Man grabs at women on Chapel Hill street
Posted May 22, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — 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.
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.