A woman and a girl recently reported separate assaults along the Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts State Police said.
The girl said she was grabbed from behind, pushed against a tree, raped and indecently assaulted as she walked with a group of friends near the Elm Street entrance to the Riverwalk on the night of September 14 , according to state police.
The girl told police she did not turn to look at her attacker, who reportedly fled when he thought he heard someone approaching. She said she heard what sounded like the attacker get on a bike and walk away.
On October 20, a 37-year-old woman told police she was running on the Riverwalk bike path near Prospect Street and Crescent Street when a man approached her from behind and touched her twice .
“He did it twice in 30 minutes, so if he didn’t do it to me, he would have done it to someone else,” she told CBS Boston.
She described the man, who was riding a bicycle, as a white or Hispanic male of average height and build, possibly in his 20s or 30s. He was wearing an orange hoodie, she said.
Whether the same person committed both assaults remains part of the ongoing investigation, state police said. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call State Police Detectives at 617-740-7544.
The Waltham Police Department said the two reported assaults were within the jurisdiction of state police because the Charles River Preserve is a state park.
Waltham Police said they have and will continue to assist with investigations as needed and have added additional police patrols in the Riverwalk area. State police also said they have increased visibility in the area and advised visitors to be aware of their surroundings, stay in well-lit areas if possible, have a cell phone, and call 911. if they feel threatened or observe suspicious activity.
The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) did not respond to a request for comment on whether the agency plans to improve lighting and security in that area.
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