Women in Riverside County are being targeted by a sexual predator. Police are warning women this predator could strike anywhere in the region.
Riverside Police say the man uses his car as a weapon. His victims are women driving alone at night.
It happened twice this month — once on Chicago Avenue and a week later on Van Buren Boulevard, both in Riverside.
“The suspect will follow the vehicle,” says Detective Mike Medici with Riverside Police Department.”Ultimately, he runs into the rear end of their car. When [his victims] get out to investigate the damage, the assault takes place.”
The suspect is being described as a black man in his early 20s to early 30s, 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 160 to 180 pounds. He was last seen driving a mid-90’s model sport-utility vehicle.
Police also want to point out a special design shaved in the back of the suspect’s head.
The description comes from the victims who were both women in their early 20s.Both were driving alone — one headed to work andthe other drove from a friend’s house.
Police say driving alone at night can be dangerous, particularly if you’re a woman. So officers are giving a few tips on how to keep you safe on the road.
Don’t pull over right away. Find a well lit area. Stay in your car and call a family member, friend or 911 to make sure they know where you are and what’s happened.
Police also say it all boils down to awareness.
“When I get in my car or out of my car, I always have to keep the doors locked or immediately go somewhere where I’m seen,” says driver Ashley Emard.
Both victims fought back and fended off the surprise attack, something Desert drivers say you should do if nothing else works.
“If they are going to try and attack you, put up a fight,” says Emard. “It’s better to have died on your feet than live on your knees.”
Riverside Police are working with law enforcement agencies to catch the suspect.