East Side Community on Edge After 3rd Attack

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Many people are on edge after a 20-year-old woman was attacked at 5:30 a.m. Saturday on her way to work.

Police said she was walking near East 116th Street and Harvey — on Cleveland’s East Side — when a man jumped her from behind.

Cleveland Police Commander Deon McCaulley said the man threatened her with a weapon and began ripping at her uniform.

But then, a car happened to drive by.

“The female driver chased the suspect, chased him away and the two male passengers got out of the car and assisted the female to her feet and got her home,” said McCaulley,  Fourth District.

McCaulley said the victim is extremely lucky she wasn’t more seriously hurt. Last week, another 20-year-old woman’s body was discovered in an abandoned home on East 93rd.

And a few days after that, a woman’s body was found in a field on Bessemer Avenue.

All three incidents are within walking distance of one another.

“Right now there’s no evidence to link those cases together at all, but any time we’re looking at any serious situation we’re looking at any similarities to any other cases we might be working,” said McCaulley.

Councilman Zack Reed is also concerned. He thinks a murder in December might also be connected. To him, the crimes are extremely similar, as if they were committed by one suspect.

Reed is organizing volunteers to help escort women to work or the store, and police are also warning everyone to travel in pairs and be on extra alert.

“Our young women are not safe when this individual is walking around our streets so it’s very scary that this individual is preying on our women,” said Reed.

Police said the suspect in the most recent incident is described as 6 feet, 2 inches tall and wearing dark work pants with a hood tied around his face and black leather gloves.

Police said he had very unique work-style boots with a steel toe or metal covering.

They would also like to talk to the three Good Samaritans involved to see if they noticed anything that would help police catch the suspect.

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