Police: Woman slashed in Center City robbery

CENTER CITY - November 18, 2011

The victim, a 24-year-old woman, told police she was walking in the 2000 block of Rittenhouse Square around 11:00 p.m. Monday when she was approached from behind by an unknown man.

Police say the man hid behind a bush before confronting the woman.

She told police that man demanded her wallet, then slammed her head into a wall.

Police say the man then pulled out a knife and slashed the woman numerous times before fleeing with an undetermined amount of money.

He also got away with several of the woman's debit and credit cards.

The victim suffered a facial fracture and cuts to her head, neck, chest and arms. She is recovering from her injuries.

The suspect is described as a black male of about 30 to 35 years old. He stands about 5'9" tall. He had a stocky build, a short beard and short hair with "bushy" eyebrows.

He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black baggy sweatpants.

Police say the man may be homeless.

Many area residents are concerned for their safety.

"It makes me nervous to live here especially because I live on this block, and I'm her age," said Lauren Sheller.

"I think it's frightening because I think sometimes you forget Philadelphia is actually a major city, you feel so comfortable walking around here with everyone here with all the cute restaurants and stores," said Ashley Ford.

Elizabeth Clark is one of the many Rittenhouse residents who will be taking precautions.

"My husband will pick me up from school or we will walk together. I don't walk alone or walk with a friend," said Elizabeth Clark. "Being a young woman, I think you feel like prey a lot of the time walking around by yourself."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or 215-685-3252.

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