A woman was beaten and raped in the early hours of Saturday morning while walking through the famous Love Park in Philadelphia in what is termed an “alarming” attack.
Police said at a news conference that the attack took place at around 5:20 a.m. on the west side of the park near John F Kennedy Street.
Captain Mark Burgmann said the 41-year-old victim was heading to work and had cut a short cut through the park when the suspect approached her from behind.
“The culprit came behind her, punched her several times, and threw her to the ground,” he said. Then the perpetrator moved on to sexual assault and rape of our victim.
Several people heard the screaming of the woman from the garden and called 911. Burgmann said that the first officers to reach the park spotted the suspect and began chasing him.
The man ran down 15th Street to a set of escalators leading to the SEPTA Underground Foyer. Burgmann said he tried to hide from the police on the edge.
“When the police struggled with that man in an attempt to arrest him, he fell about 25 feet into the hall below,” Burgmann said.
The man managed to escape arrest, but appeared to be injured. Video surveillance from the hallway shows the man tripping and falling while trying to escape.
Burgmann said he could be infected. Police searched area hospitals, but did not find a man who matched his description.
Burgmann said the woman was not seriously injured.
Love Park, also known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, is located diagonally to Philadelphia City Hall and is home to Indiana’s most famous Love Robert Statue. The garden is brightly lit and not under dense cover of trees. It was redecorated last year after an overhaul that removed cavities and other orchards that reduced sightlines.
The suspect is described as a middle-aged man of around 30 years old and around 6 feet tall. He had pleating and he wore a red, white and blue jacket with fur trim around the hood.
Philadelphia Police Fraternal System No. 5 offers a $ 5,000 bounty for arresting the attacker.
“We need to get this brazen threat off the streets right away,” said John McKnesby, president of the FOP. “This attack in the heart of the city center is disturbing and disturbing.