NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police were questioning a teenager Tuesday in connection with a series of gropings on the Upper East Side.
No arrest has been made. An 18-year-old was apparently brought in from Queens on Monday night after a building superintendent on the Upper East Side tipped off police.
The teen was captured in a surveillance picture that police circulated on a poster. It appears to have yielded results. The owner of an Upper East Side Italian restaurant said the man in the picture had worked there as a dishwasher for six months up until two weeks ago.
While the owner thought the dishwasher resembled the suspect’s photo put out by police, he said he didn’t feel he had enough to call detectives. But the tips from the superintendent allowed police to trace the teen to a residence in Queens.
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Police said the teen is suspected of assaulting a dozen women since January, according to police. All the women he approached were in their 20s and early 30s.
After word spread that someone had been taken into custody, women on the Upper East Side said they were relieved.
“Well, that’s a relief, given that I live in New York. I don’t want someone groping me,” Lindsey Spoler told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
“I mean it’s terrifying. It definitely makes me sacred, being on the subways and what not. So I guess I feel a lot better now that I hear they have somebody,” Lish Davis said.
“That’s definitely more comfortable for women. I was just reading a poster and that’s just an awful thing,” Reeham Youssef said.
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The so-called groper would allegedly sneak up on women and grab them from behind, oftentimes lifting a skirt. The suspect also attacked women in subways, authorities said.
In the latest incident last Friday, a 28-year-old woman told police she was walking on a path in Central Park when she was approached by the suspect. Investigators said she fought back, kicking, punching and poking him in the eye.
Many media outlets have taken to calling the alleged groper the “pint-sized pervert” for his small stature. He has been described as being 4-foot-11 and 120 pounds.
If convicted of the groping spree, what’s the appropriate punishment in this case? Sound off in our comments section.