CHICAGO (CBS) — Police say four women were sexually assaulted — possibly by the same man — and the attacks happened within blocks of each other.
On Tuesday, CBS 2’s Jim Williams visited the intersection where the most recent attack happened in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.
At 77th Street and Langley Avenue, a block club sign says no car washing, no drugs, and no ball playing are allowed. But a sexual assault happened there around 2 p.m. this past Friday, and there have been three others in the immediate area.
Cassandra Ray heard from her concerned 17-year-old daughter, who saw the alert from police.
“Because she’s worried that me and my friends are bartenders in the community,” Ray said.
Working late hours in a community where four women have been sexually assaulted in the last several weeks. Her daughter asks important safety questions.
“‘Mommy be careful. Do you have a Taser? Do you have have these things. Where is your Mace?'” Ray said.
The first attack happened around 5 a.m. on July 12 near 76th Street and Evans Avenue.
Three others followed, all transpiring between 75th Street on the north, 79th Street on the south, Cottage Grove Avenue on the east, and King Drive on the west.
Assaults also took place:
–Around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, July 25, in the 7400 block of South Vernon Avenue;
–Around midnight Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the 7400 block of South King Drive.
In all but one sexual assault, the attacker had a gun. The assailant used a knife in the other. Police believe one man, described as in his 20s, is responsible.
Women in the area are taking precautions.
“My coworkers, they do escort me to my car, make sure I get in safely and drive off,” said Karen Hayes.
Police said the man attempted to make small talk before attacking the women. Ray is considering changing her work schedule.
“I probably won’t keep the same late hours. Or if we stay in packs, we’re probably going to be more cognizant.”
Community activist Andrew Holmes said the suspect likely lives near the places where he’s committed the crimes.
“When you’re walking down a block, a city block, just make sure that you’re aware of abandoned buildings that may be on the left or right of you. If you’re getting close to the corner or the alley, slow down, take a look behind you. Make sure nobody is lurking in them bushes, or especially in them alleys,” Holmes said.
Police went door-to-door passing out flyers warning residents to be careful. It includes a description of the attacker.
The assalant is described as being between 5 feet 7 and 6 feet 2 inches tall with, black hair, wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, gym shoes in some of the attacks wearing a Bulls cap.
Anyone with information was asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.