Chicago police are warning residents in several neighborhoods of a man who has been accused of exposing himself to women, and even of chasing some of those victims during the incidents.
One Wicker Park resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was one of the victims targeted by the suspect, saying the incident occurred while she was walking her dog in Oct. 2021.
“He started asking me a question, ‘do you know how to get to this address?’ I ignored him, and kept walking, and he came out…and started following me.”
She says that the man then chased her down an alley near Wood Street.
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“I yelled ‘get back!’ And then he came at me quicker,” she said. “Then I screamed and he exposed himself.”
According to police, at least four incidents have been reported involving the man. During each incident, he attempts to engage the victim in conversation, usually by asking for directions or to use their phones.
After doing so, the man then touches himself or exposes himself, and then follows the victim even if they attempt to flee.
One of the victims says that she is part of a Facebook group of women who have shared similar stories, and she says there have been more than a dozen victims.
“The individual followed me on his bike and asked me for directions to an employment office on South Canal, which sounded a little weird because it’s nowhere nearby,” she said. “I told him I probably couldn’t help him, and then I noticed that he was moving his hand up and down really quickly under his sweatshirt. I immediately got freaked out and I backed up.”
Police say that incidents have occurred on North Avenue and on Western Avenue, as well as on Division Street and on Wood Street on the Near West Side.
Police have not released a description of the suspect, with his victims expressing their frustration at the lack of law enforcement action.
“I called the police right after the incident, and no one ever showed up,” one victim said.
“For my own safety, I’ve ditched the shorter shorts when I walk outside,” another added.
Chicago police say that residents should always be aware of their surroundings, and if they are approached by an unknown individual to get to a safe place and call 911.
Individuals are also advised not to pursue a fleeing assailant under any circumstances.