Police seek same man in pair of ‘heinous' sex assaults at gunpoint

Officials believe the same man committed at least two sex assaults this past weekend, including one in which he, allegedly, attacked a woman in her car while she was stopped at a traffic light

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Law enforcement officials are on the hunt for a man who is believed to have committed a pair of sex assaults at gunpoint over the course of two days in the Kingsessing area of Southwest Philadelphia.

On Tuesday morning, Captain Margo Alleyne-Parker of the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit, said that on Saturday and Sunday, the same man is believed to have raped two women, in incidents that happened a few hours -- and a few blocks -- apart, assaulting one victim in her vehicle after approaching her as she sat at a traffic light.

“This is very important, that’s why we wanted to make sure we got this out in a timely manner," Captain Alleyne-Parker said. "We want to make sure we catch this offender before he escalates any further.”

Alleyne-Parker said the first incident is believed to have happened at about 3 a.m. Saturday morning. A woman told police that a man approached her vehicle while she was driving alone and waiting for a traffic light at the intersection of 55th Street and Kingsessing Avenue.

At that time, the man produced a handgun and demanded money, investigators said. When the woman gave the man $20, he demanded her to unlock her doors and he then got into the vehicle, directing her to drive, according to Alleyne-Parker.

The man held the woman at gunpoint and demanded her to drive to the intersection of 49th and St. Bernard streets where he sexually assaulted the woman before ordering her to drive to a nearby ATM where he forced her to withdraw an additional $120.

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The man then exited the vehicle and fled on foot along the 5400 block of Springfield Avenue, said Alleyne-Parker.

In this incident, she said the attacker was described as being in his mid-20s, having a thin build and was wearing dark grey sweatpants, a grey hoodie and a blue "surgical-type" mask at the time of the incident.

Then, several hours later and less than a half-mile away, Alleyne-Parker said another woman reported being sexually assaulted.

According to Alleyne-Parker, a woman claimed that, at about 5 p.m. on Sunday, as she was walking on Springfield Avenue, she was approached by a man as she reached the 1100 block of S. Paxon Street.

At that time, he pointed a handgun at the woman and demanded money, Alleyne-Parker said.

The woman told police that she gave the man $25 and some prescription medication that she had, before the man held her at gunpoint and led her down Paxon Street where he sexually assaulted her in an alleyway, officials said.

He fled on foot after the attack, according to police.

"Five o'clock in the middle of the afternoon on a public street is just a heinous act," Alleyne-Parker said, noting that she grew up in this neighborhood. "I was very, very shocked and wanted to make sure this was put out as soon as possible, as we do with all our jobs."

In this case, officials said the woman described a similar individual with a thin build, who wore a blue hoodie, blue mask and a Phillies hat at the time of the assault.

On Wednesday, police released surveillance photos and video of the suspect.

Officials said that an investigation is ongoing into both of these attacks and anyone who may have information on these crimes is asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3264 or call 9-1-1.

Also, Alleyne-Parker said that investigators are currently reviewing surveillance camera footage from these incidents and officials plan to release footage to the public in order to help identify this individual as soon as possible.

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