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NYPD: Sexual Predator Fondles Woman Near Gracie Mansion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Upper East Side residents are on alert with a sexual predator on the loose.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reports, a woman was fondled and police said they believe the suspect has struck before.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS' John Montone reports


The latest incident happened almost in the shadow of the landmark Gracie Mansion. A 31-year-old woman was grabbed in the buttocks Wednesday morning at a building near 85th Street and East End Avenue.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the incident was "not an assault."

Nevertheless, it was an unwelcome and aggressive liberty by a man that police said remains on the prowl.

Police said the suspect is wanted in six separate incidents -- including the one on Wednesday.  In the other incidents, the suspect is said to have inappropriately touched women in their upper 20's.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man between 25 and 30-years-old.  He is said to be about 4-foot-11 and weighs 120 pounds with black hair.  He was last seen wearing a black turtle-neck zipped sweatshirt and blue jeans.

"It's horrifying, horrifying," one resident said.

Police said the woman was going into her building when a man grabbed her from behind. The suspect apparently said "I'm sorry" before running off.

"We see that as part of a pattern; this is the sixth incident," Kelly said.

Police said the man hit locations all within blocks of each other within the confines of the 19th Precinct.

"Of course I'm nervous, because it's the first incident we've had around here in a long time, since the 'East Side Rapist' years ago," resident Roberta Lipman said.

"That's terrible – does anybody know who he is?" East Side resident Ellen Westrich said. "I hope they figure it out."

In June, a 25-year-old woman narrowly escaped being sexually assaulted on East 90th Street. In May, an 85-year-old woman was sexually attacked and robbed, but in that case, police made an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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