A serial tickler is accused of terrorizing college students in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Although the crime is unusual, authorities said it is no laughing matter. Over a period of two years, the unknown suspect has broken into numerous homes. Once inside, he reportedly tickles his victims while they sleep.
Authorities believe the tickler is targeting Boston College students. The break-ins appear to be concentrated in the area between Lake Street and South Street. Boston Police Sergeant Michael O’Hara said the neighborhood offers off-campus housing, which is popular among Boston College students.
Sergeant O’Hara confirmed that the serial tickler is a serious issue. He said the assaults are “no myth.” At least 10 students have reported being tickled against their will. As reported by Huffington Post, at least three of the assaults were reported on the evening of April 7.
Student Danial Marenzi said he was assaulted by the suspect:
“I thought my friend was just trying to annoy me, but I soon realized it wasn’t anyone I knew… I freaked out and sat up but he was already on the way out.”
Boston.com reports that Jake Barrows had a similar experience:
“Someone was standing at the end of the bed, and by the time I realized there was someone really there, he was booking it right out my door… When I was finally out of bed and following, he was out the back door.”
Although the suspect has not been identified, the victims all provided a similar description. The serial tickler is described a black male, who usually wears a dark hoodie. Although his age is unknown, victims said the man is approximately 5-foot-8-inches tall.
The suspect is accused of breaking into homes and tickling his victims. However, authorities said he is not a thief. It is believed that the assaults may be sexually motivated, as the man was observed masturbating while looking through windows.
None of the students were seriously harmed by the serial tickler. However, Sergeant O’Hara said students need to keep their doors locked, as the neighborhood is “not as safe as [they] think.”
Jonny Goldowsky, who was also assaulted by the tickler, said he would like to see more officers patrolling the neighborhood. However, Sergeant O’Hara said the number of patrols is “based on crime statistics.” As crime often goes unreported, the statistics many not reflect the need for more patrols.
As the identity of the serial tickler remains unknown, students are reminded to keep their doors locked and report any suspicious activity.
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