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Edmonton police warning southwest residents after third assault

EDMONTON – Edmonton police are investigating an assault on a woman in Terwillegar Towne Tuesday evening.

It’s the third physical attack on a female in the southwest neighbourhood since November.

The most recent assault happened at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, in a lane way in the area of Tomlinson Crescent.

A 29-year-old woman was reportedly walking home from work when she was grabbed from behind by a man and thrown to the ground. After a brief struggle, the suspect fled the scene on foot. The woman sustained minor injuries to her face but was able to get home and alert her roommates about the incident, before flagging down a nearby police cruiser.

Police say the suspect was reportedly wearing dark clothes, black gloves and possibly a balaclava.

Edmonton police believe the incident is connected to two previous assaults on female victims in Terwillegar Towne.

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“We have reason to believe that it’s the same person based on clothing description and the type of attack,” said EPS Cst. Jerrid Maze.

The first incident happened in the area of Tanner Wynd. on Nov. 8, 2013, when police say a woman was approached by a suspect and pushed against a fence.

The second assault happened on Jan. 9, as a 16-year-old girl was allegedly jumped from behind and forced to the ground by a man while she was walking home from school. She suffered minor injuries but was able to run to a nearby home where police were contacted. The assault happened in an alley near a Mac’s convenience store, in the area of 17 Avenue and Towne Centre Blvd.

“‘Do you think there are going to be more victims?” Maze was asked during the news conference. “Yes,” he replied. “That’s why we’re asking for the public’s support.  We don’t want any more of this to happen.”

Anyone with information about these assaults is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

When asked what advice police were giving people who live in the area, Maze responded: “if they’re going to walk with friends, we recommend walking with friends. If you’re going to walk home alone, don’t use alleys. Alleys aren’t meant for people to walk down, they’re meant for vehicles and for people to put their garbage out.”

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“Stay in front of main, lit areas,” Maze added.  “So, walk home where there’s street lights because it still does get dark around five, six o’clock at night in Edmonton.”