Serial groper continues reign of terror
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 13- Despite round the clock surveillance of several key areas and at least two possible suspects recently questioned, police continue to hunt for a serial groper who could now be responsible for nearly two-dozen attacks on girls and young women.
The NYPD has not yet acknowledged seven additional incidents reported since July 11, when two girls claimed they were molested as they crossed over the Eastchester Road footbridge that leads in and out of Co-Op City.
According to one published report and sources within the community, additional attacks have taken place on July 10, September 22 and 29, October 1, 18 and most recently on October 27.
A 14 year-old and an 18 year-old reported being attacked on July 10. A report in the Co-op City Times reported a 17 year-old was groped on September 22. A 16 year-old claimed she was molested on September 29 and a 13 year-old reported a stalking incident on October 18.
In the October 18 incident, Maxx Brown, 25, a security guard with the Workman's Circle Multicare Center on Grace Avenue, was aware of the sexual predator and believed he had thwarted an attack and the deviant was in custody.
Brown said he was making his rounds at 9 a.m. at Workman's Circle, across from Haffen Park, when a 13-year-old girl claimed she was being pursued by a 25-year-old man. Brown brought the crying teen inside where she called her mother and police.
Baffled when told that police stated that no arrests had been made, Brown recalled, "He (the suspect) actually saw me outside the nursing home and then inside the precinct. They (detectives) told me that when he saw me at the precinct, he confessed.”
After repeated requests an NYPD spokesman attempted to clarify, stating, "It wasn't the guy... we're not privy to the exact play-by-play, but the latest is that it's an on-going investigation and still no arrests.”
The official added, "There hasn't been any changes since the last
thing that was put out, I believe it was nine incidents that we’ve had. This is the latest that we have as far as what the investigators provide for us.”
After being denied access to investigators working the case, on Friday, October 24, this reporter visited one of the locations targeted by the suspect-- to question teens about police presence in the area.
Most of those questioned reported that they had not seen officers recently, but I'd soon realized that police had the area under surveillance and I had just walked onto the set of an undercover operation, as I was stopped by three plain clothes detectives.
A second vehicle with at least one ranking police official would watch from an unmarked car nearby.
One Co-op City resident whose 16-year-old daughter was molested on the Eastchester Road footbridge recalled, "A guy walked in front of her, grabbed her vagina and he just walked away.”
Despite her daughter participating in a line-up to identify the individual, police have still not included that incident in the string of incidents that have now taken place in the neighborhoods of Eastchester, Edenwald and Baychester since February.
On October 23, the mother of the victim recalled, "I spoke to the detectives a little while ago and she said, 'Oh yeah, we're working on some leads, we'll know something by tomorrow.’”
If the latest incident recorded on Monday, October 27 is the same individual, he may have changed his modus operandi, by striking in the evening instead of early in the morning.
Police surrounded Seton Falls Park in the Edenwald section after a female claimed she was attacked by a black man between 25 and 30 years of age who had a full beard and an Afro.
The suspect in the latest incident was wearing black jeans, black
boots and black gloves with the letters RDX on them.
Officials at the NYPD could also not say if a man wanted for six
similar attacks that occurred in Baychester and Soundview during one six-hour period in November, 2011, had ever been apprehended.
Meanwhile, police in New Rochelle arrested a man back in July for several groping attacks there. Officials charged Guillermo Merino with four similar attacks in June and is now facing sex abuse and harassment charges.