Rape Continues to Shake Rittenhouse Neighborhood

“You expect to be OK in an area like this.”

Saturday’s rape of a woman in her apartment near 19th and Spruce streets is still reverberating through the neighborhood, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

On Saturday around 1:20 a.m., a 26-year-old woman was walking home from Ladder 15 on Sansom Street to her home on the 1900 block of Spruce Street. As she approached her building, a man grabbed her from behind and forced her into her apartment, where he raped and robbed her. A surveillance camera on the block caught the moment when he accosted her on the street.


Ashley Lu, 25, who lives on the block, said she was standing in line at a nearby 7-Eleven when she overheard someone talking about the crime.

"It's surprising," Lu said. "You expect to be OK - even if it's late - in an area like this."

"These [criminals] aren't a part of the neighborhood," said Carlisle Frank, who used to live on Spruce Street near 22nd and now lives in Chestnut Hill. "I guess they prey on people because people think it's safe. It's not."

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, between 5'5" and 5'10" tall, weighing about 160 pounds. He was wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and a dark colored baseball cap and carrying a black messenger bag.

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  • Jeff

    We need the death penalty for rapists.

    • Fuzziness

      We need the death penalty back period…people don’t seem to get that rehabilitation for certain types of offenses just isn’t realistic. People who hurt kids, rapists, murderers, terrorists should just be permanently removed from society not just held in a cell forever. I’m aware my opinion is unpopular…

      • truthsquad

        PA has the death penalty genius.

        • Fuzziness

          Right and the last time someone was actually executed was when? Genius…

      • heidi

        not unpopular to me, i am VERY pro death penalty. some people just aren’t worth or can’t be rehabilitated.

  • Natalie

    The sad thing is for everyone one rape by a stranger like this, there are even more happening between acquaintances that are either not reported or don’t make the news because they are not scary enough. This is the picture of rape shown in the media (scary guy jumps out of the bushes and rapes a woman), but in reality that is way more rare than a woman or man being raped by someone they know.

    The fact that it is Rittenhouse and people are shocked is pretty lame. Rape can and does happen anywhere and is just as horrible no matter the location

    • Natalie

      Also, “these criminals” are a part of every neighborhood. It is naive to think rapists won’t live in high-end neighborhoods. Sometimes privileged men and women feel they are entitled to whatever they want and take it through force.

      • Mike Oneill

        What’s your point? You’re not adding anything to the discussion here. Maybe the reference to Rittenhouse Square is that even at 1:20 AM, there are TONS of people around there. Should have never happened. People are vigilant enough. And yes, if you live in a certain metro area, densely populated, you expect to have a slightly higher measure of NOT being raped by a stranger (ambushed). I don’t think that’s unfair to assume. The women of this city, in any area, should not have to think like potential rape victims. We all need to protect each other.

    • Mike Oneill

      the article isn’t about date rape or a boyfriend raping his female friend. It’s about an ambush. It deserves to be told. It will raise awareness. Even for a moment, hopefully long enough to catch the guy. in any neighborhood.

  • fffff

    Why can’r he potentially be a part of the neighborhood?

    • heidi

      EXACTLY. The inference is that someone who lives in a higher rent area wouldn’t “DO such a thing.” Remember Robert Chambers?

  • mtbljr

    There should be a mandatory castration for convicted rapists or at least a forced vasectomy (where it is illegal to reverse) so they can’t reproduce. This makes me so angry for so many reasons. Every woman should feel safe walking alone at night, and this doctor is now taken away from her gift of healing people bc she is most likely under extreme PTSD. Please PPD, find this worthless scumbag and throw him into the pit where he will hopefully experience what it’s like to be raped himself.

  • Guest

    I haven’t heard of serial rapers in India yet.

  • Mackmack

    I haven’t heard of serial rapists in India yet.

  • MydikisLarge

    Its real simple,a woman cannot walk home alone at 130 am,after drinking in cc.There are predators all over this city specifically targeting women like this. This city is not a
    sleepy,harmless little village. I wish the vic a speedy recovery.

    • Fuzziness

      Shame I have to agree with you. It shouldn’t be that way…people should be able to live their lives without fear. Our criminal justice system is more focused on plea bargains and moving through the “bowels” of the system as quickly as possible as if the law was just an enema. This guy won’t do any hard time…and that’s what prevents others from being scared to commit the same crime.

  • Angela Rose Guerra

    Safety is a must! we must protect ourselves from sex offenders, they can be anywhere or anytime. We can never predict when they will attack us. Protecting ourselves from sex offenders is our own duty…. I am suggesting you to use this application http://safetrec.com/