Suspected groper sought for multiple assaults

March 14, 2011 8:50:46 PM PDT
Police are asking for the public's help in locating a suspect wanted in connection with two indecent assaults.

The crime was captured by surveillance camera last Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the 600 block of North 15th Street.

In the video, the victim is seen walking from a parking lot and unto the sidewalk when suddenly a man runs up to her and gropes her from behind. He then runs off.

RELATED: View surveillance video of the suspect

Seconds later, another surveillance camera gets a pretty good image of the suspect before he strikes again.

"After that incident, after that assault, the male fled southbound on 15th Street and assaulted another female at 15th and Brandywine Street," Philadelphia Police Lt. Ray Evers said.

The assailant is described as a black male about 18 to 25 years old, about 5'8", with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a red plaid or a plaid shirt and a green down vest.

"Wow, I'm really scared because I work here at 15th and Spring Garden and this is, it's scary," a resident told Action News.

All the more unnerving for women who live, work or go to the nearby community college is that police think the man may be linked to four other similar attacks in the area dating back to October 27th.

On December 2nd at 16th and Spring Garden, at around 7:00 p.m., a woman was groped as she tried to flag down a cab and minutes later, the man groped another woman as she was getting something from her car at 15th and Green streets.

All of the attacks happened within a block or so apart and within minutes of each other in the spring garden section.

"I feel so bad especially the high school around here and the college here and it's a very important crossing," Awatif Solomon of Spring Garden said.

"We believe this male knows the area, he knows the streets, but we were very fortunate here that we have two video surveillance systems that were in separate companies that supplied those videos to us," Evers said.

Police are warning women to be on their guard and of course if you recognize the suspect or know where he is, call 9-1-1 or Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251