Police probe third sex assault in Mayfair

Police released surveillance footage of a sexual assault that occurred May 17 in Mayfair. Investigators believe the incident may be linked to other attacks.

Police believe a third crime may be linked to a string of sexual assaults reported in Mayfair within the past five weeks.

The latest attack happened around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on the 6700 block of Roosevelt Boulevard, according to investigators.

Police said a 20-year-old woman was walking to a friend’s house when an unknown man grabbed her, knocking her to the ground. The man then forced the woman behind a building, where he physically and sexually assaulted her as she struggled and screamed for help, investigators said.

The suspect fled on foot toward Tyson Avenue. He is described as a 6-foot-tall, white or possibly light-skinned black male of about 20 years of age with a medium build.

The suspect’s description and method of operation bear similarities to those in two other sex assaults reported April 25 and May 17 within a one-mile radius, police said.

Parts of the second attack, which was interrupted by a bystander, were captured on surveillance video and released to the public last week.

Anyone with information about the suspect or crimes is asked to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251, or to submit an anonymous tip by dialing 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847).

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.