URI Police release photos of suspect in groping incidents

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University, South Kingstown police seek community’s help in identifying suspect

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 9, 2009 – University of Rhode Island Campus Police and South Kingstown Police are seeking the community’s help in identifying a suspect in what they say are seven related cases of groping.

Today, the University released still images from video taken Sunday, Sept. 6 by cameras in campus buildings. The images were sent to the State Police for enhancement, and they have been distributed to area police departments and to URI’s Housing and Residential Life staff.

University and South Kingstown police are investigating seven incidents that occurred on Sunday, one of the University’s two move-in days. Four of the incidents occurred on the Kingston Campus and three occurred at the Kingston Emporium, a retail plaza just east of the campus. None of the complainants reported any physical injuries.

“The University has taken numerous steps to protect our community, including increased police patrols and briefings with residence hall staff, a campus safety notice emailed to students, faculty and staff Sunday night,” said Robert F. Drapeau, URI’s director of public safety.

“Releasing these photos is another step in our efforts to apprehend this individual,” Drapeau said. “We would ask anyone in the University community and surrounding neighborhoods to call our department at 874-2121 or the South Kingstown Police at 783-3321 if they believe they have seen someone who looks like the individual in these photos.”

Drapeau also added that those with information may call the Campus Police Tipline, 874-TIPS (8477) if they wish to remain anonymous.

Initially, police said two of the cases were related, but as the investigation has continued police said all seven appear to involve the same suspect.

The suspect is described as a white male, in his late 20s to mid-30s. On the day of the incidents, he was wearing a light blue T-shirt, with white lettering, dark colored shorts, light colored sneakers, sport-style sunglasses and a white necklace. He was also seen wearing a dark blue New England Patriots shirt. He is between 5-feet, 8 inches and 6 feet tall, has shaved/closely cut hair and athletic build. The suspect has been seen riding a bicycle and jogging.

These are two still images taken from URI campus video cameras that show an individual who matches descriptions given to police by women who reported they were groped by an unidentified man. Courtesy URI Police.