More Crime on the 16th Street Mall: Have You Seen Frank the Sex Assault Suspect?

In recent weeks, we've reported about numerous high-profile crimes on the 16th Street Mall.

Included among them: a beating by a group of teens, a stabbing and the arrest of Jerry Odell, who allegedly committed four sexual assaults within minutes of each other.

Now comes word of another sex assault on the mall — and while Denver police have surveillance images of a suspect who's said to go by the name Frank, no one has been taken into custody for the crime at this writing.

The issue of safety on the 16th Street Mall burst into the public consciousness after an attack on a couple dining at the Rock Bottom Brewery at about 8:30 p.m. on August 13.

As we've reported, a comment about littering made by the male half of the pair resulted in an argument with a group of teens that soon got physical.

As many as twenty teens may have taken part in the assault, which resulted in this injury for the male victim:

Thus far, no one has been charged in this incident to our knowledge — and the same appears to be true of a stabbing on the 1500 block of California Street that took place at around 12:30 a.m. on August 30.

Then came the Odell matter. Denver police say his spree got started at around 7:35 a.m. Monday, August 31, near 1500 Stout Street. Odell allegedly told a woman, "You're so pretty," then demanded that she "give him a little something" before grabbing her in the area of her breasts and fleeing.

A short distance away, Odell is accused of grabbing the arm of another woman. After she broke free, she sought help from RTD security.

Victim number three was accosted in the lobby of the Rio Grande Lofts, at 1531 Stout. She told investigators that Odell swept her into a bear hug and started licking her face.

Her initial attempts to get away from him were unsuccessful. In addition, she went on, he threw her phone to the floor and groped her breasts and below her waist. He only stopped his attack after her screaming alerted someone else in the building to her peril, she added.

Still, the DPD says Odell wasn't finished.

The fourth victim was abused on the 1500 block of Champa Street; Odell allegedly held her to him, reached under her skirt and began "ramming her with his pelvis."

Before any more attacks could take place, cops finally located and cuffed Odell.

After the Odell bust, the Denver Police Department noted that it was assigning extra officers to the area.

But that didn't stop what happened on September 19 in an incident the DPD is only sharing with us now.

That evening, according to Fox31, a woman was sexually assaulted on the 500 block of 16th Street, behind the Barnes & Noble outlet.

Here's an interactive graphic of the area. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."

The DPD describes the suspect as a white or Hispanic male. He is thin, stands about five-feet, nine-inches tall, wears his hair short, is approximately 25 years of age and likely answers to "Frank."

Here's one surveillance photo of the suspect....

...and an uncropped version of the shot at the top of this post:

If you have any information about the suspect, you're encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered in the case.

Meanwhile, Fox31 spoke to folks on the mall yesterday about the recent wave of crimes.

The consensus: More police are indeed visible in the area, but that doesn't mean the average person feels safe there at night. And that can't be good news to merchants in the area.

Here's the Fox31 report.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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