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Stranger Danger In East Arlington After 4 Girls Groped

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The shadows of children playing are cast on a brick wall. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The shadows of children playing are cast on a brick wall. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - The Arlington Police Department has responded to four separate reports of young girls who were inappropriately touched by a  male stranger recently. Police haven’t connected all four cases to the same suspect. Despite this, they want to increase public education efforts regarding personal safety.

Each time, the four girls – ranging from age 12 to 16 – were approached from behind by a man as they walked home in the afternoon and evening hours. The suspect touched the victims over their clothes. Each time, the girls fought the man off and got away safely. The suspect fled on foot every time.

Police said at this point of the investigation, the only factor connecting the four incidents or suspects is that they happened in close geographic proximity of each other. All four incidents were on the eastern side of the city north of Pioneer Parkway near New York Avenue and east of State Highway 360.

Suspect descriptions vary in each reported case, aside from the man being depicted as a Hispanic male who either spoke Spanish or had a heavy accent.

The last reported incident happened January 16, at about 6:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Huntington Drive. A 16-year-old girl was walking home from a local park when a man walked behind her, grabbed her and attempted to put his hands in her pants. The victim screamed, alerting neighbors and the suspect ran away. The three previous incidents occurred on December 10 in the 2200 block of E. Park Row Drive, November 15 in the 800 block of E. Timberlake Drive and on January 2 in the 1800 block of E. Tucker Boulevard. The victims were 14, 12, and 16-years-old.

Since the first reported incident, Arlington Police officers have been actively investigating each of these child indecency cases. Officers have conducted interviews with the girls and potential witnesses including increasing patrols in those specific communities. They continue to promote public safety education and awareness through various groups such as Community Watch and Citizens on Patrol.

Public Safety tips:

Youngsters are encouraged to always walk in groups of two or more, especially after dark.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t allow cell phones or other technology to become a distraction.

If you are grabbed by a stranger, scream, fight, and do anything possible to get away and draw attention to yourself.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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