Newark Police investigate two attempted abductions

Newark, Del. (WTXF) Newark Police detectives were back at two apartment complexes canvassing for more clues Monday evening after two reported attempted abductions of women on East Main Street near the University of Delaware campus.

Both incidents happened within 4 hours and about 100 yards apart of one another. Investigators believe the same man is behind both crimes.

"That was scary, very scary," says one resident.

Police say the first attempted abduction happened around 11:20 p.m. on Sunday at the Colonial Garden apartments on 334 East Main St. A 28-year-old student at the University of Delaware was unloading packages from her car when a man grabbed her and tried to put a rag saturated with an "unknown chemical" around her mouth, according to a press release. The victim was able to fight off her attacker as he ran away.

The second indecent happened 3:30 a.m. Monday in an adjacent parking lot at the Main Towers apartments on 330 East Main Street. Police say the same man attacked a 61-year-old woman when he tried to grab her by the neck and push her into her car. Again, the woman was able to fight off her attacker as he ran away. Neither victim needed medical attention.

"I get a little scared. I just stay in my apartment I don't come out. Not now," said an elderly resident at the Colonial Gardens who did not want to be identified.

Residents who live in the area say it's usually a quite neighborhood. Rob Peterson who moved in 2 months ago saw his parking lot filled with police last night.

"When you have a 2-year-old little girl and a wife. It's just shocking it really is," he said.

The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20's, 5-6 to 5-7 foot tall with a thin build.

One resident of the Colonial Garden says her complex needs more security.

"I wasn't that surprised that it happened here because I don't think we're very well lit, we are father away from town and we don't have security doors" said Kathleen Ciferni.

Police are looking through surveillance video from Main Towers apartments. No word if that video captured images of the suspect.

If you have any information on the case, please call Detective James Skinner with Newark Police at 302-366-7100 ext. 3155.