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October 17, 2023

Police are searching for man who sexually assaulted 2 women at gunpoint in West Philly last weekend

In both cases, the suspect was wearing a blue mask and demanded money, investigators say. He is believed to be in his mid-20s

Investigations Sexual Assaults
West Philly Sexual Assaults Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Two women were assaulted in West Philadelphia on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, police say. Investigators believe the same armed man committed both sexual assaults.

Two sexual assaults that occurred at gunpoint in West Philadelphia over the weekend likely were committed by the same man, police said. 

This first assault happened at 3 a.m. Saturday. A woman told police that she was approached by a man with a gun while she was in her car and stopped at a traffic light at 55th Street and Kingsessing Avenue. The man pointed a small black handgun at the woman and demanded money, police said. 

After the woman gave him $20, the man ordered her to let him into the car and told her to drive to 49th and St. Bernard streets, where he sexually assaulted her in the car, police said. The man then drove the woman to an ATM, had her withdraw money, and left after he was given the cash. 

The second assault occurred at 5 p.m. Sunday near Springfield Avenue and Paxon Street – just blocks from the site of the first. In this case, a man approached a woman from behind, pointed a silver handgun at her and demanded money, police said. 

After the woman gave him $25 and some prescription medication, the man forced the woman into an alleyway behind Paxon Street, sexually assaulted her and fled the area, police said.

Police believe the same man was responsible for both assaults based on the descriptions given by the women. Investigators believe the man is in his mid-20s and familiar with the area. During both assaults, he wore a blue face mask, police said.

"It's just a horrible, horrible, horrible incident for anybody to go through," Capt. Margo Alleyne-Parker, commanding officer of the Special Victims Unit, said during a press conference Tuesday.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the area of the two sexual assaults to try to identify the suspect. 

"We want to make sure we catch this offender before he escalates the behavior," Alleyne-Parker said.

Anyone with information can call Philadelphia police at (215) 686-8477.