SB East Race serial streaker behind bars
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Police have caught the serial streaker who was jumping out in front of women at the East Race near the LaSalle and Niles Avenue area. They are crediting an ABC 57 viewer who saw our report on the 4th of July and then contacted the South Bend Police Department.
The man jumped out naked on five different occasions over the past two weeks.
After our story aired the fifth victim came forward with a detailed description of the suspect that helped police put him behind bars.
The SBPD has identified the man as 43-year-old Curtis Nipper. He is currently being held at the St. Joseph County Jail on 1 preliminary count of indecent exposure and 1 count of assault.
South Bend Police say both charges are misdemeanors and are pending his formal arraignment.
Nipper is also being charged with violating his parole.
On July 4th two women in their 70's say they were assaulted by Nipper who sprung out at them. They both told ABC 57 that Nipper ran down a set of stairs in the nude grabbing at their behinds.
The women said he was wearing a pair of shorts over his head but as they called 911 from on top of the LaSalle Ave. bridge they both said they saw him put on the shorts and continue walking north along the East Race.
Lt. Joe Galea with the South Bend Police said, "We did not want it to escalate into something worse as progressive steps have shown, where exposing to grabbing and then we did not want to see the next step."
Lt. Galea said after ABC 57's story aired on Thursday another victim came forward with a description of the man having a tattoo on his left calf.
ABC 57 has discovered the 5th victim is a teacher at Adams High School. She also told police that she recalled that the suspect was wearing a detention type bracelet on his right ankle.
Saturday Officer Derrick Dieter spotted the suspect.
"Approximately between 4:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Officer Derrick Dieter radioed that he was 100% sure this was the suspect and he was on his bike that matched the description of earlier sightings," Lt. Galea said.
Dieter said, "Lt. Galea was able to follow him for a little bit and we followed him for a little bit and then we just decided to stop him, the afternoon shift was able to do that downtown."
Lt. Galea said the suspect went past the downtown Burger King and was stopped by a police officer behind the Morris Performing Arts Center on N. Michigan Street.
"Once we stopped him, the suspect had no problem cooperating with us," said Galea.
Nipper was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail after he was interviewed by officers from the Special Victim's Unit (SVU).
"He's on parole with supervised visits. He also had the tether on him and we contacted his probation officer who stated he was just released here in February and he is on parole for another sex offense type crime," said Lt. Galea.
Nipper was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2007. The Indiana sex registry lists him as a current registered sex offender.
The bracelet Nipper was wearing is actually a GPS tracking device. SBPD is working with the Indiana Department of Correction's Parole Division on tracking his whereabouts during the last 2 week period when all of the incidents happened on the East Race.
South Bend Police say Nipper worked at the Taco Bell on State Road 23 across from the University Park Mall.