Man accused of groping women at Alcoa restaurant arrested

Man accused of groping women at Alcoa restaurant arrested

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Bruce WIlliam Ruck (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) Bruce WIlliam Ruck (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)
A customer took this photo of the suspect at the Alcoa Panera. (source: Alcoa Police Department) A customer took this photo of the suspect at the Alcoa Panera. (source: Alcoa Police Department)

ALCOA (WATE) – Police in Alcoa say the man who groped a teenage girl at a local Panera Bread restaurant has been taken into custody.

Bruce Ruck is now facing sexual battery and indecent exposure charges. Investigators believe there are other victims.

Now, the woman who snapped the picture that got him caught is talking about how he flashed her and her 14-year-old daughter.

"He is obviously sick and preys on younger girls," said Candy Morgan, who took the photo.

She says the pose he strikes in the photo is how he operates when targeting victims at the restaurant.

"He sits there and he crunches down. He has on shorts, which he pulls up and he spreads his legs open. There's a hole in them so you can see right through," she said, about how he flashes girls.

Morgan says she and her daughter were flashed at the Panera back in February of this year. She believes Ruck was targeting her daughter.

"He was very much trying to get in her line of sight, and not so much mine. That was very noticeable to me. I kind of moved to block her," Morgan said.

The family went back to the business in April.

"And I looked over to my left and there was the same guy. He had the same clothes on, and was in the same position, scrunched down a little bit. He had his hands down and his shorts up. I looked over to my husband and said, that is the guy," Morgan explained.

This time she says he was doing the same thing he was earlier.

"There were two teenage girls at the booth which was in his direct line of sight. And that's who his target was that night. So I took the picture," Morgan said.

It's the picture that eventually got Ruck identified and arrested. One charge is for the flashing incident earlier this year. Another is for the groping incident involving a teen last week at the same Panera.

"Obviously, his behavior is becoming more aggressive. It's very disturbing," she said.

While Ruck has only been charged in two incidents, police have been talking to other potential victims. It's possible there may have been one incident at a Panera location in Knoxville. So if you were approached by Ruck, get in touch with police.

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