Arrest made after string of indecent assaults in Scranton


SCRANTON , LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A 20-year-old man has been arrested after multiple victims reported being groped in the Scranton area.

Police say they have taken Michael Frazier of Nanticoke into custody after receiving tips from the public.

The case began after several indecent assaults were reported throughout downtown, Pine Brooke and Heritage Trail areas. The women who reported the incidents say the man slapped or groped their buttocks before fleeing.

On Wednesday morning, Taylor Police posted surveillance images from Walmart on Facebook. They say the man in them is the suspect Scranton Police were looking for.

Scranton Police Chief Leonard Namiotka says the assaults happened on the Heritage Trail, in the Pine Book section of the city and downtown. The police department released images on Tuesday in hopes someone could identify the person, the bike or clothing.

Police say they received information that the assailant was Frazier, who works at the Giant Supermarket in Scranton and rides the bicycle seen in the surveillance footage. Officers say they matched the Department of Transportation photo to the description and made the arrest.

“It’s very important that the community get involved with possibly identifying suspects that we release. The community is the eyes and ears of the police department,” Namiotka said.

Lunda Hubbel walks the trail every day. Namiotka suggests walking in pairs and telling someone when you leave if you plan on going hiking. He also says to have 911 in your contacts and to avoid having both earbuds in.

“I see a lot of people. I just carry a little spray gun here,” Hubbel said. ” I just love to walk it. I feel safe when I do, I feel lucky.”

It is still unclear if Frazier is the person of interest in the photos published by Taylor police. Eyewitness News reached out for them to confirm or deny the connection but we have not yet heard back.

Frazier is facing misdemeanor charges of indecent assault.

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