SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego police assure North Park residents their community is a safe place to live and they are doing everything they can to catch the predators attacking women.
Wednesday night, The North Park Community Association held a forum on the latest attacks on women happening in or near North Park since June 11.
“I am more than just scared, I'm terrified,” said Francine Gallegos.
San Diego Police say on June 11, a woman walking alone was attacked from behind in the 3900 block of 33rd Street around 1:00 a.m. The same thing happen on June 17, in the 3200 block of Meade Avenue around 11:30 p.m. On June 21, another woman walking alone is attacked from behind in the 2700 block (Oregon) of Lincoln Avenue at 9:40 p.m. and on June 24, another woman reported a similar incident while walking alone in the 2700 block (Oregon) of Lincoln Avenue. On July 20, around 1:20 a.m. a woman walking alone is attacked from behind in the 2900 block (Kansas) of Lincoln Avenue.
In all cases the women are violently knocked to the ground, some are able to fight back but others lose consciousness and come to after the attackers are gone.
“I’m flooding the area with law enforcement officers, I’ve got officers on foot, I’ve got officers on bike, I have officers in cars,” said SDPD Mid-City Division Captain David Nisleit.
The North Park Citizens Patrol has also been on alert.
“We are recruiting to make sure that the evening hours when these attacks are taking place that we have eyes and ears to the ground,” said Peter Conneely.
Council President and District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria assured residents North Park is a great place to live and the culprits will be caught, “You have the right to feel safe in your own neighborhood.”
Officers recommend no one walks alone and business employees are offering to walk out customers.
“Walk with a purpose, don't make yourself look vulnerable,” said a North Park resident.
Some women are carrying protection around their neck.
“This is pepper spray I carry to prevent anything from happening to me during my walk with my dog and this is the whistle,” said Gallegos.
Officers say in the latest assault the attacker broke her nose. Sex Crimes detectives believe the attack on June 17 and June 21 are related. There were two suspects described in those assaults and they attempted to sexually assault the women.
A composite sketch was released for one of the suspects described to be a light-skinned Latino male, 23-years-old or 24-years-old, about 5’8’’ and has braces. His accomplice speaks with a Spanish accent.
Police released a still photo taken from surveillance video of a man walking near the attacks during that time. Detectives say they identified the man and questioned him. He has been released but detectives say he has not been eliminated as a person of interest.
Officers believe once the assailants are caught the attacks will stop.
“I feel like they are getting close but the fear is still there,” said Gallegos.
Officers ask if you see anyone who looks suspicious, to call police immediately.
They say after the July 20 attack, one man reported seeing two men lurking in bushes but didn’t report it until officers fanned the area the morning after the attack questioning potential witnesses.
If you have an immediate concern call 911. You can also call the non-emergency line at (619) 516-3000 or Crime Stoppers and leave an anonymous tip at (888) 580-8477.https://twitter.com/AbbieCBS8/status/492114456579555329