Police are investigating a woman's report that she was assaulted and choked into unconsciousness Wednesday night in an abandoned house in Kensington.
Residents near the three-story structure at Orleans Street and Kensington Avenue were left to wonder if the so-called "Kensington Strangler" had struck again, but police were noncommital about the possibility.
About 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, the victim joined a man at the abandoned property for consensual sex, police said.
"At some point, the man wanted more," said police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers. That, he said, "led to a verbal and physical altercation . . . and she was assaulted."
Evers said that the woman had been choked and had passed out. She told police she believed that she had been sexually assaulted. She contacted police yesterday morning.
The woman described her attacker as 5 feet 9, a light-skinned Hispanic man who appears Caucasian, heavy-set with a protruding abdomen and a fresh haircut.
Evers said the incident shared similarities with previous cases, but said that the description of the assailant did not seem to match the widely circulated sketch of the serial killer.
Police have acknowledged that more than one person could be roaming Kensington and choking women.
"One could be doing the homicides, and another doing the assaults," Evers said. "We're fully aware that it could be more than one."
Lisa Perez, 24, a mother of two who lives across the street from the latest incident, said last night that she is living in fear.
"I feel trapped in my own house," said Perez, adding that she and her husband, Lex, 32, struggle to keep prostitutes and drug users away from their home.
Three women - Elaine Goldberg, 21; Nicole Piacentini, 35, and Casey Mahoney, 27 - were strangled and sexually assaulted. Their deaths have been linked by DNA to the man popularly known as the Kensington Strangler. Three other women said that they survived similar attacks during which they were choked into unconsciousness.
Tipsters are urged to call police at 215-686-8477.