All-out search for person of interest- Philadelphia news

August 18, 2008 9:51:21 PM PDT
An all-out search continued Monday night for the person of interest in the series of attacks and sexual assaults in Frankford, but so far he has not been found. Police and people in the community are keeping their eyes open for 26 year old Dorrell Shaw of the 5200 block of Marlow Street.

Authorities are following up on every tip and lead. Monday night, they surrounded a SEPTA bus, after someone reported that someone resembling Shaw was on board. It turned out to be a false alarm.

This comes after two more women were attacked early Monday.

The first incident happened at 12:30 a.m. An 18 year old woman said she was assaulted in the 1200 block of Wakeling Street. However, she told police she was able to fight her attacker off.

Then, less than four hours later, police say a 29 year old reported she was sexually assaulted at Frankford Avenue and Dyre Street.

Action News spoke to some of Shaw's neighbors Monday. They say his nickname is "Black," he lives with his girlfriend, and has at least two children. Those neighbors do not want to be identified, but they tell Action News they haven't seen Shaw in days.

Investigators now say there could be as many as 6 sexual assaults in a 5-block radius. They are not calling the attacker a serial rapist.

Police say the man first struck on Adams Avenue on June 11th, when he threatened to cut a woman's throat. Last Tuesday, police say a man sexually assaulted a woman at gunpoint on Wakeling Street. Thursday a 16-year-old girl was attacked on Darrah Street, and early Saturday morning police say a man broke into a woman's bedroom on Dyre Street.

Crime scene investigators spent Saturday morning looking for clues on the 1600 block of Dyre.

Investigators say the rapist entered the house through a first floor window. Once inside, he woke up the victim in her in her bedroom and robbed her at gunpoint.

Philadelphia Police Capt. John Darby says "Subsequent to that he sexually assaults the victim in her own bed... with her children in the property itself."

The sexual assault has investigators trying to link the attack to other rapes in Frankford. The cases are similar because they've all occurred within just a few blocks of each other, and all but one of the cases a handgun has been used.

While police were able to make a composite, descriptions of the suspect vary.

"Even though they are not definitively linked, they are similar enough to say to a neighborhood... beware," says Darby.

A 21-year-old woman was robbed and raped in her car on the 1600 block of Wakeling early Tuesday morning.

She told reporters, "He violated me in my own car in front of my own house. No one is safe anymore."

The assaults have women in Frankford on edge. Karen McCormick tells us, "It's scary for girls, especially me being young, 25, and my son. I just don't want to be by myself now."

Police are awaiting DNA results to link the cases, but in the meantime they want women to be cautious.

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