PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The same day the suspected Society Hill attacker was captured, Eyewitness News learned the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit is investigating a new series of attacks.
Three attacks, including two just this week, have investigators wondering if a sexual predator is on the loose in South Philadelphia. Police say all of the attacks happened late at night to women walking home.
On Tuesday, police say a 20-year-old woman was attacked in the 1000 block of 12th street. Just a day earlier, a 19-year-old woman told police she was grabbed and groped in the 1100 block of 13th street. Police are now trying to determine if the same man is responsible for a third attack in the 900 block of Moore Street in May.
Women in the neighborhood are on alert and knowing her attacker is still roaming the streets has one of the victims nervous.
The victim asked to remain anonymous. Through a translator, she told Eyewitness News she had just gotten home, was reaching for her keys when someone grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth with a towel and dragged her down the street. She says the man tried to sexually assault her, but she fought him off and he ran away.
Her neighbors admit they too are concerned and they will be cautious, but some say living in fear is not an option.
Martha Curren-Preis said, “I really couldn’t see changing my pattern of behavior because I’m afraid.”
Kate Green added, “Obviously, I feel for these women and it’s awful that every time we leave our house, as women, you have to be aware of the fact that there are predators out on the street. I carry things in my purse so if I do get robbed, I have some kind of defense for myself.”
According to police, the suspect description is vague so investigators will return to the neighborhood to look for any surveillance video and to re-interview the victims.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3