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Police are asking residents to help identify this suspect in recent indecent assaults. (Image: Cambridge Police)

Police are asking residents to help identify this suspect in recent indecent assaults. (Image: Cambridge Police)

Police are asking residents to help identify a suspect in two indecent assaults from the past week.

At approximately 11:34 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of a woman indecently assaulted at Cambridge Street and Ellsworth Avenue, a couple of blocks west of Inman Square. The suspect was described as a dark-skinned man around 18 to 25 years old riding a bicycle and wearing a bright red T-shirt, dark shorts and a black backpack. He approached the female and grabbed her from behind. He fled and the victim contacted the police. Police searched the area without finding the man, though the bike was taken into custody for evidence and a sketch of the suspect has been released.

Police say the assault could be related to a similar incident from about 11 p.m. Saturday, when a woman walking down Harvard Street near Inman Street was approached by two men on bicycles, and one grabbed her from behind. The suspect was described as being about 18 to 25 years old, with dark curly hair, a light colored T-shirt and dark shorts. Both men fled down Harvard Street toward Harvard Square. Police units searched the area without finding the men.

Residents, particularly women who may be walking alone at night, are urged by police to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings; keep to well-lit routes; and avoid wearing headphones or ear buds. A phone should be readily available, but distracting phone calls should be avoided. People who feel they are being followed should head for a store or building they know to be open. Street safety tips are available online here.

“Trust your instincts,” said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications and media relations for the Cambridge Police Department. “If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area and call 911 immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Cambridge Police at (617) 349-3300. Anonymous reports can be left at (617) 349-3359; sent by text message to 84741 (begin your text with TIP650, then type your message); or by email by visiting CambridgePolice.org/Tips.

This post was written from a press release.