Caught on Cam: Chinatown Groper

Police ask for the public’s help to find suspect wanted in indecent assaults

Philadelphia Police alerted the public Monday afternoon about a man who authorities say recently grabbed the buttocks of a woman and a girl in the Chinatown section of Center City last week.

These are the details of the incidents, one of which was caught on surveillance video.

After releasing vague details earlier Monday, police told NBC10's Rosemary Connors Monday afternoon that the first alleged groping happened just before 5 p.m. Thursday when a 12-year-old girl walking home from the Chinatown Learning Center along the 1000 block of Spring Street. A source close to the Chinatown school community told NBC10 the girl had already left to go home but forgot her backpack at school. In the few moments before she met her mother after retrieving the backpack, the suspect touched her buttocks and then ran off, according to investigators.

The second incident happened about an hour later on 11th Street near vine Street. This time police say that he grabbed the rear of a 23-year-old woman before running off.

The suspect is described as a thin black male, 5-feet-8 to 5-feet-9-inches tall that appeared to be about 30 years old. He was clean shaven and was wearing a dark blue T-shirt with white designs on it and black sweat pants during Thursday’s incidents.

The suspect could possibly be homeless, police said.

NBC10 spoke to local residents about the incidents.

"It's disgusting," said Meghan Kramer of Doylestown. "It's really creepy to know that people are like that."

"It's kind of disgusting," said Shonta McLean of South Philadelphia. "If somebody comes and touches my butt I'm punching them in the face." 

"It's nice and bright at 5:00 and he wasn't even scared at all," said Jennifer Sao of South Philadelphia. "So who knows what else he might do." 

"Someone probably knows this guy," said Captain John Darby of the Special Victims Unit. "He's been in the area, he may work in the area, he may live in the area or he may hang out in the area. But if someone sees him they're going to say, 'I think I know this guy.' Give us a call." 

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call 911, contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3253/54, call 215-686-8477 or submit an anonymous tip online. Police now have a way for you to text them with tips as well -- PPD TIP or 773847. Police say those texts will be confidential.

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