Councilwomen Warn Women in Chinatown About 'Well-Dressed' Groper
CHINATOWN — A pair of city councilwomen warned women in Chinatown Thursday morning about a well-dressed groper on the loose Downtown and on the Upper East Side.
Councilwomen Margaret Chin and Jessica Lappin distributed flyers at the corner of Canal and Centre streets Thursday, showing a picture of the alleged groper and descriptions of the four attacks, which occurred in broad daylight over the past month and a half.
"We're trying to make sure people know what this man looks like, so they can help us catch him," Lappin said.
Police described the suspect as a "well-dressed" man in his 30s standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 180 pounds.
He struck first about 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 at East 62nd Street and Park Avenue, where he grabbed a 33-year-old woman's inner thigh, police said.
The next day, he grabbed a 31-year-old woman below the waist about 11:15 a.m., at Varick and King streets in Hudson Square, and the following day fondled a 19-year-old girl's buttocks at East 67th Street and Second Avenue about 1:30 p.m., police said.
Most recently, on March 30, the suspect approached a 22-year-old woman at Centre and Chambers streets shortly before 7:30 p.m. and put his hand between her legs, police said.
The flyers that Chin and Lappin distributed Thursday morning also advertised a free self-defense class the City Council and the Center for Anti-Violence Education are co-sponsoring on April 24 on the Upper East Side.
In addition, the City Council will hold a public safety community meeting on April 16 at 8 a.m. at City Hall.
"As women, we do not want to be a target," Chin said.
Several women who took flyers Thursday morning were concerned to hear about the groping spree.
"At night, there are not many people on the streets," said Yuki Mui, 31, who lives in Brooklyn and works in Chinatown. "I'm always alert to see if people are following me… I will be so alert now."
Jenny Mak, 25, a Chinatown resident, said she already worries about walking home late at night, but now she'll be on guard during the day as well.
"There's always incidents happening in Chinatown," Mak said. "There's not much you can do about it. Hopefully the police are alert."
The self-defense class will take place on April 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 695 Park Ave., at 68th Street, in room B308.
Anyone with information about the groper is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, log onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) and enter TIP577.