Women jogging in Hyde Park groped at least six times

A woman walking in Hyde Park on May 5, 2017 (KXAN Photo)
A woman walking in Hyde Park on May 5, 2017 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police are searching for a man who they say has grabbed and groped women’s buttocks at least six times in the Hyde Park neighborhood in the past month.

Women jogging and walking through the neighborhood have reported the suspect as a white or Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s — thin with an athletic build — and wearing dark shirt, basketball shorts and dark shoes.

No arrests have been made. Anyone who has been a victim, knows a victim, or has information on the case can call police at 512-974-5095. KXAN spoke with one of the women to have been grabbed, she says she was walking with her roommate down Duval Street when they noticed a man behind them. She says the man mumbled something, slapped her buttocks and ran off.

“After the shock wore off, it was definitely anger,” Erin Worbs said, describing her reaction. “I think it’s really disgusting that someone thinks they have the right to walk around and treat someone like that.”

While the assaults have primarily been during the afternoon and evening hours, one of the incidents happened during the morning. Officers say they do not have a photo or sketch they can confirm as the suspect, adding that a photo posted on social media does not match any description they’re received.

  • Friday, April 7 at 9:30 p.m. in the 3200 block of Duval Street
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 4:39 p.m. in the 4200 block of Avenue C
  • Friday, April 28 at 1:25 p.m. in the 300 block of W. 43rd St.
  • Sunday, April 30 at 7 a.m. in the 100-1000 block of E. 45th Street
  • Sunday, April 30 at 9 p.m. near intersection of Karen/Woodrow Avenues
  • Thursday, May 4 at 3:21 p.m. in the 4900 block of Duval Street

Austin police offered several tips to stay safe when walking or jogging in the neighborhood, including keeping earbud volume low or with one ear free, keep your hands free and have a self defense item like pepper spray with you.

If someone tries to grab you, yell or scream, do anything to draw attention to the attack. Avoid running or walking at night if possible. Police advise limiting distractions, keeping your head up and not buried in a phone. Let a friend or family member know your route.

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