(Updated Dec. 4 from original Nov. 30, 2006 text) -- LBPD is warning of two possibly-related ELB sexual assaults now under investigation...and 5th district Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske walked door to door in the areas of the two attacks on December 1...and has called a Community Meeting on December 4th at Marshall Middle School (6:30 p.m.) to discuss the situation.
LBPD says the first sexual assault occurred on November 13 at about 9 p.m. in the 6700 block of Belice Street [between Palo Verde Ave. and Studebaker Rd., south of Willow St.]
A second sexual assault took place on November 29 at about 8 p.m. in the area of Rosebay Street and Pageantry Street [between Bellflower Blvd. and Woodruff Ave, between Spring St. and Wardlow Rd.].
"In both incidents, the suspect approached the victims from behind, grabbed them with one hand while fondling them with the other hand. In each incident, the victims broke free and began yelling for help, causing the suspect to flee the area." LBPD says...and adds that thus far the suspect has only been described as a male subject.
5th district Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske walked door to door on Friday night Dec. 1 with LBPD members in an effort to alert eastside 5th district residents to the recent sexual assaults.
Councilwoman Schipske has also called a Community Meeting on Monday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Marshall Middle School (5870 E. Wardlow Rd.) regarding recent reported ELB sexual crimes.
"I am very concerned for the safety of our female residents," said Councilwoman Schipske in a release. "[The Nov. 29] reported sexual assault in a quiet neighborhood on the Eastside, the rape at Long Beach City College and sexual assaults at the Cal State Long Beach campus have upset many residents and students."
Councilwoman Schipske says that at the Dec. 4 Community Meeting, LBPD personnel will be present to brief meeting attendees and answer questions. Those scheduled to attend include LBPD East Division Commander Laura Farinella, Family Services Section Lieutenant Michele Miller, Sex Crimes Detail Sergeant Rob Gallagher and Sex Crimes Detective Pat Jennings. Linda Berger, Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Agency, will also discuss personal protection along with Counselors from the agency. LBCC reps will also attend.
LBPD says it's "strongly encouraging the public to practice the following safety tips":
- Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and the people around you
- Be aware of locations and situations which could make you vulnerable to crime, such as dark parking lots, walkways and restrooms
- Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend … there is safety in numbers
- Report suspicious activity immediately to 9-1-1
- Keep your keys in your hand when walking to your vehicle
- Walk close to curbs avoiding doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide
LBPD asks anyone with information regarding these incidents or the suspect’s identity contact LBPD's Sex Crimes Detail at (562) 570-7368. Anyone in need of an immediate police response should call 9-1-1.
For additional information regarding Monday night's Community Meeting, contact Councilwoman Schipske's office at (562) 570-6932.