AUSTIN (KXAN) — A mother is scared to leave her apartment in Northwest Austin.
“I remember his eyes, I remember his hand,” said the woman who asked KXAN to conceal her identity.
Sunday, while walking around her complex on Taylor Draper Lane, she said a man grabbed her from behind and tried to put his hand down her shirt.
She screamed, then pushed him and he took off running.
Word spread quickly on Nextdoor, the social networking site for neighborhoods, even before police put anything out to the public.
“It said there had been another sexual assault in North Austin,” said Jonathan Stilley, a realtor who lives in the area.
He relies on the app to know what and who to look out for as police try to track down the attacker.
“It is typical that they do go dormant for a while, and then these incidents can occur again,” said Sr. Officer Destiny Winston with the Austin Police Department.
Ted Rutherford, Communications Program Director with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault says predators can have an active period followed by a cooling period. They tend to strike again when it is time to feed their need.
“Perpetrators in these cases will have a sense of inadequacy in themselves and they use sexual violence as a way of getting back some sense of themselves, control or feelings of power,” said Rutherford.
Stilley is hoping the more neighbors who know about the attacker, the harder it will be for him to strike again.
“Of course you want to catch him, but it’s a lot easier to just prevent him from doing these kinds of things because neighbors know,” said Stilley.
The suspect is described by the victim as a white or Hispanic man with a skinny build. He has short brown hair, dark eyes, and is estimated to be in his 20s. The man is roughly 155 pounds and was wearing a mask that partly covered his face. He was wearing light wash jeans and a dark grey short sleeve shirt.