Police arrested a Scottsdale teen suspected of assaulting women in two different nighttime incidents early Thursday.
The 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault and sexual abuse after police said he admitted to grabbing two women in the area of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard in the past several weeks.
The Tribune is withholding his name because he is a minor.
The first attack occurred about 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 when a woman was grabbed from behind while taking out the trash behind her business in the 10000 block of North Scottsdale Road.
The attacker pinned the woman’s arms to her side, said Sgt. Mark Clark, Scottsdale police spokesman. But she turned and hit her attacker with a trash box, and the culprit fled.
Another woman was grabbed below the waist behind the Walgreens drugstore near 70th Street and Shea at 1:30 a.m. Dec. 2, Clark said.
The suspect, a Chaparral High School student, was approached by two officers surveilling the area near Scottsdale Road and Shea about 2:25 a.m., police said.
The officers spoke to the teenager because he matched the attacker’s description and was wearing the same hoodie and hat from surveillance footage in the drugstore incident, Clark said.
Officers showed the suspect printouts from the footage and asked if it was him, Clark said. He said yes. “He said he was just giving the girls a hug,” Clark said.
The boy was arrested and taken to Scottsdale City Jail, police said.
He was transferred to a juvenile detention center later Thursday morning, Clark said.
The teenager hasn’t been definitively linked to any other incidents, although police are looking into whether he may be connected to a purse-snatching incident in September near Scottsdale Road and Gold Dust Avenue, Clark said.