In the nick of time: Serial groper arrested before he could assault a fifth victim

It took awhile, but they finally got him.

On Saturday, New York City authorities finally tracked down and arrested 20-year-old deviant Damian Baeza Rendon — and just in the nick of time.

Rendon, a serial groper who works at a sushi bar, had been just “about to grope his fifth female victim,” according to the New York Post.

“He’s facing charges on four assaults, including a case in June in which he licked his victim’s breast and in another when he pulled down a woman’s pants,” the Post reported Saturday, citing police sources.

The incident in June was particularly nasty.

“It was June 28 when the accused came up from behind a 22-year-old woman walking eastbound on East 89th Street, pulled her blouse down off her shoulders and placed his mouth on her left breast before running off, police said. The victim declined medical attention,” according to the Post.

Watch (*Graphic content):

What, pray tell, did Rendon have to say for himself upon his arrest?

Reportedly this: “All I did was touch them.”

What a guy …

Sadly, groping incidents are far more common than most people realize. In fact, another groping incident in NYC happened just this very week. But this time, it involved a 5-year-old child.

“Cops say the Tuesday attack in Canarsie happened around 11 a.m. at a laundromat by Ralph Avenue and Farragut Road. The girl was with her mother when the stranger approached her, and forcibly grabbed the young girl’s rear end,” according to local station WNBC.

The man, seen below, then “allegedly exposed himself to the girl and told her not to say anything,” after which he left.

(Source: NYPD)

About two weeks ago, meanwhile, at a subway station in the Queens neighborhood of Flushing, a fanny-pack-wearing suspect grabbed a woman’s rear end.

“The suspect assaulted his victim inside the Main Street-Flushing 7 subway station about 9:20 p.m. Saturday [Aug. 20th], according to the NYPD. Police released photos of a suspect — wanted for forcible touching — late Wednesday night,” Patch reported.

It seems like NYC has a groping problem. Why? Probably because of its lax criminal justice laws that allow dangerous criminals back on the streets.

Take 55-year-old Scott Blake.

“[H]e was arrested on Aug. 8 for menacing some women and forcibly touching others — seven victims total — outside the New York Public Library in Midtown that same day,” the New York Daily News reported.

Yet he was immediately released.

Fast-forward to late August, when he was arrested again — this time for “a string of groping attacks in Manhattan” that had occurred in July.

“Scott Blake’s latest arrest, on Wednesday, was for a series of July incidents in which he allegedly approached numerous women from behind and grabbed their buttocks before fleeing. He was charged with seven counts of forcible touching, four counts of sexual abuse and one count of stalking,” according to the Daily News.

This time he’s being held, albeit on a paltry $12,000 cash bail. But shouldn’t he have been held originally on Aug. 8th?

(Source: NYPD)

To be fair to NYC, groping incidents also happen in other blue “utopias.”

Indeed, last month a 36-year-old Chicago restaurant worker admitted to the police that, while riding a scooter to work every day, he’d groped women who were wearing “something hot.”

“Victor Manuel-Reyes, of the 1300 block of West 19th Street, was arrested Friday morning at his job at a restaurant in the 500 block of East Illinois Street, according to police. Manuel-Reyes faces multiple counts of aggravated battery, aggravated criminal sex abuse and criminal sex assault,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Prosecutors said two victims and a former co-worker positively identified him from surveillance images. … During a 15-minute bail hearing broadcast on YouTube, prosecutors linked Manuel-Reyes to four separate groping incidents, with three occurring on the same day on Aug. 4 during his scooter trip to work near Navy Pier.”

That being said, Chicago has something going for it that NYC doesn’t — namely that it isn’t linked to a big-name serial groper. A big-name serial groper like disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

During the sexual harassment scandal that destroyed Cuomo’s career, it was learned that he’d allegedly groped several women, including one of his former aides.

“A female aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo alleges he aggressively groped her in a sexually charged manner after she had been summoned to the Executive Mansion late last year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the woman’s claims,” the Times Union reported in early 2021.

“The staff member, whose identity is being withheld by the Times Union, had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone. They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her, according to the source.”

Well then, it appears NYC is, for all intents and purposes, more than just the Big Apple. It’s also the Big Grope.

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Vivek Saxena

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