Police are on the hunt for a man they believe is responsible for raping one woman at gunpoint and attempting to drag two others into alleys near the Erie-Torresdale El stop in Juniata Park since late last week.
The latest attack happened Tuesday morning, when a 15-year-old girl was walking on Neilson Street toward Hunting Park Avenue around 7:20 a.m. when a man came out of a rear alley and began to talk to her, investigators said. She ignored him, and he grabbed her arm and threatened her. She managed to break free and run home, and the man ran from the area, police said.
Police believe the same man is responsible for two attacks Thursday. In the first, a 22-year-old woman was walking on Maywood Street near Lycoming Street on her way to Erie-Torresdale around 6:30 a.m. when the man came out of an alley and accosted her, grabbing her jacket and brandishing a handgun, investigators said. He forced her into an alley, where police say he raped her and stole $30 from her before he ran from the scene.
The same morning, about five hours later, a 20-year-old woman was on O Street near Hunting Park Avenue headed toward the El stop when a man with a gun grabbed her and began pulling her into a driveway, police said. A car approached and the man fled, according to investigators.
Each victim described the man as black and in his mid-20s to early 30s, according to police. In the first attack, he wore a dark-green windbreaker, blue jeans and a blue bandanna around his neck and was armed with a black revolver. In the second, he wore blue jeans and a blue track jacket, carried a silver revolver and may have been driving a white sedan. In yesterday’s attack, the victim described him to police as thin with a dark complexion, a goatee and gaps in his front teeth and said he wore a blue hooded sweatshirt with white stitching.
Police sources said investigators have reason to believe the man will attack again. The Special Victims Unit released a composite sketch Tuesday night in hopes of soliciting tips and warning women in the area to be on the lookout.
Special Victims Unit investigators canvassed the neighborhood this morning, but had not yet tracked down a suspect as of 8:30 p.m.
Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3264 or 215-685-3253. Tipsters may remain anonymous.