Street near 34th Avenue at about 7:45 a.m., then approached the 16-year-old on 35th Avenue near 38th Street around 8 a.m, and the second teen on 31st Avenue near 38th Street about 8:30 a.m, cops said.

Police have released photos of the suspect from the Rite Aid incident, and describe him as Hispanic, 25 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall and 220 to 250 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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NYPD searching for Queens groping suspect


| brennison@queenscourier.com

groperw

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying and locating a Queens groping suspect.

The incident occurred on Sunday, shortly after midnight within the confines of the 109th Precinct, according to authorities.

The suspect followed the 27-year-old woman into her building and placed his hand between her legs, police said.

Police described the suspect as a 5-foot-7-inch Hispanic.

Anyone with information regarding the incident or suspect is asked to call 800-577-TIPS (8477).

 

Queens gripped by fear of gropers


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Women across Queens have been gripped by a fear of gropers.

For the past month, female residents of Sunnyside and Woodside have been looking over their shoulders for a predator on pedals.

The neighboring communities are the most recent areas to experience repeated sexual attacks on women by men on bicycles.

Beginning September 15, five women and one 12-year-old girl have reported being groped from behind by a man riding a black mountain bike. The pervert has been described as Hispanic and between the ages of 30 and 40.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer joined local elected officials on October 17 on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside in order to alert the public of the predator’s existence.

“Sunnyside and Woodside are safe neighborhoods but one assault against women is one too many,” said Van Bramer. “We will track down this cowardly criminal and make sure he is punished and put away. We must be vigilant as a community as the 108th Precinct pursues leads in the case.”

The first attack occurred on the morning of September 15, and the most recent incident happened at 8 a.m. on October 7 on 39th Avenue and 46th Street. The suspect reportedly strikes in the same general vicinity, with incidents usually occurring only a few blocks apart, say police.

A full-scale investigation by the NYPD and 108th Precinct is already underway. Police are asking for the public’s assistance in catching the criminal, and a surveillance video, which was taken October 6 and depicts the suspect riding his bicycle down the street, has been released.

“The women of our community should not have to walk through our neighborhoods in fear of being attacked,” said Congressmember Joseph Crowley. “I urge everyone to take a good look at the surveillance tape and contact the authorities if you recognize the suspect, as well as report any suspicious activity.”

Other areas of Queens have also experienced repeated sexual assaults on women in recent months.

According to a law enforcement source, the 114th Precinct arrested a suspect on a bicycle on the morning of October 18 after he reportedly groped a woman at Broadway and 31st Street in Astoria. The police have included the suspect in three lineups to determine whether he is part of a larger pattern of sexual assaults, but have thus far been unable to link him to any other incidents, the source said.

“We must have zero tolerance for the recent rash of groping incidents in our neighborhoods,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who has introduced legislation that would make the groping of a child a felony requiring mandatory jail time. “In addition to the passage of my bill that would increase penalties for gropers, we must band together as a community to keep our streets safe and free from sexual predators.”

This past summer, 45 women shared their experiences of being groped by male bicycle riders on a blog for Astoria residents. The posts drew the attention of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., who teamed with the 114th Precinct to investigate the incidents. Two suspects were eventually arrested and identified by multiple victims as their attackers.

“It concerns me very much,” said Anne Marie Culhane, an Astoria resident, referring to the gropings in her community last summer. “I have a 17-year-old daughter that walks around the neighborhood, so I’m scared for her more than myself. I told her she’s not allowed to walk around alone and if she sees anyone on a bike to go the other way. It’s scary because this guy can do it and you can’t stop him if he’s on a bike and you’re on foot.”

With incidents of sexual assault rising across the five boroughs, the police are on a city-wide groper hunt.

Joshua Flecha, a 32-year-old Astoria resident, was arrested in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn on Monday, October 17 at 2:30 a.m. lurking down the street with his pants unzipped and a pornographic video playing on his cell phone.

Flecha, who was carrying marijuana at the time of his arrest, has been charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse after a woman identified him as the man who attacked her in the Seventh Avenue “F” train station on May 7. He was included in several lineups, but has not yet been charged in relation to any other incidents.