Sunday, February 7, 2016

Police seek suspect in Mayfair sex assaults

Philadelphia Police Department

Police have released surveillance video of a suspect wanted for sexually assaulting two women in Mayfair within the span of a month. 

The first attack happened around 11:45 p.m. on Friday, April 25, according to investigators. Police said a 23-year-old woman was walking on the 3300 block of Tyson Avenue when an unknown man approached her from behind, held an unknown object to her neck, and threatened to harm her if she didn't cooperate. 

The man then forced the victim into a rear driveway on the 3300 block of Disston Street, where he sexually assaulted her, police said. 

The second assault happened shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday, May 17. Police said a 29-year-old woman was walking home in an alleyway on the 3200 block of Wellington Street when she realized an unknown man was walking behind her. 

Surveillance video shows the woman glancing over her shoulder before she walks out of the frame. A man then emerges from the shadows, appearing to trail the woman. He eventually catches up to her and the two struggle. 

Before the woman was able to reach the safety of her home, the man grabbed her by the back of the neck and began pushing her forward, police said. When the woman screamed for help and struggled to escape, he allegedly pressed an unknown object to her neck as he tried to remove her clothing. 

A witness heard noises and attempted to help, interrupting the assault, according to investigators. Police said the suspect let the victim go and ran away as the witness pursued him. The suspect was last seen on Rowland Avenue, police said.

The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall, white or possibly light-skinned black male of about 20 years of age with a medium build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants during both crimes, police said. 

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 Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

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