Cleveland Police: ‘Be Aware of Your Surroundings’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland police are investigating a kidnapping and gross sexual imposition case that happened Saturday in the 2900 block of E. 116th Street.

According to reports, a 20-year-old black female said she was walking to work around 5:30 a.m. when an unknown black man approached her from behind, grabbed her and dragged her toward an abandoned house.

Police said the man assaulted the victim and tried to remove her clothing.

But the attack was thwarted when a female and two males drove up during the attack and yelled, causing the suspect to flee.

The Good Samaritans left before officers could arrive, and police are asking that they come forward by calling the police department's sex crimes and child abuse unit at 216-623-5630.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 40s, around 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a thin build and a small gap between his upper teeth. He was wearing a black hooded knee-length jacket, dark blue or black Dickies brand pants ripped at the bottom, black steel toed boots and black winter gloves.

Police emphasize that while Saturday's incident has similarities to the murder of Jasmine Trotter, 20, there is no evidence linking them. Trotter's body was found in an abandoned home in the 3900 block of E. 93rd Street last month.

Additionally, the body of Christine Malone, 45, was found a few days later in a nearby field in the 9300 block of Bessemer Avenue.

All cases remain under investigation, and no arrests have been made.

Police are warning that those walking alone after dark or before daylight pay attention to their surroundings and to not be preoccupied or distracted by texting, games or cell phones.

They also say to notify a friend or family member of their intended destination.

Anyone with information regarding the crimes or any suspicious activity is asked to call Cleveland police.