"Predator" Sought In Sexual Assault And Attempted Abductions

"Predator" Sought In Sexual Assault And Attempted Abductions

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JUNIATA PARK -

"This predator is out there."

That was the warning from police to young women in the Juniata Park neighborhood again Wednesday in the wake of a sexual assault and two attempted abductions in the last six days along the corridor streets leading to the Erie-Torresdale train station.

"We believe all three of these crimes were committed by the same individual," said Captain John Darby of the Special Victims Unit. "Because there is a lot of traffic in that particular area, there's potential victims there."

"It's sick, to abduct people. What is wrong with these people today," said local resident Quinette Alexander as she walked with her teenage daughter.

The suspect was caught on tape as he was trying to abduct a young woman on the 4200 block of O Street. He dragged her into an alley, before a car drove by and scared him off. The victim fled and called police from this bar nearby.

"I'm worried about my daughters. I'm worried about any kids," Willie Colon told FOX 29 near the scene of one of the attacks.

Parents of young girls are on high alert for the suspect. Watching, worrying and waiting for an arrest to stop the attacks. Extra police patrols and undercover officers are scouring the area for the suspect.

"My daughter leaves out the house 6:30 every morning, going to school, I'm thinking she's okay, obviously she's not. So I walk her now," Alexander said.

Jimmy Lopez lives right in the same neighborhood. He's scared for his two young daughters.

"Last night my daughters started crying, we said what's wrong." Lopez said. "She's scared about that guy running around here like that."

Police say in both the attack on the 4200 block of Neilson and the sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman on the 1400 block of East Lycoming Street, the suspect used a handgun. During the attempted abduction on O Street, he also indicated he had a gun.

Detectives say the attacker is bold and could strike again.

"The last two incidents, this guy was unsuccessful. That scares me," Captain Darby said. "The concern would be that he's gonna try this again."

"You just never know who could come up and ask you a question, say they lost something and snatch you. You just never know," Alexander added.

Tips continue to come in to the SVU, detectives say the suspect's teeth may be yellowing and there may be a gap in his top front teeth.

Sources also say investigators did recover some DNA sample and are running tests to see if the suspect's DNA can be found in local, state and national DNA data banks.

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