A serial groper is on the prowl in Williamsburg, say nine women who claim the same man has grabbed or slapped their buttocks in the neighborhood over the past few weeks. Now the victims and their pals say they’re spreading the word to warn neighbors and help cops catch the deviant.
“The neighborhood needs to know and keep an eye out so this guy can be arrested,” said Lesley Melincoff, a friend of one of the women who was assaulted.
The women, who do not know each other, each initially thought that they were the victim of an isolated incident and only a handful bothered to file a police report about their attack. That changed last weekend, when Melincoff posted a warning about the perv on a popular Williamsburg parenting website, and several other women came out of the online woodwork to say that they too had been touched by the same guy.
So far, at least three women have filed police reports, and the others say they will go to police this week to give their own account.
The groper is a young man who wears a black hoodie and a lime-green T-shirt, and has a distinct modus operandi for his attacks, the victims say. Each woman says she was out in Williamsburg early in the morning when she saw a sketchy-looking guy eyeing her. The weirdo then came up behind her and grabbed or slapped her hard on the buttocks.
One local mom said she was walking on Metropolitan Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street at about 7:20 am on May 23 when she saw the creep walking towards her and got a “weird vibe” from him. She thought for a second that he was about to rob her, but instead he walked past her and then wheeled around and grabbed her hard on the backside.
She said she turned around to yell at him, but he said, “I had to,” and then walked briskly away. His easy getaway made the attack sting even more, she said,
“The worst part was that I could not do anything and I felt totally helpless,” said Taylor Reid.
Another target said the sicko has grabbed her on two separate occasions, both while she was out walking her dog. She said the brazen posterior pawing was far worse than street harassment she has been subjected to in the past.
“As a woman in New York City, you are used to getting comments,” said Andrea Larsen, whose experiences prompted her buddy Melincoff to speak out online. “But this was so blatant in the way that he touched me and wanted to get a reaction out of me.”
Another victim said she has quit jogging since the weirdo groped her while she was out on an early-morning run a few weeks ago.
“I am on high alert,” said Caitlin Thomsen, who said she was attacked on May 22 on Skillman Avenue between Graham and Manhattan avenues. “I look behind me all the time now.”
Melincoff has also reached out to the office of Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg). A spokeswoman for the pol said they will give police some time to catch the creep, but she will organize a special neighborhood watch if cops do not cuff him quickly.
“We will let them do what they are doing before we get together and see what we can plan,” said Reynoso’s chief of staff Jennifer Gutierrez. “We need to catch this guy.”