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Police seek public’s help to solve series of South Side sexual assaults

Police believe the same man committed all the attacks, luring victims to secluded areas, then displaying a knife or a gun

Chicago Police Department sex crimes investigator Arleseuia Watson
Chicago Police Department sex crimes investigator Arleseuia Watson at a news conference Tuesday, where she discussed a series of sexual assaults in the Chatham and Park Manor areas; police believe the same man committed all of them.
Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Chicago police believe the same man sexually assaulted five women in a series of recent South Side attacks that all occurred near a stretch of 75th Street — and are seeking the public’s help in trying to identify the attacker.

Victims were lured to dark and secluded areas by the attacker, who would then display a weapon — a knife in the first attack and showed a gun in the next three, police said Tuesday at a news conference at CPD’s 2nd District headquarters, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave.

The man sexually assaulted two victims in the last of the four attacks, police said.

Lt. Ozzie Valdez declined to share details about how the attacks unfolded other than to say the attacker would have a “conversation” with victims before the assaults. Each was also robbed of personal belongings, such as cell phones, he said.

Victims ranged in age from 19 to 25.

The attacker is described as age 20 to 30, from 5 feet, 7 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches tall and ranging in weight from 130 to 160 pounds.

In one incident, he wore a Chicago Bulls hat, Valdez said.

Each occurred in the Park Manor or Chatham neighborhoods, within several blocks of a 1.3 mile stretch of 75th Street, between King Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue:

  • About 5 a.m. July 12 in the 7600 block of South Evans Avenue;
  • About 5:30 a.m. July 25 in the 7400 block of South Vernon Avenue;
  • About noon Aug. 6 in the 7400 block of South King Drive; and
  • And the most recent occurred about 2 p.m. Friday in the 7700 block of South Langley Avenue, when two women were assaulted at gunpoint.

The attacker was last seen near the 6700 block of South Prairie Avenue, police said.

Anyone with tips is asked to call Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.

Valdez said women in the area should not walk alone. And Detective Arleseuia Watson offered this bit of advice to women: “Be mindful of your surroundings; try not to be walking and looking at your cell phones.”