Police commander says investigation is underway for two sexual assaults on Bainbridge

Bainbridge Island police remain tight-lipped about an investigation into two sexual assaults against women walking near Madison Avenue that occurred Sunday afternoon.

Bainbridge Island Police Commander Sue Shultz declined to give details on the two attacks, but did say that detectives were making progress.

"Right now we are working on identifying the suspect," Shultz said. "We are making good progress and I'm confident that we are going to come to end with this investigation."

The two assaults happened about 10 minutes apart, and descriptions of the attacker from witnesses in both cases were also close.

"The individual described in both incidents is very similar," Shultz added.

The assailant was described as a man in his mid-twenties, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8 tall, with short black hair and a medium build.

Both assaults occurred in the Winslow area along Madison Avenue.

The first attack involved a 19-year-old woman who told police that an unknown man assaulted her near Madison Avenue and Ihland Way.

The woman told police the assault happened at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22 while she was walking home from Safeway.

The woman was walking alone, and told police that a man approached and said something to her but she didn't understand what he had said.

She kept walking, then left the sidewalk and started along a dirt trail when the man pushed her from behind. A struggle ensued, and the man pushed the woman to the ground and held her by her neck.

The assailant then tried to remove the woman's pants, but she fought back, hitting the man and biting his fingers. He then ran off.

Police responded to a second report of an assault that occurred at approximately 4:40 p.m. near Madison Avenue and Bjune Drive. A 53-year-old woman told police that a man approached her from behind and grabbed her crotch and buttocks, and then ran away.

The assault was witnessed by another person nearby.

Authorities said anyone who may have seen something or someone related to the attacks should contact the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 206-842-5211.

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