2 women sexually assaulted in an hour Police are uncertain whether the attacks were by one gunman

April 13, 1997|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

Two Glen Burnie women in apartments three miles apart were sexually attacked last week by a man who threatened them with a silver handgun, they told police.

One woman was raped and nearly an hour later another was sexually assaulted Thursday. They gave police similar descriptions of the attacker and of the gun.

Notices distributed by management of Gatewater Landing Apartments near Marley Creek, where one of the victims lives, warned residents about both attacks.

Anne Arundel County police spokesmen contacted Friday were at first unaware that two women had reported similar attacks. After finding both reports, police said they did not know whether the cases involved the same suspect.

"We're not prepared to say this is the same person because it is too early in the investigation," Officer Vaughn Dykes said. "We are investigating each of the [attacks] individually."

Officers from the department's sex crimes unit were expected to interview late Friday the 58-year-old woman who was attacked about 1 p.m. Thursday at Gatewater Landing, Dykes said.

The Gatewater woman was in her apartment when a man apparently entered through a sliding patio door she had left open after taking in her grocery bags, police said. The woman was in a bedroom closet when she saw a man enter the bedroom, police said.

The man held a handgun on the woman and told her, "Open your mouth and I'll kill you," a police report said.

Police said the man pushed the woman onto a pile of clothes in the closet, raped her and fled. She was treated and released at North Arundel Hospital.

Tenants alerted

Melanie G. French, assistant area director of United Dominion Realty Trust Inc. in Columbia, which manages Gatewater, sent the notification letter to residents, including suggested safety precautions. Residents found the letters when they arrived home Thursday.

"It's one of those sad things, but if it happens in one of our apartment complexes, needless to say, it's too close to home," French said. "I put out the letters to notify residents and to let them know they could call us."

By Friday afternoon, a handful of Gatewater residents had called the complex office to talk about the attack.

French said about eight to 10 off-duty police officers who moonlight as security personnel at Gatewater have been patrolling the community for about 1 1/2 years on weeknights.

When the patrols began, the complex did not have a crime problem, but management wanted to avert problems and monitor loitering youths, she said.

French also sent letters about the sexual attacks to residents at United's Twin Coves and Woodside apartment complexes in Glen Burnie.

"I just feel like if there were two attacks and the police hadn't caught anybody, we should notify the other complexes because apartment complexes are not isolated communities," French said.

"Unfortunately, this incident hit us at Gatewater, but our understanding from the police department is that the man followed this woman from the grocery store," she said.

Second attack

Nearly an hour after the first attack, a man sexually assaulted a cleaning woman at the Americana Southdale Apartments in Glen Burnie, three miles from Gatewater, police said.

The woman had entered the laundry room at the Americana complex about 2 p.m. when a man put a silver handgun to her head and told her he wanted her to perform a sex act, police said.

Police said when the woman refused to comply, the man forced her to fondle him, then fled. The woman called police.

Both women said they were attacked by a black man with a mustache, 6 feet 2 inches tall and wearing in a black leather jacket and blue knit hat. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-222-8050.

Pub Date: 4/13/97

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