Police are urging women in some of San Francisco’s wealthiest neighborhoods to be on the lookout for a serial groper. They say a young man in his 20s or 30s has been grabbing women from behind in a series of attacks that date back to last summer.
The most recent attack took place on Wednesday in the city’s Russian Hill neighborhood, authorities said.
Police have turned this investigation over to a special victims task force. They’re out canvassing the neighborhoods. Thursday night, police and volunteers walked the streets of Russian Hill passing out information. They said they’re putting a lot of resources into catching the suspect.
The groper’s targets are women walking alone, police said. The attacks are happening late at night in the Nob Hill and Russian Hill neighborhoods.
Krystine Gauthier lives in Pacific Heights. “I did see the mug shot. He looked like a normal guy who lives in the Marina,” she said. Gauthier is talking about a police sketch that was circulated last winter. In March, police arrested a man and charged him with sexual assault. But he was released in early July after work records backed up his alibi.
Since then, police said, the crimes started up again.
“We’re seeing the same pattern again, where there’s an individual out there committing sexual battery on women, grabbing women,” SFPD Capt. David Lazar said.
Police said the assailant targets women walking alone, comes up from behind, then grabs their breasts or crotch and runs away.