Investigation continues into assault cases

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Police are investigating two cases of women allegedly snatched from the street and sexually assaulted, but they stressed there is no case of a serial rapist operating in the area.

Police Capt. Rod Foley said Wednesday the two incidents took place a couple of weeks apart and the suspects in the cases used different cars and have different descriptions.

Most recently police are investigating a reported kidnapping and rape of a 20-year-old woman who was found walking down a South Side street nude from the waist down and only wearing a bra-type top on her upper body.

The woman was picked up by a passer-by who told police he took her to his Campbell home, fed the woman and allowed her to sleep before taking her to the hospital.

The passer-by told police the woman was staggering and falling to the ground, so he helped her into his truck and tried to take her to the hospital.

While en route to the hospital. the victim told the man that she’d been walking on an unknown city street several days ago when an older black male in a blueish truck with white on it pulled over and forced her inside, a police report said.

She said the man began to choke and beat her before driving to an abandoned home in Youngstown where he dragged her inside and tied her up, according to the report.

The victim said the man attempted to rape her several times. It’s unclear how she escaped the house, police added.

The man said he was able to persuade her to go to St. Elizabeth Health Center on Tuesday, where the police were called to take statements. The victim told police she was attacked, and a rape kit was administered.

Vindicator files show another woman was snatched into a car and assaulted while walking down Market Street on Dec. 5.

Police found the woman crying uncontrollably in the lobby of a senior citizens housing building in the 1800 block of Market Street. She was talking to a building resident who had let her in a back door.

According to police, the woman was walking along Market Street just after noon when a blue Chevrolet Cavalier pulled alongside her. Reports say a man got out of the car and forced the woman into the passenger seat of the vehicle.

The woman described the man to police as a tall, black male wearing a brown coat with fur lining, blue jeans and glasses.

The man also was said to have a gray beard.

The woman told police the man immediately punched her several times then pulled into the rear parking lot of the senior building. She said he threatened her and began to sexually assault her in the front seat of the car.

The woman managed to escape the car by blowing the horn and distracting the man, reports said. Police have video surveillance of the incident and are still investigating.

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