NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a predator they say is targeting young girls in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
A man has been approaching girls and groping them or pinching their backsides, police said.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, investigators believe the man is responsible for four separate incidents, all happening in broad daylight within the area of Fifth Avenue between Fourth and 11th streets.
The most recent encounter happened last week. In all of the cases, the girls were 12 years old or younger.
Police released a sketch of the suspect Tuesday night. He is described as being white; 25 to 35 years old; standing 5 feet, 9 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall; and having a slim build.
“He’s got guts,” said James McGarry, of Park Slope. “He’s brazen.”
In an area where there are plenty of schools and families with young children, parents say they’re holding their kids’ hands a little tighter until the groper is caught.
“It’s distressing because sometimes she walks down to school with her other friends, and you don’t know,” Keisha John said of her daughter.
But what has John and other parents just as concerned is what happened on Fifth Avenue on Monday evening. A special victims detective was canvassing the area looking for the suspect. When she saw a man lurking around a bus stop who fit the description and approached him, he attacked her, throwing her to the ground and injuring her shoulder, police said.
Police have released a surveillance image of the suspect in that incident.
“It’s scary,” said Stephanie Harry, who works in Park Slope. “I hope they catch him.”
“I’d like to catch him myself … ” McGarry said. “He should be locked away. Simple. Put him in a cell somewhere and get rid of the key.”
“Around here is a very good area,” added business owner Andy Elborai. “A lot of children here. It should not happen. It shouldn’t happen anywhere honestly.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 or to submit a tip online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com. All communications are kept confidential.
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