Ballerina man gropes U of M student

Ever notice a pair of headlights in your rear-view mirror for a few miles and get the feeling someone might be tailing you? That's the situation a University of Minnesota graduate student found herself in last Saturday just after 4 a.m.

At first she wrote it off as late-night paranoia. Then, as she walked toward the entrance of her Falcon Heights apartment building, a strange man popped up and surprised her from behind.

It became horrifyingly clear that something was all wrong when she saw the stranger's attire: a ballerina-like short pink skirt and black top.

"He asked her 'how's it going' and walked up behind her and grabbed her buttocks," says University of Minnesota Police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner.

The woman screamed for help, scaring the man away, says Miner. As the suspect ran back toward his van, the woman followed to jot down his license plate number. The stranger then turned around and ran back toward her. The student once again screamed for help, and the suspect again fled to his van. This time he drove away.

Police tracked down the suspect using the plate number, and the victim identified him in a lineup.

In interviews with police, the suspect explained that he was simply trying to ask the girl out on a date, says Miner, adding, "We don't necessarily believe that."

Miner says he expects the suspect to be charged later this week.

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