CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police reported two women were sexually assaulted early Wednesday morning.
Police report the first attack happened at around 5:00 a.m. in the 6700 block of WT Harris. Police said a 63-year-old woman was out power walking when she was approached by a man who stated he had a weapon.
Police said the man led the victim to a wooded area where he attempted to assault her. According to police, the suspect left with the woman's phone and her bag, which were later recovered near the scene.
Police describe the suspect as a black male, possibly in his 20's, about 5'4" and thin build. The victim told police the man was wearing a full mask on his face as well as a hoodie.
CMPD said the second assault happened in the 700 block of West Arrowood Road. Police said the 26-year-old woman was at the bus stop when she was approached by a man in a white van. Police report the man stated he had a gun and forced the victim into his van.
Police said the man drove the woman to the South Blvd area before he assaulted her.
Police said the suspect in the second case is a Hispanic male, about 35 years old, heavy set build and short. Police do not have a vehicle description or tag number for the van.
CMPD said they believe these two crimes are isolated incidents and do not fit any descriptions of current sexual assault investigations.
"This is very unusual for this time happen, that we have two almost happen back-to-back with each other," Lt. Muriel Hughes said.
Police say if you're going to be out walking or running when it's dark, you should keep at least one earbud out and your phone charged. The most important thing though is to stay with a group.
"Anything is a crime of opportunity if anyone sees anyone out walking alone,” says Lt. Muriel Hughes with CMPD.
She says victims should follow their instincts and if they feel like they can fight off an attacker, to do so.
With two sexual assaults in one day, women are certainly on alert.
"Obviously walking with a friend maybe even two. It’s just a really crazy world nowadays,” says Yariseth Guerrero.
If you have to be alone, make sure someone knows where you are, stay in a well-lit area, and have your phone charged. Police suggest carrying gadgets to protect yourself, too, like pepper spray, personal alarms or even a stun gun.
Anyone with information regarding these two sexual assault cases is asked to contact police.