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August 24, 2016

Man wanted in sexual assault spree in South Philly

Police said they believe suspect attacked four women in week

Sexual Assaults Crime
South Philly Sex Assaults Philadelphia Police Department/Source

Police allege this suspect sexually assaulted four women in South Philly over the course of a week.

Police are searching for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted four women over the course of a week in South Philadelphia.

On at least three of those occasions, the suspect rode up behind the women on a bicycle, quickly assaulted them and pedaled away, Capt. Mark Burgmann told reporters during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He appeared on foot during the fourth alleged assault. 

"He rides up behind them, reaches under their dress, assaults them and keeps on moving," Burgmann said, stressing the assaults happened quickly. 

Video of the suspect during the third alleged assault can be viewed below:

The first incident occurred on Aug. 6 around 1 a.m. on the 1800 block of South 15th Street. The 24-year-old victim was approached by the subject from behind and assaulted, according to authorities. When she yelled out, the suspect rode off in an unknown direction, police said.

Incidents that followed an almost identical pattern occurred nearby in the days that followed. A 42-year-old woman reported being assaulted around 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 10 on the 900 block of Lombard Street, as did a 27-year-old woman who said she was attacked around 12:10 a.m. on Aug. 13 on the 700 block of South Eighth Street, according to authorities.

In both cases, the alleged assailant is accused of riding up on a mountain bike, touching the victim and riding off.

"They happen extremely quickly," Burgmann said. "Most of the victims, at first, don't even realize what's happening."

At about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 13, a fourth woman, 39, said she was walking to her residence on the 2000 block of South 13th Street when she was inappropriately touched by an unknown male, according to authorities. When she screamed, he fled on foot and was last seen going south on 13th Street, police said.

Police believe other women also may have been assaulted, Burgmann said. A fifth woman contacted police Wednesday morning after hearing news reports, saying she also was assaulted in a similar fashion.

The suspect is described as a clean-shaven Latino male with short black hair and a medium complexion, who stands between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3264/65 or the Philadelphia Police Department's tip line at 215-686-8477.

Tips can also be submitted by texting 773847 or by filling out an online form. All tips will remain anonymous.

Police ask if you spot the suspect not to approach him and to instead call 911.