Police Report Recent Sexual Assaults Near UC Berkeley
Friday, January 30, 2009
Category: News > City > Crime
A series of sexual assaults of three UC Berkeley females by an unidentified predator have prompted police to seek community assistance in finding the suspect.
In each of the three Jan. 24 incidents, an unidentified male approached pairs of females from behind, lifting their skirts to sexually assault them manually and then fleeing the scene, said Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss.
In the first incident, the predator approached two females at 12:30 a.m. as they were walking on Bowditch Street toward Durant Avenue.
According to Kusmiss, one of the victims said she felt someone come behind her and penetrate her vagina with his finger by reaching under her skirt. Before the predator fled, she was able to get a glimpse of him and said he "looked like a college student."
One hour later, the same women were walking on the 2400 block of Warring Street when the suspect approached them again, repeating the assault. This time, he targeted the other female but was unable to penetrate her.
Later at about 2:30 a.m., two other females fell victim to the same type of sexual assault while walking west-bound on Channing Way near Piedmont Avenue.
"We were almost in the middle of the crosswalk when some guy walked up behind us and stuck his hands up both me and my friend's skirts," a victim told police.
Victim reports describe the suspect as a white male between 20 and 30 years old, medium build with short dark hair.
"Because he was able to accomplish these crimes from behind and does it so quickly, none of the victims have been able to give a very detailed description of him," Kusmiss said.
The assaults bear resemblance to an Oct. 31 incident when a woman felt a hand "possibly penetrate her vagina" while walking west with a friend on Haste Street from Piedmont, said Kusmiss.
"We're connecting it because this is a very specific type of crime and the description is the same, so this is likely connected," Kusmiss said.
While sexual assaults are not common in Berkeley, Kusmiss said police are "very energetic" about trying to catch the suspect because sexual predators are known to become more aggressive.
"It is indicative of a sexual predator who is in the testing ground of probably escalating to more serious crime," Kusmiss said. "This particular suspect is likely gratified by the power and control and they get more and more confident with that."
• Felony Assault
Berkeley police are also investigating a felony assault on a white male adult student that occurred on Sunday, according to a UCPD press release.
The victim was trying to enter a fraternity party on the 2500 block of Warring in the early morning. He sustained a non-life threatening head wound.
A primary suspect has been identified due to witness accounts.
Jessica Kwong is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected]
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