PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — She was standing on a busy street when she became the victim of a sexual attack. It was one of two terrifying attacks in the city’s Spring Garden neighborhood.
The neighborhood was already on edge after two rapes in recent weeks and on Friday, Eyewitness News learned of a third groping.
One of the victims, who wished to remain anonymous, wanted to share her story to warn other women to beware.
“You never think it’s going to happen to you. You look around and there are so many people around.”
That was 7 o’clock Thursday evening. She says she had just hailed a cab when a man groped her from behind.
“Literally, as soon as I turned around, that’s when he started to flee.”
According to police, just minutes later, a second woman reported being groped while getting something out of her car. Police say the same man may have struck in October, attacking a woman waiting for a bus. All three women fell victim at 16th and Spring Garden and 15th and Green Streets.
“It’s very scary.”
Scary knowing in the last month, two other women were attacked in the Spring Garden section of the city. One on Brandywine Street, the other attack occurred on Flora Street. In these attacks, both women took a cab from a downtown bar, got off near their respective homes and were approached by an unknown male who raped and robbed them.
“You think you’re going to run after him, catch him, but you won’t, you can’t.”
Police are now reviewing surveillance cameras in the neighborhood for clues. In the meantime, police and the victim are urging women to be vigilant.
“Women need to make sure that they’re on guard at all times with every precaution they have, they need to take it.”
Police say the suspect in the groping incidents is described as a black male, about 5’8”, 25-35 years old, medium build and all three victims told police he had a book bag that crossed over his chest.
The suspect in the rape incidents is described as a black male, 5’8”, in his 20s or early 30s with a beard. Police say in one of the incidents, he identified himself as Derryl or Derrick.
Police say they do not know if the groping incidents are related to the rapes, but they are investigating and not ruling anything out.
Anyone with information is asked to contact: Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251/3265 or call 9-1-1.
Reported By: Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3