New sexual battery offenses reported near USC campus
Four new sexual battery offenses were reported to the USC Dept. of Public Safety this past week that are in line with a string of attacks that have occurred since late February in the immediate USC area. In all instances, female victims were approached by a male or group of males and slapped on the buttocks.Three of the attacks are congruent with the Los Angeles Police Department’s main suspect: a lone male who approaches girls from behind — often while jogging — and slaps the victims’ buttocks.The first of the most recently reported incidents occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night at the intersection of 29th Street and Vermont Avenue. The victim was jogging when a male suspect, also jogging, ran past her and turned around. He then slapped her buttocks, smiled and ran away.The second offense happened less than an hour later near the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house on West 28th Street. Two friends stopped to take a photo when one of the friends said she was slapped on the buttocks and saw two males flee afterward.The next two offenses occurred a few hours later, just after midnight on Friday morning.At 12:10 a.m., a victim was waiting for the traffic signal to turn green at the corner of 28th Street and Figueroa Street. She said a male suspect grabbed her buttocks, then quickly walked away.The most recent attack was just 25 minutes later, near the Galen Center on the 3400 Block of Figueroa Street. The victim was approached by a male suspect, who slapped her buttocks and then kept running.DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle said there has been progress in the case over the last week. The two departments have been able to jointly identify a person of interest.“LAPD has developed some leads, and there was a person of interest identified and they are [now] pursuing it closer,” he said.LAPD released two sketches earlier this month regarding a key male suspect. He is described to be either Hispanic or East Asian, between 16 and 21 years old with black short hair in a “spiked” style. He is around 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighs between 140-160 pounds.“We think the majority [of the crimes] are committed by one person,” Carlisle said.