Violent attacks on women have residents in the Society Hill neighborhood on edge and Philadelphia Police say one person of interest could be responsible for a half dozen attacks.
Seven women were robbed in similar incidents from June 25 through July 16. The victims ranged in age from 25 to 73 years old.
Police believe the same man could be responsible for at least five of the incidents.
In each incident the alleged attacker approached the victim from behind, grabbed her around the neck, knocked her to the ground and stole her valuables, cops said.
Here is a full list of the incidents:
- June 25, 9:35pm, 300 block S. 4th Street, 52-year-old female victim
- June 28, 300 block of Cypress Street, no info on victim
- June 30, 5:00pm, 300 block of S. American Street, 73-year-old female victim
- July 5, 7:50am, 400 block of S. Locust Street, 62-year-old female victim
- July 6, 11:00pm, 1200 block of Lombard Street, 25-year-old female victim
- July 10, 6:50am, 700 block of Lombard Street, 29-year-old female victim
- July 16, 7:30pm, 200 block of S. Hutchinson Street, 60-year-old female victim
The victim of the American Street attack told NBC Philadelphia's Katy Zachry of her experience.
“The last thing I remembered was his hand around my throat,” said the victim who was attacked just doors down from her home. “…He was very strong, you can’t do anything.”
She tried to fight back causing the attacker to step back for a minute but he kept up the attack.
“None of it works and I just passed out because he squeezes until you go unconscious.”
The assailant made off with the woman's backpack, she said.
Police are calling the man in this video a "person of interest" in at least one of the attacks. They are describing him as a black male in his 20s, around 6-foot-1 with a muscular build who was wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts.
Another recent attack happened when a 61-year-old woman was choked in her own kitchen near 9th and Spruce on Saturday night. The woman will have surgery on Monday to repair a neck injury, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Her husband tells the paper that his wife may never be able to talk in much more than a whisper again.
Police say this attack was likely unrelated to the previous robberies and that Saturday’s attacker was a white male not the black male being described as a person of interest in the other attack, according to the paper.
Police are urging women to stay on busy streets. They’re also urging residents to contact police and call 9-1-1 if they witness any suspicious activity.
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