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GOTCHA! Hackensack PD Nabs Teen Groper Who Grabbed Women At Night

Residents can rest easier, thanks to Hackensack police.
Residents can rest easier, thanks to Hackensack police. Photo Credit: HACKENSACK PD / Neighbor App

UPDATE: A Hackensack woman groped by a 16-year-old boy while walking her dog at night was initially reluctant to report it. "I was too ashamed," she said.

Calling police turned out to be the right thing, she said Friday.

Barely 24 hours later, another woman who was walking her dog in the same area of the Esplanade in the north end of town near Maywood was attacked more severely.

It was the same teen: He was carrying the same backpack as the night before, sources said.

Having been warned of the previous incident, the second woman called police right away.

"They located the possible suspect within minutes," the first one said. "The whole neighborhood submitted Ring doorbell footage to help ID the guy."

Police signed delinquency complaints against the teen, said Capt. Darrin DeWitt, the officer in charge of the department.

He said he hopes the swift action "alleviates the public's concerns."

It does, the first victim said.

"It felt like I was making a big deal of nothing" right after it happened to her, she said, "but I learned later it wasn’t a big deal because the crimes were escalating.

"The Bottom line: It's always better to report something if you’re unsure because it could save someone else."

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PREVIOUS VERSION: Residents in a Hackensack neighborhood can exhale now that police have nabbed a 16-year-old boy who they said groped women out walking their dogs at night.

Two victims in the northern end of the city near the Maywood border reported a stranger "walking up to [them] and feeling them up and down and running away" on consecutive evenings this week between 7 and 8 p.m., according to one resident.

"His MO has been women who are walking their dogs," the resident reported.

City police quickly took the teen into custody and issued delinquency complaints against him, said Capt. Darrin DeWitt, the officer in charge of the department, said Friday.

DeWitt said he hopes the swift action "alleviates the public's concerns."

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