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Police say one man attacked three women in less than 10 hours

One man has been arrested and charged in connection with three violent attacks on women across San Francisco in less than 10 hours.

We reported two weeks ago on the first of the three attacks, where a 28-year-old woman was accosted and strangled by a man at Sunnydale Avenue and Desmond Street around 3:13 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

According to the police account, the victim was walking alone and was followed by a man acting erratically and “yelling incoherent statements.” The man grabbed and choked her by hand, pushed her to the ground and continued strangling her, causing her to temporarily lose consciousness, according to police. 

The suspect was apparently startled by someone’s voice nearby and fled. Responding officers were unable to locate the man. Medics treated the woman at the scene for injuries she sustained.

An 18-year-old female was similarly attacked about nine hours later in the area of Willow and Polk streets. Police arrived at 12:24 a.m. to conduct a well-being check and located the victim who told officers a man followed her as she walked southbound on Polk Street. She said the unknown man approached her from behind, put his arm around her neck and threatened her. 

Though she was allegedly struck several times and forced to the ground, she fought back and managed to get away. The man then fled, and was again able to elude responding officers.

Less than an hour after the second attack, a third woman was assaulted in the 1500 block of Market Street. The 75-year-old victim told police the man approached and threatened her in a sexual nature before he assaulted and allegedly dragged her by her feet. In that incident, bystanders stepped up and intervened, and witnesses watched as the man fled and pointed officers to his location at the southwest corner of Market Street and South Van Ness Avenue.

Police arrived at the scene at 1:10 a.m. and detained the suspect after a foot pursuit.

The 28-year-old Oakland man was arrested after the third incident and booked on several charges, including kidnapping to commit rape, elder abuse, assault with intent to commit rape, batters and resisting arrest.

Police announced Tuesday that they connected the same man to all three incidents – he was charged on May 21 for attempted murder and kidnapping in the Desmond Street incident and for assault in the Polk and Willow streets attack. He was still in custody after his arrest in the third incident at Market Street and South Van Ness Avenue.

On May 11, police released surveillance photos of the man they believed was responsible for the first incident, asking for the public’s help to identify him. They did not say Tuesday whether the man in custody was the same man depicted in the photos.

Despite the arrest and charges, the investigation remains open and active. Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 575-4444 or  Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

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