Sunday, May 19, 2024

Police are trying to identify and find a man they believe has committed at least three daylight groping attacks in Cambridge – someone described by victims as standing 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-8, possibly Hispanic, with a medium build and carrying a dark backpack.

The sexual assaults, based on reports by the victims:

Feb. 10, 9:08 a.m., at Mason Street and Phillips Place, West Cambridge near Harvard Square: A 35-year-old Cambridge woman was approached from behind and someone put their hand on her buttocks, then reached around and touched her groin before running toward Brattle Square.

April 13, 8:40 a.m., at Porter Exchange Shopping Center at 1815 Massachusetts Ave.: A 47-year-old Somerville woman walking down Roseland Street toward Massachusetts Avenue felt someone approaching. The person reached up her skirt and felt her buttocks, running away when she turned around.

Aug. 24, 3:20 p.m., at Prescott Street and Broadway, Mid-Cambridge near Harvard Square: The chest of a 19-year-old Cambridge woman was grabbed from behind. When she turned around, the suspect laughed and ran down Prescott toward Cambridge Street. A person who matched the description was stopped by officers, but was later determined to not be the suspect.

Anyone with information about the assaults or a suspect is asked to call (617) 349-3300 or make contact anonymously. Police have already “received and investigated a number of tips from the community,” said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications and media relations for Cambridge police. “They did not result in identifying a suspect.”

Police draw attention to how the man walks and runs. “He is believed to have a unique and noticeable gait, as video surveillance has depicted him running on his toes,” Warnick said in a press release.

Residents should always be aware of their surroundings, carry a phone whenever possible, stay in well-lit areas at night and call 911 immediately if they ever feel threatened or observe any suspicious activity, Warnick said.