Residents near 24th Street and Fair Oaks, where a violent sexual assault took place last week, have asked city and law enforcement officials to meet with the community on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. James Church to discuss the investigation.
“There’s a strong sense of compassion on the block for the victim. We all feel bad about it,” said Andrew Segal, Fair Oaks resident and member of the Fair Oaks Neighborhood Coalition.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. last Thursday, a suspect described as a black man in his mid-30s, 5’9″ to 6′ tall, with a medium build, attacked a woman from behind and sexually assaulted her on Fair Oaks. He was seen wearing a black hoodie and dark pants. Police believe that the suspect may be connected to another violent attack and rape that occurred on Nov. 18 at 24th and Potrero.
The neighborhood association, which includes some 250 residents, wants to learn from officials how they can help the victims and assist with the investigation.
Segal said that the goal of Wednesday’s meeting is threefold: to get an update on how the victims are doing, to set up a fund to help them financially, and to find out how the investigation is going.
Residents are also hoping that someone from the District Attorney’s office can attend to explain how the suspect would be prosecuted once he is apprehended, and how neighbors can help.
“We also want to talk about the neighborhood and what we can do going forward to keep ourselves safe,” Segal said.
Standing a few blocks away from where the first sexual assault took place, Ruth Trejo told Mission Loc@l that the news frightened her and she’s definitely more alert now.
“I look out to see who’s out, to see if someone is following me,” she said.
“My daughter is 18 and my mom lives on 24th Street, and sometimes my daughter would come here and stay the night and that’s not happening anymore,” Trejo said.
Nearby at La Victoria bakery, pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez said that some of the women who open at 6 or 7 a.m. have asked not to open anymore. But, he said, because bakers usually come in at midnight, there’s almost always someone there.
Police have released a sketch and surveillance video of the suspect and are asking anyone with information to come forward.