Police investigate sexual assault on Rosemont commuter

Police investigate sexual assault on Rosemont commuter
A woman walking home from work was sexually assaulted Thursday night, police say. (File Photo)

An unidentified man who sexually assaulted a homeward bound commuter Thursday night may be connected to a similar attack on a female jogger in November, city police say.

The victim in the latest incident was walking home near the intersection of Little Street and E. Maple Avenue in Rosemont about 9:10 p.m. when a man approached her from behind and pushed her to the ground. He then “inappropriately touched her,” said Jody Donaldson, department spokesman.

The woman screamed and the suspect fled on foot, headed toward Walnut Street, authorities said. He is described as 25- to 30-years-old, clean shaven and wearing a dark jacket and red-striped knit cap. The victim did not suffer any injuries.

It’s too early to say if the assault is related to a similar attack on a jogger running along the 200 block of E. Del Ray Ave. on November 21, but the suspects displayed matching M.O.’s , Donaldson said.

The victim in the earlier incident – classified as sexual battery and not assault – was likewise thrown to the ground by an unidentified man about 6 a.m. He fled after she screamed and remains at large, police said. The victim did not suffer serious injuries.

That attack marked the city’s first random sexual assault of the year, according to authorities. The suspect in the incident is described only as wearing dark paints, black skullcap and a puffy, thigh length coat.

Police are giving commuters making their way to work in the dark largely the same advice they gave joggers after the November attack: travel in well lit areas, keep a cellular phone handy for emergencies, let others know their route and stay aware of their surroundings.

Authorities urge anyone with information about Thursday’s assault to contact Detective Betty Sixsmith at 703-746-6280 or the department’s criminal investigations section at 703-746-6711.