Somerville issues warning after attacks on women

boston somerville police attacks union square porter square
This sketch shows one of the suspects in the recent attacks in Somerville.
Credit: Somerville police

Three women walking along Somerville streets were indecently assaulted during separate incidents within the past three months, prompting the city to issue a safety alert on Tuesday.

The safety alert comes after the most recent attack on a woman occurred on Sunday. The attacks have taken place in the areas of Union and Porter squares during the early evening or nighttime, the city said.

“The Somerville Police Department is working to identify and apprehend the suspects as quickly as possible, and we wish to alert residents, especially women, to take safety precautions,” the city said in its alert.

On Sunday, a 45-year-old woman walking along Hawkins Street near Somerville Avenue was indecently assaulted. The suspect was described as a Hispanic man, between 25 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a medium build and brown eyes. He was wearing a black zip-up sweater, a beanie cap with ear flaps and was carrying a gray backpack.

On Jan. 2, a 28-year-old woman was indecently assaulted while walking along Porter Street between Summer Street and Highland Avenue near Porter Square.

The third attack took place Nov. 18, when another woman was indecently assaulted as she walked on Porter Street near Elm Street.

The victims in those two incidents gave similar descriptions of their attacker: a white man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches or 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin, athletic build. Somerville police are investigating whether the same suspect attacked both women.

Somerville police urged everyone, especially women, to take precautions when walking at night, including not wearing headphones, avoiding poorly lit areas and keeping a cellphone handy.

Anyone with information is asked to call 617-625-1600 ext. 7237.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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