Police Search For Man Who Raped A Woman In Busy Center City

Police Search For Man Who Raped A Woman In Busy Center City

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Midtown Village -

St. James Street between 12th and 13th is a common cut through between bars and restaurants in this happening area of Center City. But after hearing a woman was raped here Samantha Schowe is feeling a little uneasy walking tonight.

"Wow I didn't know that," said Schowe. She lives just a block away from where the 29 year old victim was assaulted.

"Knowing that it's this close and I live right there that makes me super nervous," said Schowe.

Philadelphia Police say it happened around 11 o'clock Thursday night. A woman walking along the 1200 block of St. James Street was going to her car to feed the meter. That's when she tells police a man came up behind her, knocked her to the ground then physically and sexually assaulted her.

"Generally I feel very safe around here. I'm very surprised to hear that," said Elizabeth Welsh who lives in South Philly but hangs out in the area. She says she wasn't concerned until now.

"11 o'clock at night I would feel fine walking down 13th Street. I wouldn't have been hesitant to do that for my own safety," said Welsh.

Tim Laskey works at Mexican Grill near where the assault happened. He says most businesses have security cameras and the area is heavily traveled. It's a brazen act by whoever did this.

"With us here and Woody's right around the corner and Voyeur right around the next corner it's surprising to know," said Laskey.

Police say the suspect has long braided hair and possibly a small dark tattoo on his neck. There may have  been a second person with him.

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