Police are searching for a man who has allegedly grabbed the buttocks of three young women in separate incidents as they were walking on city streets.
Each time, the man approached the women — who ranged in age from their late teens to early 20s — as they walked alone between 10:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. on busy streets. After grabbing their buttocks, he laughs and runs away, police said.
“He is looking for the girls who are by themselves and not paying attention to their surroundings,” Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
The women described the man as Middle Eastern, about 5 foot 9 inches tall, and as having dark hair and a thin build.
In two of three incidents, the man wore a pair of white tennis shoes and dark-colored hooded sweat shirt and pants.
The victims all reported sensing someone pace behind them as they were walking in the moments before they were grabbed.
One woman told police that she was walking on Columbus Avenue at Lexington Avenue about 11:58 p.m. Dec. 15 when a man appeared in front of her, grabbed her breasts with both hands and her buttocks, according to police reports.
She screamed and tried to push him away, but he reportedly pulled her toward him and tried pushing her down to the ground. The man eventually let her go and ran away.
Four days later, a woman reported that the man grabbed her buttocks with both hands about 10:45 p.m. Monday while she was in a parking lot on California and Maryland avenues.
She was talking on her cell phone and looking for her car keys when the man grabbed her, laughed and ran away.
The next day, a woman, who had just got off of work, was walking home about 12:59 a.m. on the 800 block of North Glendale Avenue when the man approached her, touched her butt in a sweeping motion and laughed, according to reports.
When she asked him about whether his actions were funny, he said “sorry” and extended his arm for a handshake, according to reports. But she yelled at him and he ran away.
“Obviously, this guy thinks he is funny,” Lorenz said. “We are hoping his actions will not escalate.”
Police advised women to walk in pairs, carry a flashlight, a cell phone or keys in their hands, especially during the busy holiday season.
“You have to be more aware of your surroundings,” Lorenz said.
He also asked residents who see anyone matching the man’s description to call police.
Anyone with details about the man, or who has been a victim, may call Glendale Police Det. Alex Krikorian at (818) 548-3106.
-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News