San Diego police are investigating a series of attacks in South Bay in which a man approached women from behind and attacked them as they were exiting cars or walking to their homes.
Four women were attacked in the Egger Highlands area, which around Palm Avenue and Interstate 5 near Imperial Beach, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told NBC 7.
The victims say they were alone when they were attacked. The reported assaults happened between April and September this year within a half-mile radius of each other and investigators believe they are related.
The first assault happened at 11:15 p.m. on April 14 in the 1200 block of Dennery Road, when a woman arrived home and was parking her car.
When she got out of the car, a suspect attacked her from behind, police said. She fought him off and he ran away.
The next assault occurred on May 13 at the same time of day and in the same block. A woman arrived home and again parked her car.
As she began walking to her apartment, a man attacked her from behind and she fought him off, triggering him to run away, police said.
Six weeks later, on July 25, a woman came home and parked her car on the street in the 4500 block of Riviera Shores Street, less than a half-mile south from the previous two assaults.
As with the previous assaults, the man attacked her from behind. She fought back and police say may have also sprayed him with pepper spray. He ran away. This attacked happened at 12:40 a.m.
The final attack happened at 10 p.m. on Sept. 10 in the 4500 block of Northern Moon Way, only a couple blocks away from the July attack. The woman was walking home when the suspect again approached her from behind, placing his left hand over her mouth, police said. She screamed and the man ran off toward Riviera Shores Drive.
Officials say this series does not appear to be connected to a recent string of attacks on women walking alone in the North Park area of San Diego.
Police have released a suspect sketch and say the attacker has a thin build, is about 5-foot, 5-inches tall and has distinct bushy eyebrows.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or the San Diego Police Department’s sex crimes unit at 619-531-2210.