CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Division of Police is investigating two incidents of a man grabbing teen girls on the city’s east side.
The crimes occurred within a week of each other and police said it is unknown if it is the same suspect in both cases.
The first happened at about 6:40 a.m. on Sept. 25. The 16-year-old victim was walking on East 36th Street and Prospect Avenue when she noticed a man following her to a bus stop on Euclid Avenue. The suspect sat down next to her and began touching himself, police said. As she ran away, the man grabbed her arm, but she was able to escape.
Then at about 7 a.m. on Oct. 1, a 14-year-old was approached on East 36th Street and Cedar Avenue. Police said the man grabbed her face and tried to pull her away by her wrist.
“I had turned around and somebody had snatched me by my neck and I was screaming for help. He had put his hand around my neck and covered my mouth up with his hand and stuff and kept telling me if I screamed anymore, that something bad was gonna happen,” she said.
The girl says she tried to get away, but the man tried to drag her into some nearby woods.
“I had like stomped on his foot and I had ran away, but when I tried to run away, he grabbed me again and started scratching my face, so then I had bit his finger and ran away,” said the teenager.
The girl’s mother is relieved her daughter was able to fight off the attacker.
“To even think that this happened to somebody just a few days sooner, of the same description and the person isn’t caught, that’s scary,” said the girl’s mother.
Police said the suspect in both incidents was about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He was in his early 30s, and may be bald or have a receding hairline. According to police, he also had red and black lightning bolt tattoos under both eyes.
Anyone with information should contact the Third District Detective Bureau at 216-623-5318. Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips at 216-252-7463 or by texting TIP657 plus the message to 274637.