Man suspected of raping woman, assaulting another on same bridge months apart

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City police are searching for the man suspected of raping a woman and assaulting another on the same bridge in two separate incidents.

Authorities say both attacks happened while the women were walking toward Manhattan on the Washington Bridge. The span of the bridge that connects the Bronx to Washington Heights has a path for pedestrians on both sides and that is where police say the assaults took place.

The first incident was reported Feb. 20 just after midnight. The 26-year-old victim was approached by the suspect who showed a knife and demanded money before placing his hand inside her pants, police said. The suspect ran away westbound on 181st Street.

In the second incident, the 20-year-old victim was walking on the bridge after 1 a.m. on Aug. 25 when she was approached by the suspect.

Police say he simulated a weapon by his waistband, demanded money and went through her bag before he raped her on the ground. Authorities said he ran away northbound on University Avenue.

Both victims were treated at local hospitals and released.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, 5 feet 1 inch tall with a ponytail. He was last seen wearing a dark grey shirt, dark pants, dark sneakers and a baseball cap.

Some women who walk the same bridge on a daily basis said they were horrified to learn of the attacks and will re-think their travel plans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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