VIDEO: Police seek serial rapist targeting teens in Germantown

rapist
A video still from the May 19 attack. (Credit: YouTube / Philadelphia Police Department).

Philadelphia police are looking for a “volatile” armed serial rapist who they believe has since March assaulted four Germantown juveniles between the ages of 12 and 17.

Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby on Monday gave a rundown of the series of attacks in the area of Chelten Avenue just north of Chew Avenue.

“They involve juvenile female complainants – these are all teenagers in that particular area approached on the highway by a single perpetrator,” Darby said.

“He’s armed with a handgun and forces them off the highway into alleys, behind properties and, most recently, into a recreation center, where a sexual assault does take place.”

Darby said the suspect first struck around 7:30 a.m. on March 19, when he approached a 12-year-old who was waiting for a school bus near Anderson and Price streets, escorted her at gunpoint into a alleyway and sexually assaulted her.

Police believe the same man struck again around 11 p.m. on April 23, forcing a 17-year-old girl who was walking on the 900 block of East Chelten Avenue into a nearby commercial property and sexually assaulting her.

The suspect again attacked around 10:45 p.m. on May 19, sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl on the 6000 block of Wister Street in an attack that was caught on video.

The man can be seen on camera passing the victim on a dark-colored mountain bike, propping it up against a wall and immediately turning back toward the teen.

Darby said the video “clearly shows” the suspect’s intent, noting he’s never made any monetary demands or attempted to rob his victims.

“That victim had seen him, he had passed by her, basically, to stage that bike somewhere, then to come back and immediately confront her,” Darby said.

“Again, that’s the only incident right now that we actually have the bike viewed. It might have been used in other cases, but we just don’t know at this point.”

Investigators said the man struck again this past Sunday around 12:30 a.m., approaching a 17-year-old on the 1200 block of East Chelten Avenue and forcing her just inside one of the entrance gates of the Lonnie Young Recreation Center, where he sexually assaulted her.

“This incident Sunday clearly indicated we had a pattern,” Darby said.

“There’s been some variances on the time of day, the days of the week and general descriptions; however, it’s clear to us the same perpetrator did commit all of these crimes.”

He said though DNA tests are still pending and investigators are still combing the neighborhood for additional video, officials were able to connect the assaults due to similarly-worded orders and demands made by the suspect.

“It has helped us to develop that paint stroke,” he said.

“It develops a picture for us, and that picture is that this perpetrator is one and the same.”

Darby further noted the possibility that the man could be singling out his victims ahead of time.

“He certainly seems to know where he wants to approach these victims,” he said.

“He didn’t just climb out of a hole. It appears he might have orchestrated some of these things. From the victims, he’s there, he’s waiting, he might have been watching them for an amount of time.”

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward before the situation escalates further.

“It’s a dangerous situation here,” Darby said.

“We’ve got a guy with a gun, young female victims – we can’t predict what they’re going to do – we’ve got to get him off the street and we’re asking the public to do that.”

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-7-inch to 5-foot-9-inch tall black male in his late 20s to 30s with a light complexion and medium to stocky build.

In most of the attacks, he wore dark-colored clothing and concealed his face with a hooded sweatshirt.

In the most recent incident police said the suspect was wearing a white-shirt, blue jeans and a ski mask.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911, to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or 3252, or to submit an anonymous tip by dialing 215-686-TIPS (8477), texting PPD TIP (773847), emailing tips@phillypolice.com or by filling out this online form.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Help students in need with Operation Backpack

Operation Backpack was created to give the children living in NYC's shelters new school supplies.

Local

First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at LULAC…

First Lady Michelle Obama is spending the day in New York City.

National

Did Kate Moss destroy her ex-boyfriend's beloved teddy…

After their break-up in 2007, Doherty claims, Moss was so filled with rage for her former lover that she set fire to his childhood teddy bear.

Local

Rikers captain, two officers indicted for beating of…

A captain and two officers at Rikers have been indicted for allegedly beating an inmate and trying to cover it up.

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

POLL: Which show will win the Emmy for…

Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announced the nominations for the 2014 Emmys were today, but who knows which drama will reign supreme? Vote for your favorite here!

Movies

Interview: Andy Serkis on becoming Caesar in 'Dawn…

Andy Serkis talks about the motion-capture technology that allows him to deliver a subtle performance as CGI chimp Caesar in the new "Planet of the Apes."

Movies

The Breakthrough: Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson…

The new indie "Land Ho!" introduces actor Paul Eenhoorn and surgeon-turned-actor Earl Lynn Nelson to a wide audience. Meet them here.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

Wellbeing

We've been researching Alzheimer's all wrong

Over the past 15 years, more than 100 potential treatments for Alzheimer's have been tested and failed. A scientist who led a new study that…

Travel

Amsterdam is known for sex and drugs, but…

Amsterdam is arguably best known for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops, but the city on the banks of the Amstel River is…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Wellbeing

Sugar isn't making anyone's life more sweet

Not so sweet. Anne Alexander, author of “The Sugar Smart Diet,” tells us where sugar is hiding and how it’s making us sick. Bet that…