Hammond police investigating 2 rapes in 2 weeks, possibly by same suspect

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- Hammond police are investigating two rapes that occurred in the Hessville area within two weeks of each other.

Police said the assaults occurred on July 26 around 12 p.m. in the 6700-block of Grand Avenue and Aug. 8 around 12 a.m., in the 7400-block of Arkansas Avenue. In both cases, police said the victims were out walking when they were approached by the suspect, forced into an alley and raped.

The first victim is a juvenile whose age and identity police are withholding. The second victim is 25, police said.

The 25-year-old's rape was partially captured on surveillance video. The victim can be seen walking across the street on the video. By the time she makes her way across, her attacker is there.

"The next thing I know, as soon as I hit the corner I just felt somebody snatch me up in a headlock," said the victim, whose identity is being protected.

The victim was on her way home from work.

"He dragged me to the alley. He asked me if I had money, he snatched my phone. I walked with him 'cause I couldn't turn around, I couldn't run, couldn't do nothing. He told me not to scream," she said.

Once in the alley, behind her neighborhood, the attack got worse.

"He pushed me down and started snatching my pants off, snatching his pants off," she said.

He had pressed an unidentified weapon against her, and threatened to beat her with a hammer.

"When I noticed it was going to get sexual, I said, 'Whatever you want, I'll give it to you.' I have stuff on my person, you can have it. That didn't stop him, he kept going," she said.

Eighteen minutes later he let her go. Surveillance cameras show her walking away, alone.

"It was dark so I can't tell nobody how he looks, I can't tell nobody a description because I don't know," she said.

Police described the suspect in both cases as a young black male, 5 ft. 7 in. to 5 ft. 10 in. tall with an average build. He was wearing a dark hoodie and shorts in both instances, police said. Police believe the same suspect was involved in both crimes.

"We would like to encourage the public to be aware of their surroundings and never walk alone when possible. Also, trust your instincts. If you think you are being followed, get to a well-lit, busy area," said Hammond Police Chief John Doughty.

If you have any information about these crimes or the suspect, call Hammond Police Detective Sergeant Chris Matonovich at 219-852-2963.
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hammondrapesex assault
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