HYATTSVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - Hyattsville Police are investigating two assaults on female pedestrians that occurred this month in the Hyattsville area.
A woman told police she was walking from the West Hyattsville Metro Station on Thursday, July 10 at 10:05 p.m. in the 2000 block of Jamestown Road when someone approached her from behind and demanded she hand over her cell phone.
The suspect, police said, then attempted to pull the woman into a nearby wooded area. The woman resisted and the suspect fled into the wooded area. The man was described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and around 20 to 25 years old. He was wearing black pants, a red shirt and a white hat.
In the warm July weather, many commuters coming off the Metro at West Hyattsville don't mind a walk as they leave the station.
"During the day it's fine," said Hyattsville resident Shaneka Damons.
But when night falls, Damons wouldn't think about strolling home from the station.
"I catch the bus or, sometimes, I catch a cab from the stationout of fear," she said.
Hyattsville Police are investigating whether an assault near the Metro station on July 10 is tied to an attempted rape that occurred this week.Around 12:50 a.m. on Wednesday, July 23, a woman told police she was walking on the sidewalk in the 3900 block of Hamilton Street when a man jumped out of the woods, approached her and said "What's up?"
The man grabbed the woman by her shirt, threw her to the ground and began to rip off her clothes, according to police. The woman fought and screamed for help. After a brief struggle and kicking the suspect in the groin, she was able to escape and the suspect fled into the wooded area.
The woman described the suspect as a Hispanic male, 30 to 35 years old, 5 feet 8 inches in height, weighing around 170 pounds, with short black hair and dark brown eyes. He was wearing a black t-shirt with a pocket on the left breast, blue jeans, and black and gray Nike shoes.
"We can't link them definitively, but we are definitely looking into that," said Lieutenant Chris Purvis, a Hyattsville Police spokesperson.
Lt. Purvis says the two cases are similar. Both victims say they were approached as they walked alone.
"She did great; we're very proud," he said of the second victim, who fought off her attacker.
Hyattsville resident Angela Brown, who lives near the scene of the Hamilton Street assault, says she doesn't know if she could fight off an attacker.
"With my arm in a sling, that might be very difficult," she said. "I might not have the advantage, so that's very scary."
Brown said that until the suspect is caught, she feels like her freedom is restricted.