Man suspected in sex assaults on SW Side

March 10, 2010 4:32:41 AM PST
Chicago police canvassed a Southwest Side neighborhood Tuesday in their search for a man who is believed to have sexually assaulted two teenagers.Police are also looking for a green mini-van in connection with the attacks which took place in the Ashburn and Wrightwood neighborhoods along 79th street between Pulaski and Maplewood.

According to police, in the span of four days, from March 4 to March 7, two teenaged girls were raped by a man described as African-American, in his 20s, with a medium complexion and hair in braids or twists. He was seen driving a green mini-van.

Police say the attacker forced a 17-year-old girl into the van and raped her on the evening of March 4 at 82nd and South Sacramento. Then on March 5 at 79th and South Maplewood, a 16-year-old girl was forced at gunpoint into a green van and sexually assaulted. And on March 7 a man in a green van reportedly exposed himself to a girl at 79th and South Pulaski.

"That scared me because that could have been my daughter," said Maria Sandoval.

Sandoval said a man matching the description of the suspect approached her daughter last week but took off once he saw her.

"He said I'll give you 100 bucks if you get into car and drive me to Stevenson, give me directions," said Sandoval.

Police passed out fliers with the suspect's sketch and description Tuesday in the Ashburn neighborhood. They went door to door telling residents about the recent attacks.

"They're very happy we are out here letting them know what's going on. I have been contacted by a few community members who have asked me to give them stacks of flyers so they can assist in our efforts to get this information out," said Sgt. Jennifer Dowling, Chicago police.

"I hope they catch him back. I know one thing about this block, we watch out for each other. Like when some noise come around, we always look out the window," said Antwann Sanders, resident.

Police ask anyone who recognizes the man or his vehicle to call authorities and advise that the man is armed and should not be approached. They are also advising people in the area to always be aware of their surroundings and to walk with a friend whenever possible.