Detectives investigating two sexual assaults near Rhubarb Bridge in Peterborough have released e-fits of suspects in the case.
On Saturday, September 30, a woman in her 20s, was walking along the footpath near to AMF Bowling off Bretton Way, near to Rhubarb Bridge, when she was approached by a man between 11am and 11.30am.
The man threatened her with a knife before sexually assaulting her. She managed to escape uninjured and alerted police.
A second incident at the same location on Friday, October 6, is being linked by detectives.
At about 1.10pm, a 19-year-old woman was walking along the footpath which runs alongside the bowling alley, near to Rhubarb Bridge, when a man approached her and slapped her on the bottom, grabbing her by the arms and snatching her handbag before running off towards Bretton.
Last week The Peterborough Telegraph revealed five CCTV cameras near Rhubarb Bridge are not working after rats chewed through the cables.
Police said they had been examining other CCTV footage as part of the investigation.
The offender in the first incident is described as being of Asian appearance with very dark skin, but not black, with lots of short, black hair. It is believed he was between 16 to 18-years-old and was wearing regular fit black jeans which were fading to grey, a black sports style jacket, like a tracksuit top and dark coloured baseball style boots. He spoke good English with a foreign accent.
The offender in the second incident has been described as being of Asian appearance, about 19, between 5’6” and 5’8” tall and slim. He had black or very dark brown scruffy hair with a small scruffy moustache, as though he hadn’t shaved for a couple of days. He had brown eyes and was wearing a black or dark blue tracksuit. He spoke in English but with an Asian accent.
Detective Chief Inspector Adam Gallop said: “While the e-fits have their differences, we are continuing to treat these incidents as linked.
“I am appealing to local residents and workers to study the e-fits and look at the descriptions to try to assist me in identifying who may be responsible for one or both of these offences.
“Does it look like somebody you feel uncomfortable around, who makes inappropriate comments or just acts in a peculiar manner? Does it look like somebody you have seen hanging around the area, causing a nuisance or asking strange questions?
“In particular I would like to hear from anyone who lives, works or studies close to Rhubarb Bridge and may regularly walk along the footpath.
“We will be able to swiftly eliminate any potential suspects, so please do not feel worried about naming somebody you know well, they can be eliminated from the investigation, but your report could provide the vital information I need to progress the investigation.
“I am after names of suspects, but also any potential witnesses who may have seen somebody matching these descriptions in the area of the secluded footpath that runs alongside the A47/Soke Parkway towards Rhubarb Bridge.”
An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with both incidents. He has been released by police under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CF0561950917 for the incident on 30 September and CF0574211017 for the incident on 6 October, or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.