MPD investigating pair of Greenbush neighborhood sexual assaults that happened within minutes of each other

MADISON, Wis. — Madison police are investigating a pair of sexual assaults in the Greenbush neighborhood after two women reported being attacked within minutes of each other Tuesday evening.

“It’s a district priority right now,” said Madison Police Capt. Jason Freedman. “We had two very disturbing incidents in a very short period of time, two very courageous victims who were assaulted.”

Both women were able to fend off their respective attackers and get help in the area.

“They kept themselves safe,” said Freedman. “They yelled, they pushed back, and then they went to a safe location.”

Madison Police Department spokesperson Stephanie Fryer said in an incident report that the department is investigating both attacks independently, but there’s “a possibility these attacks were committed by the same suspect.”

Both victims reportedly described their attacker as a Hispanic male in his early twenties wearing dark clothing.

According to MPD’s report, the first attack happened near the intersection of South Park and Erin streets around 7 p.m. The victim said she was approached from behind and, while she was initially able to get away from the attacker, he eventually approached her again near St. Mary’s Hospital.

The woman then took shelter at the hospital until police arrived.

The second attack, which police said happened just minutes later, reportedly occurred near the intersection of Emerald and Orchard streets. The victim in that incident was able to leave the area with help from a “concerned citizen,” according to the report.

Police say those concerned about their safety in the wake of the attacks can take precautions to protect themselves.

“Keeping your earbuds out, not watching your cell phone as you walk, keeping aware of your surroundings,” said Freedman. “Listen to your gut. If something is happening that makes you feel uncomfortable, we want you to pay attention to that. Maybe it’s a call to 911, maybe you go into the nearest coffee shop.”

Fryer said in the report that MPD investigators have contacted the UW-Madison Police Department, which plans to provide extra resources in the area. They’re asking that anyone with information contact them.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, there are resources available. The Rape Crisis Center in Madison has a 24-hour hotline at 608-251-7273 for English speakers and 608-258-2567 for Spanish speakers. The National Sexual Assault Hotline can also be reached 24/7 at 800-656-4673.