NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New surveillance video could be the key to capturing a suspected serial attacker preying on women. Video from a subway station at 77th and Lexington shows the man police suspect in a string of groping attacks dating back to May, only moments before what would have been his eighth attack on an unsuspecting woman.
“Oh my God, I don’t have any idea, I don’t know,” said Seyda Sterns of Tribeca. “Scary, but I’m surprised it’s happening on the Upper East Side.”
Women at the 77th Street subway stop shown the video expressed surprise at the clarity of the footage, and at the suspect himself.
The suspect’s movements through the turnstile, his apparent youth, the gap between in his teeth, his height, only about 5 feet tall, and his close-cropped spiked hair were all visible.
“He doesn’t really look like what women would assume a groper would look like. He’s well-dressed, he’s clean-shaven, he looks young,” said Elina Bystritskaya of Bensonhurst.
The NYPD counted eight groping or attempted groping incidents since January. In most of the incidents, police say the suspect grabbed his female victims, some under their clothes, then ran off.
“I think it’s terrible,” said Marion Bachmann of the Upper East Side. “I think one should be safe in the subway and everyplace else in New York.”
Prior to the video, there was only a sketch of the suspect. He was caught on camera trying to follow another woman last Sunday morning..
“He wasn’t intimidating at all to me so I didn’t really think anything of it,” said victim Heather Kirkpatrick.
She said she was getting off the number 6 train when the suspect asked for directions, then followed her to her apartment, getting inside behind her. She scared him off.
“I turned around and saw him right there. And I just said ‘what are you doing’ like really aggressively. And he just paused for a second and just took off,” she said.
Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
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