Police arrest man suspected of sexually battering 3 women on Bancroft Way

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Three female students were attacked near Bancroft Way on Saturday night in what police are treating as cases of attempted sexual assault.

About 5:15 p.m., an 18-year-old woman was walking near Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way when a man blocked her way, stepped in front of her and reached under her skirt, touching her inappropriately, according to a UCPD crime alert released Thursday. He then attempted to take her purse, although the woman resisted. The perpetrator then fled west on Bancroft Way.

Shortly thereafter, a 21-year-old woman was walking near the 2200 block of Bancroft Way when she passed a man on the street who grabbed her buttocks. When the woman’s companion confronted the man, he became aggressive and took “a fighting stance,” according to the crime alert. The woman and her friend left and called the police.

Later, about 5:40 p.m., an 18-year-old female student was walking when a man grabbed her and forced her to the sidewalk. The man struck the victim several times, police said, possibly with the intent to sexually assault her. A passer-by came to the student’s aid and chased the man away.

Police detained 21-year-old Michael Skinner in connection to the three assaults. He is currently being held in Santa Rita Jail with bail set at $300,000, according to the Alameda County Inmate Locator.

His arraignment was scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

Megan Messerly is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @meganmesserly.