AUSTIN (KXAN) — Friday afternoon, Ana Herring knocked on doors at The Villas on Walnut Creek to alert tenants about the recent sexual assaults on the street behind them.
“The guy is wearing a mask and attacking people, have you heard?,” asked herring as she spoke with a resident.
The site property manager says she’s keeping an extra eye out and plans to tell people personally at the 100 unit property to be vigilant. “Whoever comes in here, they’ve got a surprise, baby,” said Herring as she waved a bat she keeps in the office. “Hopefully we catch him and give him to the police.”
Austin police are investigating four sexual assault cases in North Austin, but they can’t say if all the cases involve the same suspect(s).
The department’s Sex Crimes Unit says the four attacks happened in common areas: the parking lot, a walkway corridor and stairwell of their apartment complexes. Police say the incidents happened at Highway 290 near US 183, Duval Road near Floral Park and on Northgate Boulevard–the exact locations have not been released.
Authorities say the suspect attacked the women from behind, forced them to the ground and either attempted to or sexually assaulted the victims. The suspect covered his face to prevent the victims from being able to see him. Police do not know if he is armed or if there is more than one suspect.
Date & Time of Incidents
- Dec. 27, 2015 approximately 6 p.m.
- Jan. 17, 2016 approximately 6:30 a.m.
- Jan. 18, 2016 approximately 9 p.m.
- Jan. 23, 2016 approximately 5:40 p.m.
The attacker is described by Austin police as a White or Hispanic male, around 5’9″, of average build and an English speaker.
Anyone with information on the incidents are asked to contact APD’s Sex Crime Unit tip line at 512-974-5230. Detectives say they do not have any additional information to provide, but want the public to be aware of their surroundings.
A woman who asked us not to show her identify said says she’s paying a neighbor $50 to walk her to her car. “Just trying to be more mindful of whose around us and who we talk to because I am surely, surely afraid, I don’t know what to do,” said the woman. “I bought pepper spray yesterday, and I have a knife, a little pin knife that I keep in my hand.”
KXAN reached out to multiple apartment complexes on Northgate Blvd., but they wouldn’t comment on their security measures. An apartment complex on Duval Road said their surveillance cameras are working and they sent a letter out to residents about the incidents.