Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Serial 'foot-stomper' has been assaulting women

A man in Austin, Texas. has been aggressively stomping on women's feet. Dozens of victims say they have encountered this man and they say his actions seem to be getting more violent. The women are typically alone when the incidents occur. They're either walking to or from a bus stop, sitting at the bus stop or on the bus itself when the man approaches them and starts stomping on their feet. It's so bizarre and confusing that they don't immediately recognise it as assault. It happened to Kerry Kovacik at around 4:30 one afternoon. She was catching the bus at Riverside and Congress when she says a man on a bicycle, stopped next to her and stomped hard on her foot.

"I immediately pushed him off of me and asked him what the F he was doing and he said this was normal for him and just casually rode off and then looked back and smiled," says Kovacik. After she told her fiancé what happened, they posted about it online. "It's the strangest form of assault that I've been made aware of," says Kovacik's fiancé, Joey Blanco. "My foot bruised and was swollen and I realised, if he's doing this to other people he could break someone's foot or it could escalate," Kovacik adds. Sure enough he was doing it to others. A post on Reddit, (with link to photo of the alleged foot-stomper), garnered dozens of responses and caught the attention of Deborah Robacker.

"He just like, stood up and stomped on my foot kind of aggressively," she recalls. Robacker was on the bus when the man stomped on her foot. Just before that she witnessed him aggressively elbow another woman. "It's not okay to go around assaulting people for no reason when they didn't do anything to you," Robacker says. Another woman who didn't want to be identified also had a run-in with the foot-stomper. "He started touching my foot with his foot and saying "footsie, footsie" and he got more and more aggressive and it startled me," the woman says.

A couple of months later, he targeted her again. That time he jabbed her in the back. "I yelled at him to stop and he again started laughing and then he rode away on his bike," she recalls. According to online posts, the man has been spotted harassing women on and around busses on Riverside Drive, South Congress Avenue and South Lamar Boulevard. Multiple women have filed reports with Austin Police. One victim says after filing her report she received a letter saying there wasn't enough information for police to go on but her case would remain open. These victims hope by talking about what's happening more people will be aware of it and this man will be stopped.

With news video.

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