NAIROBI, November 21- An Atlanta-based Kenyan marathoner, Eric Kipkemei Chirchir has been accused with touching a 15 year-old girl in the women’s locker room of the Bogota Golf Center he worked before he ‘took off running’ when approached by police.
Kipkemei, 31, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday at Bergen County Jail, is being held on a Sh8.99m (USD100,000) bail after being charged with criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice according to NewJersey.com.
The victim, whose hometown was not released, told police Wednesday around 6 pm local time that a man had gone into the locker room and touched her.
She then escaped before an employee called authorities Bogota police Captain James Sepp said.
Chirchir was still at the center when police arrived, but “took off running” when officers approached him, Sepp said. He left his bike and backpack at the center.
“He ran all the way home,” Sepp said adding, “This is definitely an extremely uncommon occurrence there.”
Chirchir lives on Terrace Avenue in Hasbrouck Heights, about four or five miles (about eight kilometres) away from the golf centre and officers found him hiding in a closet there and arrested him.
It appears he is in the US Illegally because US Immigration and Customs Enforcement put a detainer on him upon his arrest, Sepp said, meaning he is also being held for violating immigration laws.
Chirchir has run marathons in Israel, Italy and Richmond according to his profile on the International Association of Athletics Federations. He set a personal record in Israel in 2011 at 2:14:09.