2 Austin sex assaults in less than a week


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE


Posted on February 1, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 11:41 PM

AUSTIN -- A homeless man standing on 4th Street near Lavaca early Monday morning thought he was getting help.

“He struck up a conversation, said he was sympathetic to his plight,” said Lt. Justin Newsom with APD.

But instead of a meal and warm bed, a man driving a newer-model, dark grey Toyota Sequoia took the homeless man to an empty apartment near Barton Skyway and sexually assaulted him at gunpoint.

The attacker ran off, and the victim was able to call police.

The attacker is described as a Hispanic man with short, dark hair, in his early 30s, around 5’6’’ and weighing around 190 pounds.

Police also say he has very distinctive thin, plucked eyebrows.

This attack is considered unusual, according to Austin police.

“We have no other cases that involve a suspect befriending a homeless person in this manner," said Newsom.

Richard Troxell with "House the Homeless"  said male victims are uncommon, but not unheard of.

“While strange, it does fit within a category that we have been seeing, and we are very concerned about it," Troxell said.

Then, early Friday morning on Blarwood Drive in South Austin there was another attack. This time a female victim.

“She had stopped her car to retrieve an item, and while pulled over, the suspect approached her vehicle and began a conversation with her,” said Newsom.

Police do not believe the two cases are related, but similar to Monday’s incident, the conversation also ended in a sexual assault.

“The victim was physically injured. Obviously she suffered extreme emotional trauma,” Newsom told KVUE.

The woman’s attacker is described as a dark-skinned male in his 20's, average height and build with black, closely cut hair.

If you recognize either of these attacker’s descriptions, or if you saw something, please call the Sex Crimes Unit at 974-5230 or call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

You can also text "Tip 103" + your message to CRIMES.

All calls and messages are kept anonymous.