WASHINGTON — Three women were sexually assaulted in the Fourth District of D.C. in a five-day span, and the police say they may be connected.
All three attacks took place in a 1-mile radius – an area that spans portions of Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights.
The first attack happened about 2 a.m., Aug. 20. Police say a woman was walking on Mount Pleasant Street when a man began talking to her. She turned onto the 1700 block of Kenyon Street, and the man put his arms around her and groped under her clothes. She says the man responsible was Hispanic, with long black hair and and was 26 to 32 years old.
Then, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 23, D.C. police say a man walked up behind a woman in the 1300 block of Oak Street NW in Columbia Heights, with a knife. She says the man grabbed her neck and then groped her under her clothing. Trying to escape, the woman was stabbed by her attacker. Police say she will be OK.
The police have released this composite sketch of the man who may have committed three sexual assaults in the past week. (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department)
In that case the woman says the man was Hispanic, in his late 20’s to early 30s, about 5-foot-4 with a stocky build. He was clean shaven with short hair and was wearing a white, polka dot, button down shirt with a Chicago Bulls cap.
MPD Commander George Kucik say they found the cap near the scene of Saturday’s attack and have released photos hoping someone recognizes it.
The latest attack took place shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday in Mount Pleasant. A man followed a woman into an alley near the 1700 block of Park Road. He put his hands around her waist then groped her. She was able to flee.
The woman says her attacker was a Hispanic man is his mid 20s, 5-foot-4 and was wearing a black, short-sleeve polo shirt and blue jeans.
Kuick says due to the area, time and suspect descriptions in all three cases it could be the work of the same person. “If you’re a woman and it’s late night and you’re walking I think you need to be cognizant that this man is out there,” he said.
Residents had mixed reactions to news of the attacks.
Sasan Pasikhani lives in Mount Pleasant and owns a business in the area of Park Road and says crimes occur in the area a lot. He says police promised an increased presence in the area but the additional officers have not appeared.
Maggie Collins of Mount Pleasant on the other hand says the police keep the area well patrolled. She says D.C. is a big city, and these sort of events will happen. For that reason, Collins says she won’t venture out late at night.
“If for some reason I am out that late, I always have someone walk with me back to my house,” Collins says.
With the nature of the attacks and and attacker descriptions that appear similar, police say the cases are possibly be related. Investigators are expected to release more information later today.
Anyone with information regarding these cases is asked to call the police at 202- 727-9099 or to text their tip to 50411. D.C. Crime Solvers offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
D.C.’s Fourth District covers the upper Northwest (east of Rock Creek Park) and Northeast quadrants of the city, including the neighborhoods of Carter Baron, 16th Street Heights, Fort Totten, Lamond/Riggs, Shepherd Park, Takoma and Petworth.