NYPD: ‘Well-Dressed Groper’ Suspect Charged And Arraigned
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The handcuffs may clash with his suit.
Police say 26-year-old Karl Vanderwoude, the suspect dubbed as the “well-dressed groper” because of his business attire, has been arrested and charged with unlawful surveillance and forcible touching. He was arraigned Friday.
Police said the suspect touched women inappropriately and ran away at a number of locations around the city, and was captured on two surveillance videos.
“It’s good that they caught this guy. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more out there which we can’t tell who it is. It could be a well-dressed man. If could be anybody, so you would never know,” Dyker Heights resident Judy Chan told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
Vanderwoude appeared in court Friday wearing a sweat shirt and track pants and showed no emotion, CBS 2’s John Schriffen reports. With his roommate, pastor and stepbrother in the courtroom, the judge decided to release Vanderwoude without bail.
His lawyer, Lori Cohen, said her client doesn’t even look like the person on the videos.
“I don’t think so,” Cohen said.
CBS 2 has learned that Vanderwoude apparently volunteered at a women’s crisis center counseling victims of domestic disputes.
Vanderwoude, who lives in a basement apartment in Park Slope, worked at a private equity firm, called MVision. Officially, the firm had no comment, but shortly after his arrest the company took his name off its website.
A neighbor outside his apartment said there’s no way Vanderwoude is the same man in the surveillance images.
“It doesn’t look like him,” the neighbor said.
The first of four recent incidents happened on Feb. 25 at East 62nd and Park. A 33-year-old woman was approached from behind and then grabbed on her inner thigh, police said.
Most recently, a 22-year-old woman was touched between her legs inside the Chambers and Center Street subway station near city hall, police said.
So far, police have charged Vanderwoude in two of the incidents, but they believe he’s connected to all four.
He’s due back in court on July 17.
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