LAPD officers are warning residents about a man they consider to be a sexual predator in North Hills.
Detectives have released two composite sketches, from two separate victims, of a man who attacked the women one week apart in the 14600 block of Nordoff Street.
“There are both similarities and differences between each sketch, but we think they represent the same man,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the LAPD Mission Detective Division.
“Thankfully, both women were able to fight off the man and get away. Our intent is to 1) warn the public and 2) identify this man.”
The women described him as Latino, 5’6” to 5’7”, weighing 160- to 180-pounds, with dark hair that was either spiked with gel, or wavy. They estimated him to be in his mid-30s.
The first attack occurred just after midnight on March 8, when the woman was leaving an apartment complex at 14717 Nordoff Street, police said. The suspect grabbed her from behind when she bent down to pick up something. The suspect wrestled her to the ground, trying to disrobe her, but the woman fought back and the attacker ran off.
The second attack, police said, occurred on March 14, around 11:30 p.m. Again, the attacker threw the woman down as she left an apartment complex at 14689 Nordoff Street. She screamed as he sat on top of her, which was enough to scare him away.
“We suspect this man lives in the neighborhood, perhaps in one of the several apartment complexes along Nordhoff Street,” Vernon said. “Women can protect themselves better by walking in pairs for now, and until we identify this man.”
Vernon went on to say that stranger attacks like this “are rare,” and there are things women should try and do in case of an attack.
“Do not ever allow yourself to be taken away,” he said. “Fighting back and drawing attention to your plight is usually the best defense, but it’s a personal choice. Rehearsing in your mind such an occurrence and your response will make you more apt to react quickly.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Nicole Kittle, Mission Sex Unit, at (818) 838-9975. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.