Boston Police Investigate Assaults in the North EndThe Boston Police Department has increased patrols in the North End area of the city and is urging community members to be more vigilant due to recent reports of assaults on women. Incident Descriptions 1. Last night around 9:30PM, a victim reported to officers that she was assaulted by a male suspect while walking in the area of Prince Street at the DiFalippo playground in the North End. The victim fought off her attacker and was able to escape with minor scrapes. The suspect is described as 5’10” male with an olive complexion wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, and sneakers. In addition, the suspect is reported to have spoken with an unknown accent. 2. On April 4, 2009 a victim was walking in the vicinity of the North Bennet Court when she was pushed by the suspect who apparently intended to assault the victim. The victim was able to fight off the suspect and escape without injury. The suspect is described as a 30 year old light skinned Hispanic or Italian male about 5’5” male with an olive complexion with dark sideburns and large brown eyes wearing a light colored jacket, and blue jeans. The Boston Police Department Sexual Assault Unit is actively investigating these incidents to determine if they are connected. TIPS FOR ENSURING PERSONAL SAFETY: · Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. When parking, walking or returning to your car, remain in well-lit and populated areas. · Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility. · Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device. · Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know. · Keep a whistle within reach. If you feel threatened, use the whistle to signal residents that you need assistance. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” and/or “Rape!” are ways of drawing attention and alerting people that you need help. ways of drawing attention and alerting people that you need help. · Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker. · Carry a cell phone. · Call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on your way. Make sure they expect you at a certain time, so that in the event you fail to show up, they'll know enough to begin looking for you. · Walk with confidence. Be assertive. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Know this: anyone at anytime can be a victim of crime. Don’t assume, "IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME." · If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to scare, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape. · If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant or residence. The Boston Police Department Sexual Assault Unit along with Area A-1 detectives are actively investigating these incidents and urge any and all members of the public who may have seen or heard something or has information relevant to these incidents to contact them at (617) 343-4400. Community members who wish to provide information anonymously may do so by calling the CrimeStoppers TipLine at 1-800-494-TIPS, or texting ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department stringently protects the identity of all individuals who wish to provide information anonymously.