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Crime & Justice

Ride-by groper strikes again in Santa Monica; police ask for public’s help in catching him

Santa Monica is a bicycle-friendly town.
Santa Monica is a bicycle-friendly town.
Photo by Gary Rides Bikes via Flickr Creative Commons

Who is the ride-by bicycle groper, and how can we stop him before he gropes again?

That’s what authorities were wondering today after the sixth known fondling by a handsy bicycle man riding the streets of Santa Monica.

The most recent incident occurred last month, when the man rode his bike up to a woman walking on the sidewalk on Stanford Street near Arizona Avenue and put his hands where they don’t belong.

Prior incidents, beginning in January, have occurred on Stanford near 6th Street, three times on Broadway between Princeton and Stanford streets and on Franklin Street near Arizona Avenue -- in general, within the same few residential blocks, KNBC reports. (That report states that the most recent incident was on Franklin, but a police map shows differently.)

Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department put it simply: “The suspect just rides up and gropes women.”

He is now wanted for six counts of sexual battery. His victims are as young as 16, police say.

The ride-by groper is described as a white man around 30 years old, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-9, with a medium to heavy build, slicked-back black hair and riding a mountain bike. Anyone with information is asked to call Santa Monica police at (310) 458-8427.