Thomas Howard, City Marshal
4 Green St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Newburyport Police Notify Residents to Rise in Sexual Assaults
Same Suspect Believed to Responsible for Four Incidents, with Escalating Violence
NEWBURYPORT – City Marshal Thomas H. Howard reports that the Newburyport Police Department is seeking to alert the public to a string of escalating sexual assaults believed to be perpetrated by the same man, over the course of the past four months.
Since June, there have been four incidents and five victims of groping and sexual assault, with a similar pattern and same suspect description each time. Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man before another assault occurs.
“This is a dangerous sexual predator who targets women with increasing audacity and violence, even striking women in well-lit areas and attacking two women at once in one case,” Marshal Howard said. “If anyone has any information about who may be behind these attacks, please come forward.”
There have been four attacks that have been reported to police so far:
- On June 22, 2014, at 10:30 p.m., a 20-year-old woman was attacked and groped on Merrimac Street while walking home
- On Sept. 9, 2014, at 8:30 p.m., a 23-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted in nearly the same location on Merrimac Street while walking home from Downtown Newburyport
- On Sept. 25, 2014, at 10:50 p.m., two 23-year-old women were attacked and groped near the MBTA Entrance off Parker Street while they were walking from Downtown Newburyport to the train station.
- On Nov. 3, 2014, at about 9:30 p.m., a juvenile girl was attacked and sexually assaulted near the intersection of High Street and Summit Place
In each case, the suspect is described as a white male, in his 20s, under 6-feet tall, who may have brown or shaggy brown hair, normal build, and a skinny face. In at least two of the cases, the suspect wore a dark hooded sweatshirt and light colored cargo shorts.
The Newburyport Police Department reminds residents to walk in well-lit areas at night, ideally in pairs or with groups of people. Do not use headphones, and do not look down at your mobile device while walking at night. Always be aware of your surroundings.
“Newburyport continues to be a safe community, and the police department is working aggressively to identify and apprehend the individual behind these incidents,” said Newburyport Mayor Donna D. Holaday. “I also want to urge members of the public, if you know something or see something, please call Newburyport Police right away. Together, we can ensure that this individual is caught and cannot harm anyone else.”
Anyone with information on the suspect or these attacks is urged to call the Newburyport Police Department at 978-462-4411. All calls may remain anonymous.