A manhunt has been launched after two women were assaulted in separate attacks in just two days in Dalston.
Hackney police issued a warning last night (May 12) to residents after two women were grabbed and held on the ground in attacks that police say are being treated as sexually motivated.
The first victim was walking on Scriven Street when she was attacked from behind. Thinking she was being robbed, she reportedly held out her mobile phone but the attacker continued to pin her down, before fleeing when a car drove past.
The second attack occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, when a woman was walking on Hertford Road. The attacker ran at her and pulled her to the ground, only stopping when a passing taxi driver heard the victim’s screams and came to help.
In both cases, the attacker is described as a black man, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 10in tall and in his early 20s.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley who is leading the investigation, said: “I am linking these attacks based on locality, victim profile and the suspect description given by both victims.
“In both instances, the suspect targeted two lone women late at night, waiting until there were no witnesses before striking. He only made off when interrupted by passing motorcyclists. I am convinced the same attacker is responsible for both incidents.
“While neither woman was sexually assaulted, I am treating these attacks as sexually motivated. The assailant had ample opportunity to steal property from both women – however, no words or demands were made.
“I would ask anyone who is out tonight and over the weekend in the Dalston area to remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious then contact the police immediately. Please be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. If you wear headphones you are putting yourself in a more vulnerable position.
“If there are any other victims who have yet to contact the police, I would strongly encourage them to do so. Also, if you know the identity of the man responsible please contact the police as we need to urgently track him down.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Hackney CID on 101 or by tweeting @MetCC.