The Boston Police Department is investigating three reports of attacks on women – with two being deemed sexual in nature – in East Boston earlier today, Monday, February 17, 2014. Investigators are asking anyone who may have been in the vicinity at the time of the attacks to call police. At present, the preliminary investigation indicates that the attacks may be connected. In response, the department has increased patrols in the area and is asking community members – especially women - to be aware of the attacks so as to enhance and increase their levels of awareness and vigilance.
Incident #1: At about 4:28pm, on Monday, February 17, 2014, officers from District A-7 (East Boston) responded to a call for an unknown problem in the area of Trenton Street. On arrival, officers spoke to a female victim who stated that she was in the process of taking the trash out when an unknown male, smelling of alcohol, grabbed her from behind, pushed her to the ground and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim fought off her attacker. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a clean-shaven Hipsanic male in his thirties with a mole or mark on his left cheek, 5’5” in height, medium build, wearing a black hat, black North Face-type jacket, black pants and black boots.
Incident #2: Approximately 20 minutes later, at about 4:50pm, on Monday, February 17, 2014, officers from District A-7 (East Boston) responded to a call for an assault & battery in progress in the area of Trenton Street. On arrival, officers located and spoke to a female victim who stated that she was entering her apartment building when an unknown male, smelling of alcohol, approached her from behind and knocked her to the ground. At this point, the victim began yelling and screaming in an effort to fight off the suspect. The suspect took off on foot. The victim refused medical attention. The suspect is described as a male in his forties with a mole on his left cheek, medium complexion, 5'8" in height, medium build, wearing all black.
Incident #3: At about 8:03pm, on Monday, February 17, 2014, officers from District A-7 (East Boston) responded to a call for an assault & battery in the area of Chelsea Street. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim who stated that an unknown male, smelling of alcohol, approached her from behind, displayed a knife and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim fell to the ground and the suspect took off on foot. The victim refused medical attention. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, medium complexion, no facial hair, 5'9" in height, medium build, wearing a black baseball hat, black coat.
The Boston Police Department is actively investigating facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit at (617)343-4400.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those wishing to remain anonymous.
Tips for Ensuring Personal Safety:
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
- When parking, walking or returning to your car, travel in well-lit and populated areas.
- Wear footwear that allows 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 or similar device.
- Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
- Keep a whistle within reach. If threatened, use the whistle to signal residents for help. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” or “Rape!” are effective ways of drawing attention and alerting people of your situation.
- Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
- Carry a cell phone and call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on the way. Make sure you’re expected at a certain time, so in the event you fail to show up at that time, those expecting you will know enough to begin looking for you.
- Walk with confidence. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Anyone at any time can be a victim of crime so never assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
- If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to defend, distract or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
- If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence.