Police ask for help to catch Chula Vista's serial groper - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - 760 KFMB AM - 760kfmb

Police ask for help to catch Chula Vista's serial groper

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By News 8 Reporter Craig McKee

CHULA VISTA (CBS8) -  For five months a man in Chula Vista has violated forty-year-old woman and girls as young as 15 by touching their bottoms and breast area.  Many of those who live and work in the city are scared and concerned that this guy may take things to another level if not caught soon.

"It's kind of like pins and needles because I want this guy caught," said Nora Echavarria.

She was among fifty or so people who came to a community meeting held at the Chula Vista High Performing Arts Center, put on by the Chula Vista Police Department.

Nora brought her daughter Salena to hear first hand what to be on the look out for when she's walking by herself.

"It does concern me, because she's texting and not paying attention," she explained.


It's that type of distraction that police say helped put each of the red dots marking attack sites on the map.   One of those dots, Selena's friend who had her bottom touched.

"She got more insecure like she was more scared to walk home and stuff," Salena Quincero told News 8.

For more than an hour, Chula Vista Police answered questions, addressed concerns and let the community in on the ongoing investigation and search for the serial groper.  A person whose believed to be responsible for 14 of at least 16 attacks since September of last year.

All the other attacks have been around the area where we live, where we shop where we run and walk," said Vanessa Ringgold.  She says she's a native of Chula Vista and has always felt safe to jog or walk in her community. But with the groper on the loose...she can't get the nerve now to do it; and was puzzled by the number of empty seats at the community meeting.

"I anticipated the crowd to be packed, and I was very surprised and disappointed that it wasn't," she said.

Police released a new sketch of the suspect; this one created from a different victim. If you put the two photos up side by side you can see both similarities and differences.

"Little differences, little varieties from one victim to another victim," explains Lt. Phil Collum. "Obviously, everybody perceives things differently, everybody has a different frame of reference, and also a different memory so we expect that."

For many here there's concern for what happens next and if the attacks could become more violent.

"Any time we have cases like these... one of our chief concerns is the possibility that this escalates beyond what it is today," said Collum.

Police investigators say they don't see any connection between the Chula Vista groper and the recent groping attack on the campus of SDSU.

Meanwhile, anyone with information on the groper or other potential victims are asked to call the Chula Vista Police Department on 619-691-5151.

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