For Immediate Release
July 7, 2009
Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191 / (646) 201-8183
Council Member Letitia James and Assemblyman Karim Camara send message: assaults by serial groper in Crown Heights will not be tolerated, and women in community please be aware
(Brooklyn, NY) - A serial groper is on the loose in Crown Heights based on reports that a dozen Brooklyn women have been assaulted in the past few weeks. According to the NYPD, a number of complaints made by several Hasidic Jewish woman and one African American woman are under investigation by police. The perpetrator is a skinny man in his late teens or early twenties, who slaps and gropes the backside of women in a violating fashion, often while riding on a bicycle.
“It is shocking and alarming that someone would harass or assault any woman, particularly an innocent passerby. Such actions are first of all devastating to the victim but also an attack on our entire community. Any such person who initiates such contact is not a member of our community and does not deserve to be walking the streets,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara, 43 AD. “As community leaders we must do everything in our power to protect the women in our community. We call upon all members of the community to be vigilant in their travels to guard against this perpetrator. I commend the 71st Precinct for taking swift, decisive and aggressive action in their effort to locate and capture the person committing these heinous criminal acts and to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.”
Council Member Letitia James, 35th CD said: I am appalled to learn of these incidents, and I want to send the message that the NYPD along with community leaders are taking action. These assaults are degrading, insulting and frightening for the women and families of Crown Heights. We want to increase residents’ awareness of this disturbed person on the prowl, and encourage people to walk together and only in well lit areas. A reward is being offered for any information that will lead to the arrest and indictment of this perpetrator. Lastly, I want to assure the community that the 71st precinct is doing all it can to put an end to this spree of violating attacks on the community.”
“We thank the police, Chief Fox and Deputy Inspector Peter Simonetti, for all their efforts to solve this series of crimes. We are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator. Thank God we have progressed to the point of good relations in our community where all residents see an attack on any individual as an attack on the entire community, regardless of race and national origin. Together we can help keep our neighborhood safe,” said Rabbi Eli Cohen from the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.
Activist Dr. Tzvi (Harvey) Lang offered one solution to resolving this problem. “The perpetrator could easily be found if we had a network of video cameras (as Council Member James is helping to fund, as well as many community leaders have been crying out for) saturating the streets of Crown Heights. Let’s get those in place right away,” he said.
See further information on Crown Heights.info here.