Suspect identified in Juniata Park assaults

JUNIATA PARK - November 14, 2013

That suspect is identified as 26-year-old Byron Mitchell.

Chopper 6 was overhead as Mitchell was led in for questioning by investigators.

Mitchell was serving time at Graterford Prison for a probation violation stemming from an armed robbery conviction, and sources tell Action News that he was linked to the assaults through DNA evidence.

"The message to the neighborhood is 'this predator is off the street,'" said Capt. John Darby of the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit.

Police earlier released surveillance video and a sketch of the suspect in the attacks. One of the victims was sexually assaulted. The other two victims managed to get away.

The first incident happened at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, October 10th on the 1400 block of East Lycoming Avenue.

A 22-year-old woman was walking in the 4100 block of Maywood Street on her way to the Erie Torresdale train station when a man armed with a handgun appeared out of a driveway, grabbed her by the jacket, and forced her into the rear of a driveway.

The suspect proceeded to sexually assault the woman and robbed her of $30 before fleeing the scene on foot.

Police believe the man struck again later that morning, this time at 11:40 a.m. along the 4200 block of O Street.

On Tuesday afternoon, police released surveillance video of this incident.

In the video the suspect, armed with a gun, is seen approaching a 20-year-old woman who was also on her way to the Erie Torresdale train station.

He pulls the female across the street and tries to take her into the alley and she resists.

Police say an oncoming car seen in the video spooks him and she runs down the block to safety.

Then at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday a 15-year-old girl was walking along the 4200 block of Neilson Street when a man exited a rear driveway and approached the girl. He allegedly tried making conversation with the girl, but when she ignored him he grabbed her by the arm and threatened her.

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