According to numerous reports made using the Nextdoor app, a man is sexually groping women jogging or walking in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Since the reports surfaced on the app, Austin Police’s Sex Crimes Division has confirmed that at least five women have reported being groped inappropriately by a Hispanic or white male, looking to be in his 20s or 30s, as they jogged or walked through the neighborhood. Several users on the app have since dubbed the groping suspect the “Hyde Park Spanker.” The Nextdoor app has been set up as a private social network for city neighborhoods for people to communicate with others in their area.

Three reported areas of Hyde Park neighborhood currently being affected

The crime and safety co-chair on the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, Kristen Remeza, told CBS Austin that she knows of at least three reported locations in the neighborhood where assaults of this nature on women have occurred. She quoted them as being Duval and Carolyn, 48th and Duval and 42nd and Avenue C in the city. Remeza went on to stress that the incidents were “sexual assault.”

Woman screamed as the ‘Hyde Park Spanker’ groped her then ran

CBS Austin reports that another incident occurred at around 3:45 Wednesday after a witness in Duval Street said she heard someone screaming. The witness said she walked outside and saw a man running down the street, while a woman was obviously in distress.

While dialing 911, the witness reportedly chased the man down the street in order to take a photo to pass on to the Austin police. The witness said they want to “get the guy.”

Reports on the Nextdoor app show that since around April 26th, several women had reported being groped, grabbed and even spanked by the suspect before he ran away.

Some quoted the man as doing this while they were talking with someone, walking their dogs or even when their children accompanied them.

The Austin Monitor notes that a woman posted on the Nextdoor app on April 28 saying while she was walking her dog that evening, a man ran up behind her in Hyde Park and slapped her on the butt.

The woman said in her post that she would be reporting the incident to the police

Hyde Park neighborhood women should be more aware

Remeza recommended that women should always be aware when walking or jogging in the Hyde Park neighborhood and should avoid wearing headphones, or staring at their phones. She said they should always know exactly who is behind them and around them.

Austin police have asked anyone who knows anything about the suspect to contact the police. If the “Hyde Park Spanker” is caught, charged and then convicted of sexual assault, he could be facing time behind bars and a $10,000 fine.