Women walking their babies have been attacked in broad daylight by a serial teen sex attacker in Onehunga. Fear is gripping the central Auckland suburb as police hunt for a boy aged between 12 and 16 who has attacked at least 11 women since October. A victim of the Onehunga serial teen attacker says she was left fuming the day she was attacked in an alleyway by a barefoot boy. DO YOU KNOW MORE? SEND US AN EMAIL
The woman wrote about the brazen mid-afternoon attack on a community crime forum to warn others about her shocking encounter with the young groper. "Attack happened at 3pm today in the alleyway that runs between State Ave & Gambia Place. He ran back up the alley way on to State Ave. I'm so f***ing angry right now," she posted on a forum. She said her attacker was about 15-years-old, about 172 cm in height and wearing dark grey knee-length shorts and light grey hoodie. He was not wearing shoes at the time. The victim said police arrived within 20 minutes of the assault and door knocked the neighbourhood. Her clothes were taken for forensic testing. She said she was left feeling angry but was able to give police a very detailed description of her attacker. Many of those the Herald spoke to said they were on high alert as police continued their efforts to track down the young man believed to be behind the attacks. Jeanie Tuliakiono and Ted Curreen said they hoped the police would catch him soon. Ms Tuliakiono said she feared for her, and her daughter's safety. "I go with my daughter...it's really annoying, I look side to side." Mr Curreen said was concerned the young guy was still out on the streets. "It's concerning no matter the age, it just shouldn't be happening." He'd noticed an increased police presence in recent days. "I guess they're trying, not much you can do with all these little streets...it's like a little rabbit warren." Another resident who didn't want to be named spoke of how she was worried about her nine-year-old granddaughter's wellbeing. She said police had been around and told them to keep an eye out on someone who was "up to no good". "Of course it's worrying," she said. In an earlier post on an Onehunga community Facebook page police revealed the victims had been startled when a young male had approached them from behind and either put his hands up their dresses or reached around and touched the victim's crotches. Possible names of suspects given to police had not led to the attacker being identified. They were urgently appealing to the public for help fearing he was going to graduate to worse crime. "Police urgently require the assistance of the public to help identify and hold this person accountable before his offending escalates to a more serious crime," said the post. At the time they believed the offender could be living in close proximity to the Oranga and One Tree Hill area, as he appeared to be familiar with the location and public walkways. In an earlier description posted by police the teenager was described as having a medium to solid build, of average height and with a distinctive nose which was rounded at the end. Some of the attacked women described his face marked by blemishes. He was also seen carrying a black backpack the same size as a school bag.
Mothers living in fear
Hundreds of women have signed up to self-defence classes put on by the local business association since the attacks first started. Several of the brazen daytime attacks had taken place while women were wheeling their young children in pushchairs. A few residents in the area who spoke to the Herald had not seen the flyers or heard the news, but most said they'd be keeping a close eye out on the streets. One local dairy owner, who chose not to be named, said it was concerning. He'd been given a leaflet with a detailed description of the alleged offender a couple of weeks ago. "I'm uneasy," he said. The dairy owner said police had done a good job keeping everyone in the loop. "The whole community is aware." A couple of girls who live in the area, but didn't want to be named, said they were upset he hadn't been caught. "I'm angry there's not CCTV footage around the area...that no one has captured him," said one. "He's desperate and using girls as an easy target," said the other. Onehunga Business Association manager Amanda Kinzett told the Herald victims had described on social media the shocking moment they were groped from behind by the serial attacker. "What he does is cops a feel then runs off," she said. "He either grabs their breasts or their front section or bottom and scarpers." Those who were with their children had felt stunned and powerless to give chase. "From what I understand there have been some women who have been assaulted while they have been walking their babies in prams. "If you're a mum with bubs you're not going to leave your children behind." Ms Kinzett said the victims had described being initially stunned by the attacks then left feeling incredibly angry. She said self-defence classes specially put on in response to the serial attacker had proved so popular there was a waiting list of hundreds. Women were taking extra precautions going out and no longer walking alone in the suburb, she said. Ms Kinzett said the whole community was on edge and she hoped the attacker was caught soon. "If he's doing this at 12,13, or 16, it's concerning. "If his family is hiding him they need to be aware of what he is becoming. This kid is already becoming a serial attacker. Sure, groping is one thing but he's going to want more soon," she said.
Where the attacks happened
Police have launched a dedicated 0800 number and asking anyone who may recognise the boy to call them. They have also released a map of when and where the women have been attacked. The most recent assault happened on March 27 on Easter Sunday in Gambia Place. The majority of the attacks happened around the Fergusson Domain, but other assaults have occurred in Oranga Avenue, Arthur Street, Grey Street and Amaru RD. Two of the attacks happened within hours of each other.
Scene locations - Dates and times 1.
03/10/2015 at 7.44pm 2.
09/10/2015 at 3.10pm 3.
16/11/2015 at 8.45pm 4.
02/02/2016 at 11.33am 5.
03/02/2016 at 11.33am 6.
04/02/2016 at 5.30pm - 6.30pm 7.
13/02/2016 at 7am - 7.30am 8.
13/02/2016 at 10am 9.
20/02/2016 at 2.30pm 10.
05/03/2016 at 6.45pm 11.
27/03/2016 at 3pm Police say the boy they are hunting for has light brown hair, possibly dyed a yellow/brassy colour. In many of the attacks he was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and knee-length shorts. Police said they were taking the unusual step of showing the public maps and timelines of the attack in the hope friends and family of the wanted teen will recognise him. "We're taking the step this morning of releasing a map which shows the locations, times and dates where the women have been indecently assaulted. We're doing this as well as providing a description of the person we believe is responsible for these assaults" said Detective Constable Patrick Whitiora. "The description of this offender is of a very young person - behaviour such as this in a young person is worrying, and we want to not only apprehend this person to obviously stop any more indecent assaults but we also need to get him help," he said.
'He needs to be stopped'
Police said they had made extensive enquiries across the wider area with officers going door-to-door to more than 100 homes looking for information. On top of that more than 700 flyers had been hand-delivered to homes in the area with the description of the offender and safety advice. A further 400 flyers were expected to be delivered to a wider area this week.
Police said they were looking for any information that could help identify the teen and pleaded for family to contact police. "This young man may have told someone about this or hinted that is what he has been doing. "He needs help and he needs to be stopped. "Please, if you suspect that it may be your mate, your brother, your son, then help us to help them. Everyone has the right to walk our streets without feeling fearful - and there is no place for this behaviour in our communities" said Mr Whitiora. If you have any information about the identity of the attacker call police on 0800 748 244.