A registered sex offender was arrested for allegedly chopping a woman’s hair off without her knowledge as she rode public transportation in Oregon, police said.
The woman was riding a TriMet bus when a man approached her, pulled out a scissor and cut a clump of her hair off before fleeing on May 1, Portland police said.
Authorities released footage of the man, who they identified as 30-year-old Jared Walter, a sex offender with three previous convictions for similar behavior targeting women of all ages, cops said.
Police on Wednesday released images of Walter, who previously had been sent to jail for cutting and masturbating in women’s hair as they rode TriMet buses, and announced a $1,000 reward in an effort to take him into custody after the most recent incident.
“We will not tolerate this type of behavior on our transit system," Harry Saporta, TriMet's executive director of safety and security, said in a statement. "As this individual has clearly shown he will continue to re-offend despite repercussions, we will work closely with transit police and the district attorney's office to find this individual and seek the harshest penalty possible.”
Hours after his photo was released, a resident spotted Walter at a Walmart, followed him and held him until police arrived to make their arrest, officials said.
Walter was charged with two counts of harassment and two counts of interfering with public transportation.
He pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court Thursday and a judge set bail at $100,000.
While straphangers can only be banned from the transit system for a maximum of six months, authorities are investigating the possibility of banning Walter for a longer period, Saporta said.
“We, along with transit police, are dedicated to assuring a safe system for all of our riders,” he said.
Walter is due back in court in June.