A man wanted in two sexual assaults on women in Kensington may have attacked a third victim early Monday, police said. The assailant's description matches that of the man who police said targeted the women in October.
Police are also investigating whether the man can be connected to three recent stranglings in the neighborhood.
Monday's attack took place at Kensington and Sergeant Avenues, where another woman was raped and choked to the point of unconsciousness on Oct. 31, police said.
A woman who had been walking on the 2600 block of Kensington told police that a man approached her around 2 a.m. Monday, and they walked together a short distance. The man then grabbed her by her hair and dragged her into an alley, where he choked and punched her, and hit her in the head with a brick.
He also tried to stab her with scissors, police said, but she was able to grab them from him and he ran away.
In addition to the Oct. 31 attack, a woman has told police she was sexually assaulted and choked during the first week of October behind an abandoned building on Cumberland Street. Those two victims said they were choked until they passed out.
Police have not determined whether there is a link between those attacks and the stranglings of three women in the last month.
Elaine Goldberg, 21, was found Nov. 3 in a lot on Ruth Street. Nicole Piacentini, 35, was found Nov. 13 behind an abandoned building on Cumberland Street, the location of the early October attack. Both Goldberg and Piacentini had sexual contact with their assailant, but police have not determined whether it was consensual.
Last month, investigators said DNA evidence showed that Goldberg and Piacentini were killed by the same person.
Police are also investigating a possible link between those strangulations and the death of Allison Edwards, 22, who was strangled in a Juniata Park apartment and found Dec. 3.
The surviving victims have described their assailant as a slender, light-skinned black or Latino man in his 20s who stands between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10. A composite sketch released by police last month shows a man with a mark on his cheek and a goatee. The composite sketch released by police following Monday's attack depicted the same man, except without a goatee and with sideburns.
The man involved in Monday's attack was wearing a dark puffy coat with a dark sweatshirt and faded black jeans. He was listening to a white iPod and told the woman his name was Anthony, police said.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251, or to dial 911.