Paul Vernon

Sexual Predator Attacks Women in North Hills

Both women who were attacked fought back, scaring the man away

A sexual predator who has attacked at least two women is on the loose in North Hills, and police are hoping newly released sketches will help track him down.

The man made his first attack just after midnight on March 8 when a woman was coming home from work to her apartment in the 14700 block of Nordhoff Street, Los Angeles police said Wednesday.

The man grabbed the woman from behind when she bent down to pick up something, wrestled her to the ground and tried to take her clothes off, police said.

But the woman fought back, and the attacker ran away.

About a week later, on March 14, a man threw a woman down as she left her apartment in the 14600 block of Nordhoff Street, police said. She screamed as he sat on top of her and scared him away.

"We suspect this man lives in the neighborhood, perhaps in one of the several apartment complexes along (Nordhoff) Street," Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon said. "Women can protect themselves better by walking in pairs for now, and until we identify this man."

Police on Wednesday released two sketches they believe are of the same man.

"Stranger attacks like this are rare," Vernon said, adding that women can learn from the victims who fought back.

"Do not ever allow yourself to be taken away," he said. "Fighting back and drawing attention to your plight is usually the best defense, but it’s a personal choice. Rehearsing in your mind such an occurrence and your response will make you more apt to react quickly."

Anyone with information should call Detective Nicole Kittle at 818-838-9975. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S).

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