Sexual Assault Awareness Month: String of Assaults Hits Northwest Austin

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There has been a string of sexual assaults that began at the end of December and the last one in early February. In total, there have been six victims. The suspect has been described as a Hispanic or White man between 5’7” or 5’9”. He wears a hoodie and a face mask or bandana to cover his face. According to the Austin Chronicle, the man “approaches women from behind, holding a knife to their throats while he gropes them and forces them to the ground. He then rapes the victim, although he has been thwarted in his attempt in some of the attacks. One incident resulted in aggravated robbery.”

The assaults have slowly moved closer to Westwood, with an assault on Feb. 6 on Jollyville Rd. and one on Feb. 8 on Santa Cruz Dr. And on the weekend after the assault on Santa Cruz Dr., there was a robbery on Jollyville Rd. at around 3:30 p.m. that is believed to be connected to the string of assaults. There has yet to be an arrest.

“I will tell you from my personal viewpoint, I’m quite concerned that this predator – not truly knowing what his motivation is – I’m concerned that yes, he is going to get more aggressive,” Austin Police Department Lieutenant Gena Curtis said in the Austin Chronicle.

There was also an incident with a different attacker on Feb. 18 on Spicebrush Dr., which is near Laurel Mountain Elementary School. A woman was out jogging at 6:47 a.m. and was taken to the ground by a person she described as an African American man wearing grey shorts and a black shirt. The woman screamed, and the attacker ran. She was then taken to a hospital for treatment. No arrest has been made in this case.

“It’s just that awareness, realizing that it’s probably not real good to do anything by yourself, it’s better to do in numbers,” Nurse Rita Chavez-Riley said. “Try to avoid places at night alone, like parking lots. It’s important to just know that these things happen and not let it overwhelm you with fear.”