'Serial Hugger' Is Allegedly Accosting St. Louis Women With Unwanted Embraces


Photo: Dhaval Shreyas/Flickr

A man accused of terrorizing women with unwanted hugs is causing quite a few legal problems as Missouri prosecutors debate whether he actually broke the law.The 44-year-old man walked up to random women and said that it was his birthday, then closed in for a hug, ABC News reported.

“He’d say, ‘Hi, remember me? I lived down the street in the corner house. How ya been?” Detective Marshall Broughton told ABC News.

“Obviously [the women] didn’t remember him, but he did it so quickly and convincingly that they felt embarrassed that they didn’t know him,” he added.

Around 36 women reportedly stepped up to complain about similar hug attacks, some claiming they were targeted in parking lots. In other cases, the hugger took advantage of name tags, calling a woman named Susan “Susie,” saying he met her at a hospital while his wife gave birth, Police Chief Robert Stanczak told ABC News.

One of the women alleged the hugger kissed her on the lips.

Stanczak told ABC News the hugs constitute assault even though prosecutors are undecided about whether the man, dubbed “Jack the Gripper” by the Riverfront Times, broke the law.

Police brought the man in for questioning in June but did not arrest him due to uncertainty about whether he was actually breaking the law, according to ABC News.

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