Skateboard groper says he targeted women in ‘hot and short’ clothing: prosecutors

Victor Manuel-Reyes (center) and images of the suspect. | CPD; | @Segway_Ruins

The man accused of groping women in the downtown area while riding a one-wheeled motorized skateboard told Chicago police he targeted women who wore “hot and short” clothing that “they looked good in,” according to prosecutors.

Victor Manuel-Reyes, 36, was ordered to pay a $4,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring by Judge Susana Ortiz. After being told of his bail conditions, he asked if he could call his wife for the money.

Chicago police arrested Manuel-Reyes after he showed up for work at a restaurant near Navy Pier on Friday morning, and his boss called 911 to turn him in.

Manuel-Reyes is accused of groping four women, with the first incident occurring May 11, about a block from his workplace on the Lakefront Trail flyover bridge, prosecutor Anthony Garcia said.

A woman was walking her dog when Manuel-Reyes rolled up on his scooter and reached under the woman’s clothing to touch her private areas, Garcia alleged. The victim posted about the incident on Next Door, he said.

All three of the other charges stem from alleged similar attacks on August 4. Women reported being assaulted by a man on a one-wheeled motorized skateboard that day in the 1200 block of South Michigan Avenue, the 1600 block of South Blue Island Avenue, and the 1100 block of South State Street.

The Blue Island incident took place about three blocks from Manuel-Reyes’ home, according to information provided by CPD. The victim in that case secured surveillance video from a nearby house that showed Manuel-Reyes approaching her before the assault, but a tree blocked the camera’s view of the actual attack, Garcia said.

He added that CTA surveillance cameras at the Roosevelt CTA station recorded the entire incident on State Street. Police included some of those images in a community alert released to the public last weekend.

Garcia said that someone who used to work with Manuel-Reyes identified him from the CPD bulletin and contacted the police. Some of the victims could not pick him out of photo line-ups because they only saw the back side of the attacker, according to Garcia. But Manuel-Reyes allegedly identified himself in surveillance images from some of the attacks.

During an interview with police, Manuel-Reyes allegedly admitted to touching three women wearing something “hot and short” that they “looked good in.”

His public defender said he lives with his wife and has worked at the restaurant near Navy Pier for two years.

Chicago police seized a one-wheeled motorized scooter and crash helmet from the restaurant as evidence, Garcia said.

Judge Ortiz cited the “number of incidents, the stalking, pursuing type behavior” and the “type of contact” as considerations she made before setting bail.

Manuel-Reyes faces three counts of felony criminal sexual abuse and four counts of aggravated battery in a public place. CPD previously stated that one of the abuse charges was filed as criminal sexual assault, but Garcia clarified the charges during the bail hearing on Sunday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com