Police Capture Man Accused of Student Assaults

Suspect had reportedly attacked four women, caught in midst of another assault.

Police have captured a man they say is responsible for four assaults on female students in recent days in the University City zone west of the Schuylkill River. He was in the midst of a fifth alleged assault when caught, officials said.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports the arrest came at 6:34 p.m. in the 4100 block of Pine Street. The student paper describes the other incidents:

On Saturday, the suspect — described in the emailed alert as “a black male, in his mid-30s to 40s, approximately 6 feet to 6’ 2” tall with a heavy build, wearing a wool cap, a blue and white plaid shirt and/or a blue puffy coat” — reportedly tried to snatch a female victim’s purse on the 4100 block of Sansom Street at 1:45 p.m. He was unsuccessful because he was scared of being seen by passersby.

The other three cases did not occur on Penn’s campus. On Monday, a man of a similar description reportedly grabbed a woman on the 100 block of South 47th Street at 8:33 p.m. The man tried to sexually assault her but failed, again being scared off by passing people. He managed to steal her purse.

Today, two more incidents occurred on Drexel University’s campus. On the 3400 block of Powelton at 11:15 a.m., a man fitting the same description as the previous two cases reportedly committed indecent sexual assault on a female victim, grabbing the woman in the vaginal area. The same reportedly occurred to another female victim on the 3500 block of Powelton at 11:25 a.m. In both cases, nothing was stolen.

Philly.com adds: “Maureen S. Rush, vice president for public safety at Penn, said that campus police were able to obtain a good image of the suspect from video surveillance and that the image had been distributed to area police earlier Thursday.”