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Police step up patrols following assaults on popular trail

Sunday - 4/29/2012, 8:09pm  ET

HYATTSVILLE, Md. - Police are urging caution along a popular hiking and biking trail in Maryland in the wake of a series of unsolved sexual assaults.

Maryland National Capital Park Police say there have been five attacks since January on the Northwest Branch Hiker/Biker Trail. The fifth, and most recent attack happened on April 20.

"We have officers on foot patrol, regular cruiser patrols, as well as bikes and mounted horse patrols," says Captain Stanley Johnson, a police spokesman.

Johnson says they are also passing out fliers with composite drawings.

In the most recent attack, police say the victim was walking on the trail near the Chillum Community Park and the West Hyattsville Metro Station when she was approached by a man with a gun.

Johnson says they've had very little luck narrowing down the assaults to one suspect.

He says two of the three drawings of suspects in the most recent attacks have similar features. The two drawings show Hispanic males in the late 20s or early 30s.

Anyone with information is asked to call park police at 301 459-9091 or Hyattsville police at 301 985-5060.

WTOP's Windsor Johnston contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press & WTOP. All rights reserved.)