SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Surveillance pictures show a 19-year-old woman fighting for her life as police say a man tried to sexually assault her. The pictures show the victim with her hand on the man’s neck as they struggle on the ground. It also shows the suspect with one hand around the back of the woman’s head.
"It's very unnerving," said Yvette Bedgood. She heard what happened as she walked along the very block where it happened. Police say it was around 1:30 Wednesday morning on the 1300 block of Wharton Street in South Philadelphia. T
he victim was walking home when she noticed a man following her. She quickly pulled out her pepper spray just as the man grabbed her from behind, according to police.
"He pulled her dress down. The top of her dress he pulled down, exposing her. She managed to fight him off and pepper spray him at which time he fled," said Captain Mark Burgmann with the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit.
The suspect took off running on the 1200 block of South Clarion Street.
"I'm really shocked especially in this area. You have the police over here, they're usually very observant and they're usually quick if you need them. It’s almost like the suburbs here," said Bedgood.
Police passed out flyers in the neighborhood warning of what happened.
"My neighbor just told me. I literally just found out," said Ellen Kenney.
"I'm really scared. Yeah everybody probably feels the same way," she said.
Police say the pictures are clear enough for someone to recognize and help them identify the man before he strikes again.
"It's good that she was able to protect herself and that she knew enough to protect herself," said Bedgood about the victim.
Call Special Victims if you know the suspect. You can report anonymously. 215-685-3251 or 3252.