EDGEWATER — A man has grabbed women's buttocks and breasts after usually sneaking up on them from behind near Loyola University four times since Sept. 6, according to Chicago Police.
Police said they believe the same man is responsible for each of the recent attacks and have described him as being in his twenties, with a dark complexion possibly of Hispanic or Middle Eastern decent with dark wavy hair. He has been seen riding a mountain bike, sometimes with a hat, backpack or cargo shorts.
The first incident came Labor Day weekend around 10 p.m. on Sept. 6 when a Loyola student was walking in the 6500 block of North Kenmore Avenue when she felt someone grab her buttocks from behind, police said.
When she turned around, he fled.
The next day, at 9:05 a.m., a female staff member at Loyola was walking in the 1600 block of West Greenleaf Avenue when a man on a bicycle also approached her from behind, assaulting her in the same fashion before fleeing.
At 12:30 a.m. Sept. 8, another student was touched on her buttocks from behind by a man on a bike while walking home from the school library near Simpson Hall, 6333 N. Winthrop Ave.
As the man rode by her a second time, he reached out and touched her breast, police said.
The man was described as being between ages 20 and 25, about 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds with medium-length black hair and a black beard.
He was last seen heading north on Winthrop wearing a black head band, T-shirt, cargo shorts and a black and gray backpack, police said.
On Sunday night, another Loyola University student reported being touched on her buttocks while walking in front of Seattle Hall at 6313 N. Winthrop Ave. by one of two men leaning against a fence in front of the building.
After touching her, they walked away, police said.
Police said the student kept walking south on Winthrop Avenue and contacted campus safety.
One man is described as being between the ages of 20-25, 6-foot-1 and about 150 pounds. He wore a red-striped tank top and cargo shorts.
The other man is also described as being in his 20s, 5-foot-10, 200 pounds and was seen wearing a black shirt, black shorts and black baseball cap.
"Our Department of Campus Safety has police officers and security officers patrolling our Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses within our extended boundaries in both marked and unmarked vehicles, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Steven Christensen, a spokesman for Loyola, told DNAinfo in a written statement. "We work closely with the Chicago Police Department. Our officers have regular contact with our local districts and access to CPD’s zone frequencies (radio), which we monitor. On campus, we have an extensive closed-circuit video network."
Christensen did not say if that closed-circuit video network had captured the incidents on Winthrop Avenue.
At a recent community crime meeting in Edgewater, Chicago Police said they were aware there had been other instances of lone women being grabbed in the area and were on the lookout.
Two of the incidents were reported and documented only by Loyola Police at first, Chicago Police said.
In November 2015, another student was attacked near 6310 N. Winthrop Ave. by a man after that student was walking back to campus from the Granville "L" station. In that case, between the student housing buildings and the alumni house, the woman was "inappropriately groped twice" by an unknown man, police said.
While the victim ran northbound toward Regis Hall, the man fled westbound on Sheridan Road in the November incident.
Christensen said the campus plans to address the "recent incidents" and more at an upcoming safety meeting from 6-7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Damen Student Center.
"We will continue to send out safety messages and make resources available on our Campus Safety website, including safety tips and programming," Christensen said. "We also rely on our campus community to look out for and report suspicious behavior."
Anyone with information is asked to call Loyola Police at 773-508-6039 or submit anonymous tips to tipsoft.com.
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