On Wednesday night, the San Francisco Police Department is holding an open meeting in an effort to calm the frazzled nerves of a community left reeling from a series of violent sexual assaults in its midst.
Around 6:30am last Thursday, a woman was raped after an unknown assailant attacked her while walking down 24th Street and then dragged her around the corner to Fair Oaks Street in the Mission.
Last month, another woman was also the victim of a similar early morning sexual assault on 24th Street, leading SFPD officials to believe both incidents are the work of the same suspect. Police report that both women were initially attacked from behind and robbed of their belongings.
Police describe the suspect as an 5'9" African American male in his mid-30s with, as SFist reports, a medium to light complexion, round, clean-shaven face, big eyes, a round nose and thick lips. During the attack, he was dressed in a black hoodie and dark pants.
SFPD is urging people in the area to use extra caution while this predator remains at large. In a statement, police warned to always be alert, especially when using electronic devices, such as cell phones and MP3 players, which have a tendency to disassociate people from their surroundings.
Wednesday's meeting will be held at the 7pm at the St. James Catholic Church at Guerrero and 23rd streets. It will focus on ways to make the area safer--such as improved lighting--and ways for the community to help the victims.
"The neighbors are all obviously very shocked and upset about it, and we want to do something," Andy Segal, Fair Oaks Community Coalition told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Our feeling is that this is not what San Francisco is about, and this meeting is to discuss how we can work to make it better."
Anyone with information about the assaults should call SFPD Special Victims Unit anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a text to TIP4111 (include SFPD at beginning of the text message).
Update:SFPD has released a video of the suspect:
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