Has the "Gentleman Groper" Been Caught?
Police arrested a man they suspect could be a serial groper of women known as "The Gentleman Groper." INSIDE EDITION talks to the man who insists the cops have the wrong person.
Imagine being the subject of a manhunt in the nation's largest city, wanted for fondling four women in upscale Manhattan neighborhoods.
New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly made this citywide appeal:
"If you have any information, call the tips hotline," said Kelly.
His plea to the population worked—a tipster called in. Suddenly, Karl Vanderwoude's arrest was major news.
But did the police get the right man?
"It's shocking. It felt like a bad dream, like it was not really happening," said Karl Vanderwoude.
Vanderwoude might very well be caught in a real-life version of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film The Wrong Man.
Just as in the movie The Wrong Man, there was a police lineup and Vanderwoude was identified by one of the groper's victims.
"The detective said I'd been positively identified, and he read me my rights," said Vanderwoude, "I was really in shock."
But the mother of the woman who identified Vanderwoude in the lineup said her daughter had no doubt.
"She said, 'Mom, I knew it the second I walked in there,'" said the mother.
"I knew I hadn't committed this crime. But when you're sitting in a cell you wonder, when will this end?" said Vanderwoude.
But the story has taken an interesting turn. It was on a street on Manhattan's Upper East Side that the man called "The Gentleman Groper" grabbed a 19-year-old woman and then ran off. Where was Karl Vanderwoude when it happened? The answer may surprise you.
Cops say the groping attack happened on February 27th at 1:54 p.m.
But a surveillance video from Vanderwoude's office—two miles away—was taken that same day at 1:41 p.m., just twelve minutes earlier. In the video, Vanderwoude can be seen accepting a lunch order.
So how can he be the groper?
"I would have to have been in two places at one time," said Vanderwoude.
"My name was all over the news, my integrity was destroyed. But I have full faith it'll be restored," said Vanderwoude.
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