Man charged with raping woman, assaulting another on same bridge months apart

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man was charged with raping a woman and assaulting another on the same bridge in two separate incidents.

Police said 21-year-old Pedro Rodriguez, of the Bronx, was charged with rape Friday.

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.

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.

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