PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police say they have a suspect in custody, wanted for attempting to sexually assault a woman in front of her children. The incident happened on the 8000 block of Craig Street in Holmesburg, around 4 p.m. on Monday.
The brazen act happened in broad daylight Monday, and with the help of the community, the Special Victims Unit now has the suspect in custody.
“It just seems everything’s getting crazier and crazier out here,” one man said.
Investigators say the 27-year-old victim had picked up her two children from day care — a 13-month-old toddler and a 3-year-old child — when she saw the perpetrator approaching her on the 8000 block of Craig Street.
“The suspect approached her and demanded sex from her by stating, ‘We’re going to have sex.’ Two times she refused, telling him no. At that point in time, the suspect approached her, pushed her to the ground and attempted to unbuckle her belt and pull her pants down. The victim struggled with the offender for several minutes until she was able to push him off of her,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann said.
Authorities say the victim fought off the culprit as best she could while he tried forcing himself on her. The suspect then allegedly stole her cellphone and ran off, dumping the cellphone nearby where police recovered it.
Police were able to retrieve surveillance video from nearby homes and businesses of the frightening attempted sexual assault and robbery. By Wednesday, they were able to track down the culprit.
“We’ve been working for the last several years to try and combat a lot of that type of activity around here with more coordinated neighborhood watch and just better communication between the police district and the residents around here. And it’s really a shame to see everything get kicked back every time this happens,” said Dr. John Cambidge, with the Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion.
Now that the suspect is behind bars, SVU will now be completing the investigation. Formal charges are pending.
CBS3’s Alecia Reid contributed to this report.