Alleged Jogger Grabber Indicted on Felony Sexual Battery Counts
May 2, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A man suspected of grabbing and/or groping at least six females, most of them joggers, on separate occasions since early 2012, has now been indicted on four felony counts of sexual battery.
Eric D. Wheeler, 21, who now resides in Bradley, Illinois, was first arrested on February 8th on two assault counts for grabbing women on January 10th and January 24th. During questioning by Detective Heather Baltz in February, Wheeler admitted to a fascination with women in public places and his desire to feel their skin.
The new indictment, on which Wheeler has now surrendered, accuses him of accosting women in four additional cases from February 7, 2012; November 26, 2012; November 29, 2012; and January 13, 2013.
In the February 7th and November 26th cases from last year, women were jogging on Forestwood Drive at Knob Road and on Blakemore Avenue at Natchez trace when they were grabbed from behind.
In the November 29th case from 2012, a 13-year-old girl reported she was grabbed on Fairfax Avenue as she walked home from school.
The victim in the January 13th case from this year reported that she was grabbed as she exited a drug store on West End Avenue.
The two assault counts from the January 10th and January 24th cases are still pending.
In the January 10th case, a 24-year-old woman was jogging on Clearview Drive near Woodmont Circle at 2:20 p.m. when a tan car drove past her and parked. As she ran by the car, the driver got out, approached from behind and grabbed her. When the victim turned to break away from the man, he let go and smirked at her before returning to his car and driving away.
In the January 24th case, a 24-year-old woman was jogging on Marlborough Avenue at 4:50 p.m. when a man alleged to have been Wheeler asked for directions while seated in his car. After providing the man with directions, he reached to shake her hand through the car window. When the victim extended her hand to his, the man tightened his grip, grabbed her arm with his other hand and pulled. The victim pulled back with enough force to break free. She fell to the ground. She reported the man laughed and drove away.
Anyone in the Nashville community who may have been the victim of a similar assault or attack, but did not report it to police at the time, is urged to contact the Sex Crimes Unit at 862-7540.
Wheeler is free on a $40,000 bond and is due for arraignment in Criminal Court on May 8th.