The 20-year-old woman caught on video last Thursday was one of the lucky ones. Police say they believe that just hours earlier, the man who dragged her off the street had sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman at gunpoint in the same area.
On Tuesday, the same man approached a 15-year-old girl on her way to school, threatened her, and grabbed her by an arm before she broke free and ran, police said.
"You hear accounts like this and think, 'How can that happen on a residential street in the daytime?' " Capt. John Darby of the Special Victims Unit said at a news conference Wednesday.
His concern, he told reporters, is that after two "unsuccessful" attempted assaults, the man will strike again.
"It's difficult to place any motive," Darby said, but it was clear that in each incident, the attacker was "trying to get them off of the street and out of sight."
All three confrontations happened in broad daylight in an area of Juniata Park that typically sees heavy foot traffic from residents on their way to the nearby Erie-Torresdale station of the Market-Frankford Line, police said.
All three victims were walking alone, Darby said. He asked women in the area to consider walking with someone to the station or getting a ride.
"This predator is out there," he said.
Crime statistics from the last month in the area show several assaults with a deadly weapon, but no reported sexual assaults beyond last Thursday's.
All three women described their assailant as a man in his 20s or 30s, and 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a medium build. He has a dark complexion with facial hair and yellowing teeth with a visible gap between his top front teeth, police said. The women said the man wore a dark hooded windbreaker or athletic style jacket.
Darby said the department's investigation was "very active" and urged the public to provide tips on the crime or the attacker.
"If you even have a hunch, give us a call," he said.
Those who wish to provide a tip should call 215-686-TIPS.