Pittsburgh police arrest 17-year-old on a charge of indecent assault

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Pittsburgh police have arrested a 17-year-old on a charge of indecent assault in connection with an incident Wednesday in East Liberty, and they say he may be responsible for three other incidents in the area since June 26.

The suspect was on probation for a similar incident in August, according to a news release from Kevin Kraus, acting commander of the major crimes unit. The teen was arrested Wednesday and is being held at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center on charges of indecent assault and possession of marijuana in the latest incident as well as a probation violation.

Cmdr. Kraus said the most recent assault occurred shortly after midnight Wednesday morning as a 24-year-old Beechview woman was walking to a bus stop at East Liberty and Negley Run boulevards. She told police a man she had seen lurking on East Liberty Boulevard approached her at the bus stop and began to indecently assault her.

She screamed, got away and ran to Collins Avenue, where she pounded on a Port Authority bus for help. The suspect fled, but police arrested him at his East Liberty home at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. Police did not identify him.

Cmdr. Kraus said based on the suspect's behavior, detailed descriptions and the method of operation, investigators "strongly believe" he is responsible for three other incidents, but he has not been charged in those.

The first of those incidents occurred June 26 just after midnight in the 800 block of Collins Avenue when a 26-year-old woman was grabbed from behind and indecently assaulted. She got away and called police.

On Saturday, just before midnight, a young man assaulted a 22-year-old woman in the 400 block of North Highland Avenue as she was walking home from work. The suspect fled when a man riding by on his bicycle stopped to help.

A short time later, just after midnight on Sunday, another woman walking home from work was grabbed by a young man, but he fled when she screamed and punched him.

Cmdr. Kraus said the suspect was adjudicated delinquent last year on charges of attempted rape and simple assault when he grabbed and assaulted a 16-year-old girl as she got off a bus in the 6100 block of Carmine Way. He fled when she screamed and punched him.

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Ed Blazina: eblazina@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1470. First Published July 4, 2013 3:30 PM


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