Skateboarding serial groper gets 7-year sentence; ‘Have a nice day, sweetheart’

CHICAGO — The man accused of groping women while zipping through Chicago on a motorized one-wheeled skateboard during 2021 and 2022 was handed a 7-year prison sentence this week. Victor Manuel-Reyes, 37, entered guilty pleas in seven cases involving seven women.

In the summer of 2022, women posted warnings online about a man who had groped them on the lakefront and in Streeterville as he rode by on a motorized skateboard. Their stories drew the attention of additional victims, and pictures of the man circulated widely on social media. It wasn’t long before someone spotted the groper, followed him to a River North restaurant, and posted details online.

Chicago cops arrested Manuel-Reyes within days after he showed up for work at a different restaurant near Navy Pier. His boss had turned him in. Prosecutors said he told investigators he targeted women who wore “hot and short” clothing that “they looked good in.”

“Have a nice day, sweetheart,” he told one victim as he groped her and zipped away. At least one other victim reported that the attacker said something similar to her.

Victor Manuel-Reyes (center) and images of the suspect. (Chicago Police Department, @Segway_Batman)

“Never thought it would happen to me, too,” a woman told CWBChicago in an email before Manuel-Reyes was arrested. “I was walking back from work, got to Michigan and Roosevelt, and had a hard slap on my butt with a disgusting whisper in my ear from the same man on his electric skateboard.”

“I am so angry that I did not scream or run after him,” the woman continued. “I was in shock at the moment, and the only reflex I had was to take pics of him as he kept skating on Michigan.”

Prosecutors initially charged Manuel-Reyes with sexually abusing four women, but they added more cases as Chicago police detectives built evidence in additional cases.

During court hearings, prosecutors provided disturbing, detailed descriptions of the assaults. Some of the victims could not pick him out of photo line-ups because they only saw the back side of the attacker, officials said. But Manuel-Reyes solved that problem by identifying himself in surveillance images of some attacks, according to prosecutors.

On Tuesday, Manuel-Reyes pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal sexual abuse during the commission of a felony and two counts of aggravated battery in a public place, according to court records. Judge Domenica Stephenson sentenced him to seven years for each of the sexual abuse cases and five years for each battery count. His sentences will be served concurrently, the records show.

The state will reduce his time by 50% for good behavior. He will also receive credit for the 583 days spent in custody, mostly on electronic monitoring, while the cases were pending.

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About Tim Hecke 378 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com