Serial Hugger On the Loose

Categories: Crime
Free Hugs.jpg
David Cintron via Flickr
Cops are on the look-out for a man embroiled in a more conniving form of the Free Hugs campaign.
Ladies of St. Louis beware. There is a new menace stalking the aisles of local grocery stores looking to exploit gullible women.

He's slick. He works fast. And he's got a hankerin' for some huggin'. That's right -- he's a serial hugger.

A Des Peres police captain told the Post-Dispatch that the man approaches women in Schnucks grocery stores, pretending to know them from a long time ago. Once the victim is disarmed with polite embarrassment, he goes in for the kill.

"Today is my birthday," the charlatan says. "Will you give me a hug?"

Police have heard from at least one woman who obliged, only to realize later that she'd been had. The hugs are not criminal or pervy, just obtained under false pretenses. Similar incidents have been reported in Wood River and Fairview Heights.

Cops have a suspect in mind. We'll keep you posted once they've unmasked the embrace rapist. Until then, ladies, remember it's OK to get Larry-David-awkward on anyone coming at you with a nonconsensual greeting. Your arms, your choice.

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My Voice Nation Help

Hi I read your post and wondered what had happen to me roughly a month ago at the local target in edwardsville IL when a the incident such as u guys have explained in this short posting I wondered what in the world just happened and he explained such as u guys said that he knew me that he had owned a house down the street on the corner from me when he further explained he was back in town to visit family and celebrate his birthday and all I could do was stand in shock after the hug was givin becuz I had nothing else in mind as to what to do to get away from him we traded hugs and I went upon my way thinking I know him and I have just forgot but the man ur looking for has a more round face not skinny but not over weight hourly in his forties and a light shade of brown in hair color. Don't know if that helps but I hope someone catches him soon

Jessica Lussenhop
Jessica Lussenhop

Hi -- Would you mind sending me an email? I'd like to ask you about your experience with this guy: and I can send you my number. Thanks!

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