Police Search for Man Accused of Groping Women in Park Forest

Police are investigating after two incidents were reported within two days of each other this month

Police in south suburban Park Forest are searching for a suspect who may have groped several women in the area over the last few months.

Police are investigating after two incidents were reported within two days of each other this month.

The first incident took place just before 11 p.m. June 22 in the 300 block of Gettysburg Street.

Police said a woman, who had been walking her dog in the neighborhood, was approached by a man who walked up behind her, hugged her, and kissed her neck.

The man then grabbed the woman’s chest and said he had a weapon, police said.

“He told me ‘don’t fight,’ he had a gun,” Essence Williams told NBC Chicago. “I started yelling to see if anyone would help me and he finally ran off.”

The 18-year-old described the attacker as a black male in his mid-20s, around 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a medium-brown complexion, stubbly facial hair and sideburns. She also said he had crooked teeth with gaps between them.

Two days later, around 8 a.m., a female juvenile reported to officials at Rich East High School that she was grabbed by a man fitting the same description as she walked to school.

The victim said she was walking in the 200 block of Westwood Drive when she saw a man running toward her.

The man grabbed her buttocks before running away, police said.

Witnesses said the offender may have also had short braids or dreadlock-style hair, police said.

Authorities say the man described in the recent incidents matches the description of a suspect in several similar incidents from early spring.

Area residents said they’re concerned about the increase in incidents.

“It bothers me quite a bit since it was on my street,” said resident Kenneth Mood.

“It’s a safe neighborhood, it really is, but one person is making it bad for everyone,” said resident Angie Jackson.

And Williams is concerned the suspect will strike again.

“If I wouldn’t have fought back or gotten loud I think he would have done more,” she said. “If he didn’t get to finish what he wanted with me, then he will probably get someone else.”

Police are asking anyone with information surrounding the incidents to call (708) 748-1309.

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