New sexual assault in Northwest Austin linked to past cases

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police believe a sexual assault that happened in Northwest Austin on Sunday is connected to a string of sexual assaults in the area.

Around 11:50 a.m. Sunday, April 17, police received a report from a woman who said a man grabbed her from behind at her apartment complex in the 11200 block of Taylor Draper Lane.

“I cannot sleep at night of course,” says the victim, whose name we are withholding. She says a man attacked her at the Channings Mark apartment complex as she was walking up the stairs to her apartment with her 9-month-old daughter. The woman says the man grabbed her and tried to put his hand down her shirt. “I remember his eyes, I remember his hand.”

She says when she screamed and pushed the man, he ran away. She’s now scared to walk around the apartment complex, even during the day.

“I cannot go outside by myself, just with my husband.”

That is how some other neighbors now feel. They’re not taking something like a routine walk for granted.

“Close your devices, pay attention, look around and watch, because we have to watch out for one another and we have to watch out for ourselves,” says Stalla Gamble-Dalton, who lives at the Channing Marks apartments.

Gamble-Dalton says police knocked on her son’s door Sunday, asking her if she knew anything about the attack. She says she didn’t see the suspect.

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.

Austin Police say it took them more than 48 hours to report this latest case to the public because they needed to interview the victim and other witnesses. They also say they have a sketch of the suspect, but they will not release it until all interviews are completed.

Detectives are investigating this incident as related to the other recent North Austin sexual assault cases. The Austin Police Department says between December and April, there have been a total of eight cases that appear to be linked to the same person(s).Date & Time of Past Incidents

Police say the first four incidents happened at Highway 290 near US 183, Duval Road near Floral Park and on Northgate Boulevard, but authorities never released the exact locations. Police say they don’t believe a Feb. 18 incident on Spicebrush Drive is connected to this suspect because the suspect description is entirely different.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stopper at 512-472-8477. You can also text TIP 103 to CRIMES. If you know anything that can lead to an arrest, police are offering a $1,000 reward.

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