NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio (FOX19) - Two girls have been assaulted in North College Hill in less than a month, according to the North College Hill Police Department.
The assaults occurred along the same stretch of the 1500 block of Galbraith Road, police reports show, leading police to suspect the same man could be responsible for both of them.
In both cases, according to police, high school girls were walking west on Galbraith Road heading to North College Hill High School when the assaults occurred.
MarQuis Ferguson says he witnessed the most recent assault, which took place Wednesday, Nov. 13 just before 8 a.m.
Ferguson was in his car when he saw a man in his thirties grab a teenage girl walking down the street and try to pull her behind a house.
“She was like fighting him off,” Ferguson told FOX19 NOW. “She was basically trying to snatch away from him.”
Ferguson immediately made a u-turn in his car.
“Once I pulled around,” he said, “the man noticed me and took off running between the houses.”
Ferguson then drove the girl to school, at which point he saw a North College Hill police officer and reported the assault.
He described the man to police as a man wearing a black Carhart jacket and black or blue jeans with a black winter cap.
Police say the first assault, which occurred on Halloween, happened similarly to the second, though in the second assault police say the suspect grabbed the girl’s rear end, where in the first he also grabbed the girl’s breasts.
“That’s a big deal,” Ferguson said, “and if someone don’t think that’s a big deal then something is wrong with them.”
Because the assaults happened in the same area, police say, the man could very well live in the neighborhood.
In response to the assaults, the North College Hill School District sent a letter to parents warning them to have their kids walk in groups, not take shortcuts in areas with little foot traffic and be on the lookout for suspicious-looking people.
Police also say they have beefed up their presence in the area.