Local News

Man grabs at women on Chapel Hill street

Posted May 22, 2012

— Chapel Hill police said Tuesday that a strange man has come up to two different women walking alone on Church Street and grabbed their buttocks in a 72-hour span over the past week.

The first incident happened around 3 a.m. on May 19, and the second at about 11:20 a.m. on Monday, police said. In both cases, the man walked away after grabbing the women.

The man in the first incident is described as black, 23 to 26 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds. He had short hair and a muscular build and wasn't wearing a shirt.

In the second incident, the man is described as black, 6 feet tall, with short hair. He was wearing a blue Polo shirt and jeans.

Police said they are investigating the incidents as cases of sexual battery and that they believe it's the same man.

"We don't know if this person is still in the area or not, but we want to make sure people take every precaution they can," said Lt. Kevin Gunter.

University of North Carolina students were alerted about the incidents because they happened near campus.  

Elizabeth Weir Police investigate sexual battery near UNC campus

Kalyani Avva and Elizabeth Weir both said the reports were "very concerning."

"I don't want to be attacked while walking around campus," Avva said. "The one thing that seems very consistent among these reports is that people are walking alone."

Police advised that students should avoid walking alone, especially at night.

"It's definitely very concerning, as a female. I do find myself walking home from friends' houses and things like that by myself," said Weir. "I don't want to be fearful to walk around Chapel Hill. I generally feel like it's pretty safe, but things like that are kind of rattling."

Anyone with information about the incidents or a suspect's identity is asked to call Chapel Hill police at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that solve crimes.


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  • carrboroyouth May 23, 2012

    Come on women, take some self defense classes or carry a weapon (its your right, use it).

    Yeah... students are not allowed to carry concealed weapons, and frankly if the guy is 6 feet tall, an attack in retaliation might not be safe. Why are so many people so quick to blame the victims here? I think I have the right to walk solo without being groped, no? Apparently not...

  • Warm Soft Dose of Snah May 23, 2012

    Also I am not saying what the perp did was right or defending his actions in any way. I'm just saying I would rather be there for the rest of my daughters life than feel great for that one second of retaliation. Yes if there is a real threat to me, my family or my pets then you can bet that I would retaliate with deadly force!

  • Warm Soft Dose of Snah May 23, 2012

    Bad Guess, I have two daughters and on just graduated from NC State and I love them and my pets very much. I just don't think that I would like to spend the rest of my life in jail for retaliation. There are other methods of retaliation Without death being the final outcome. Remember that the asault case would have to come in front of a judge and my bet is that the Judge would probably understand your rage at the time. Besides I don't want to harm you,your pets or your house. Have great day!

  • loveapex May 23, 2012

    I agree with you Mr. Cooper. I don't care what a criminal looks like. Just leave and mine alone!

    I work to rehabilitate prisoners - most have the same childhood story regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, etc. Its about the actions and nothing else.

  • loveapex May 23, 2012

    Bad guess! I'm guessing you don't have a daughter or care much for her protection. Don't touch me, my kids, my pets, my house, my anything and we will get along great :)

  • Dan Cooper May 23, 2012

    Too bad the only reason this predator is being defended by some posters is due to his color! Hey it fits the liberal agenda, they're honored to be victimized by someone they fear and therefore protect with ignorance. So those that protect themselves against thoseare hated as opposed to the criminals themselves, pretty sad and twisted mentality libs.

  • Warm Soft Dose of Snah May 23, 2012

    Loveapex, So I guess the thought of someone grabbing your daughter's bottom side and not walking away alive is worth spending the rest of your life in jail. I'm guessing you do NOT have a cc permit.

  • loveapex May 23, 2012

    So now a simple grope carries the death penalty? piene2

    If that was my daughter and I was walking behind the man that grabbed her, bet your sweet behind it would carry the death penalty. Assuming my shot was dead on.

  • piene2 May 23, 2012

    "That's why I carry!

    And you just can not wait to file that first notch in your sixshooter, can you?

  • piene2 May 23, 2012

    "the man walked away after grabbing the women"
    Come on women, take some self defense classes or carry a weapon (its your right, use it).

    So now a simple grope carries the death penalty? Yes I can see how well arming the public is going to work out.