New York police have arrested a 37-year old man in connection to a string of Manhattan groping attacks, including one of an 11-year old girl, which were committed over the past month.
The attacks involved a man on a scooter who casually rode up to his victims on his bike before groping their breasts and speeding away.
A source from the New York City Police Department confirmed with the Daily Mail that James White has been arrested in connection to six of the nine incidents.
Detectives from the Manhattan Special Victims Squad caught White on Friday afternoon around 5pm near Grand and Forsyth streets in the Lower East Side.
He was riding a red and black Fly-3 moped identical to the one used by the suspect wanted in the attacks, the source confirmed.
Further details about White were not revealed, but a law enforcement source told the New York Post that he is a yoga instructor.
James White, 37, was arrested in connection to six of nine groping attacks that were committed in Manhattan over the past month. Pictured above is a surveillance photo taken of the attacker after one of his assaults
The attacks that began on August 2, at Sixth Avenue and West 50th Street, and ended on Monday, September 6, in the East Village.
One of the attacks which White has been arrested over was on an 11-year old girl.
Surveillance footage of the attacker shared by NYPD Crime Stoppers and the NYPD Special Victims Unit shows him wearing all black as he rides a black and red moped. Police said the attacks appear to be random.
‘He was wearing a mask and a hoodie and looking at the women walking around,’ a law-enforcement source told the New York Post. ‘It’s a good thing he was arrested, especially now that school is opening and there will be a lot more young women walking in the area.’
The first assault was in Midtown, with another two attacks on the Upper East Side.
Three of the attacks were reported on the Lower East Side, while two took place in the East Village and one in Nolita, police told The Post.
Police did not reveal which six of the nine recorded attacks White had been arrested for.
But a source told DailyMail.com that one of the attacks which White has been arrested over was on an 11-year old girl.
The NYPD Special Victims Unit first opened an investigation on August 6. The scooter rider headed off three victims over the span of an hour and a half on August 26 and two of them were minors, according to the NYPD Public Information Office.
The first, a 15-year-old girl, was attacked at 4.20pm in the area of Hester and Eldridge Streets. Just five minutes later, he harassed a 20-year-old woman in the area of 315 Grand Avenue.
The attacks involved a man on a scooter who casually rode up to his victims on his bike before groping their breasts and speeding away
The man’s victims have ranged from 11 to 31, police told the New York Post
Above is a map illustrating the attacks that have been detailed by police. White is being charged in six of the attacks, including the most serious one involving an 11-year old girl, though it is not clear which of the others he allegedly committed
The most depraved groping of the day, committed against an 11-year-old walking in the area of East 6th Street and Avenue A, took place around 5.40 pm, police said.
‘These are serious crimes, sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl is a felony,’ said Manhattan Special Victims Division Sgt. Ivan Rodriguez to The Post. ‘Women should be able to walk the streets of New York without fear of being sexually assaulted.’
White is charged with first-degree sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor and six counts of forcible touching, according to court records.
He appeared today in New York Criminal Court.
Crime in the Big Apple has decreased overall in August as compared to the same month last year, according to NYPD statistics
However, certain crimes rose through September 5, including rape, felony assaults and shooting incidents
Sex attacks are up 26.2 percent this year, with 3,278 incidents reported in the year to September 5, compared with 2,597 in the same period last year, according to the most recent NYPD statistics.
Overall crime dropped by 5.4 percent in August and 0.92 percent in the week leading to September 5, as compared to the same period last year.
However, rape was up by 8.5percent in August and 4.5 percent through September 5.
Felony assaults and shooting incidents dropped in August by 3.7 percent and a whopping 30.7 percent, respectively. Through September 5, the same crimes rose by 5.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
White’s arrest followed a violent Labor Day Weekend in New York City where nine people were shot. They included a 21-year-old immigrant cab driver who was caught in the crossfire of a shootout in Harlem in the early hours of Sunday morning and died three days later.
In an unrelated incident, two men were brutally attacked with a glass bottle and a screwdriver while being called homophobic slurs at a Brooklyn bodega early morning on September 4.
The two male victims, aged 36 and 28, were trying to buy food at a store at 1559 Broadway in Bushwick, Brooklyn at 2.10am, according to the NYPD.
They were approached by two unknown men who engaged them in a verbal dispute and made ‘anti-gay statements,’ according to police.
The men attacked the victims with a glass bottle and a screwdriver before stealing an iPhone and cash and running away on foot.
New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea has called for reform amid the crime surge, arguing that the ‘soft on criminals experiment’ has been a disaster.
‘This city is built on public safety,’ Commissioner Shea said during a Monday evening interview with Spectrum News.
‘We’re probably about two years into this soft-on-criminals ‘experiment’ if you will, ‘let’s empty out the jails, and show me a New Yorker that at this point and time thinks this experiment has worked. It’s been a disaster.’
Shea said he hopes New York’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, will make necessary changes to increase safety across the city.
‘Common sense is what we need. Reforms are good, but let’s do reforms that are calibrated in such a way with the input of law enforcement,’ he argued.
‘It’s time to fix these laws and get back to where we all need to be.’