NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Detectives have charged a man with grabbing female joggers in the west Nashville area since early last year, and believe there may be more victims.
Eric Wheeler, 21, has been charged with two counts of assault for grabbing women on January 10 and January 23. During questioning, police said Wheeler admitted to a fascination with women in public places and his desire to feel their skin.
In one case, a 24-year-old woman was jogging on Clearview Drive near Woodmont Circle around 2:20 p.m. on January 10 when a tan car drove past her and parked. When she ran past it, the driver got out, ran up from behind and grabbed her. She turned to break away, and he smirked at her when he let go and went back to his car.
In the other case, the 24-year-old woman was jogging on Marlborough Avenue around 4:50 p.m. on January 24 when a man believed to be Wheeler asked for directions while seated in his car. After she gave him directions, he reached out to shake her hand and grabbed her arm with his other hand and pulled. She broke free and fell to the ground. She told police the man laughed and drove away.
Police said Wheeler implicated himself in both cases, and said he is also a suspect in two crimes in January and February 2012 where the suspect and vehicle descriptions were the same. In those cases, women were jogging on Branch Creek Road at Kendall Drive and on Forestwood Drive at Knob Road when they were grabbed.
Police patrolled the area continuously after those attacks, and said they believe that dissuaded further incidents.
Anyone who believes they were a victim of a similar assault or attack but did not report it to police is asked to call the department's Sex Crimes Unit at (615) 862-7540.
Wheeler was freed on $6,000 bond and scheduled to be in court on March 27.
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:45:01 GMT
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