DOWNTOWN — Police have arrested and charged a man they say has been riding around Downtown on a one-wheeled motorized scooter and sexually abusing women before speeding away.
Victor Manuel-Reyes, 36, was arrested Friday morning at his job in the 500 block of East Illinois Street, police said. He’s been charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse, four counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse.
One of the attacks happened around 10:15 a.m. Aug. 6 in the 1100 block of South State Street, police said. In that case, a man riding a one-wheel motorized skateboard approached a woman from behind and touched her butt and genitals, police said.
Police suspect the same person bumped into a woman about 10:15 a.m. June 1 in the 400 block of West Lake Street, touching her butt and genitals before fleeing on the same skateboard.
During a bail hearing Sunday, prosecutors connected Manuel-Reyes to four additional separate groping incidents, three occurring Aug. 4 during his scooter ride to work near Navy Pier, according to court documents.
The victims told investigators about how Manuel-Reyes approached them from behind and grabbed their butts and, in one case, made contact with a victim’s genitalia and penetrated another, prosecutors said.
Multiple women told Block Club Chicago they were groped while walking Downtown by a man on a one-wheeled motorized skateboard. Each said the man rode away laughing after the attack.
“People might think oh, it’s just a slap in the butt … but until it happens to you, being touched by a stranger like that, and especially whispering in your ear and squeezing your body or your genitals. That’s traumatizing,” said one victim who was groped in the South Loop.
After photos of the groper were made public in a police community alert, Manuel-Reyes was identified by a former co-worker as a manager of a restaurant near Navy Pier, according to court documents.
When police arrested Manuel-Reyes, he admitted to touching three women “on the ass,” saying he didn’t remember what they looked like but that they were all wearing “something hot and short. Something women looked good in,” the Tribune reported.
Police also found a white helmet and blue motorized scooter, as described in the community alert, belonging to Manuel-Reyes.
Manuel-Reyes is being held on a $40,000 bond or a $4,000 for release, with electronic monitoring.
He is scheduled to return to court Wednesday.
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