Fayetteville, N.C. — Police said Tuesday that two women reported being raped over the weekend, but investigators said the assaults don't appear to be related.
The first attack occurred shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday as a 58-year-old woman was crossing the parking lot of the Department of Social Services office on Ramsey Street, police said. A man approached her, asked for a cigarette and offered her a ride in his car.
When the woman got in the car, the man pulled out a knife. She told police she tried to fight him off and run away, but he chased her down and sexually assaulted her.
After the assault, the man got into his car, a newer model, four-door sedan that was burgundy or dark blue, and drove off, police said.
The man was described as black, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds. He had short hair, long but neatly trimmed sideburns and a goatee and was wearing a white tank top, light-colored jeans and a black bandanna.
The second assault occurred at about 3 p.m. Sunday near Bragg Boulevard in the Haymount section of Fayetteville. A 37-year-old woman was stopped in her car when a man brandishing a knife walked up to the vehicle, threatened her and climbed in the back seat, police said.
The man forced her to drive to a nearby park, where he took her into the woods and sexually assaulted her, police said. After the assault, he ran away.
There is a large, wooded park nearby – Mazarick Park – but police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said it's unclear whether that's the place the assault occurred.
"The victim didn't know the name of the park when she gave the description to the police officers," MacRoberts said. "She was able to give detectives a description of where the suspect took her towards, and that’s something we’re following up on, determining where the crime took place."
The man was described as black, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall and 170 to 180 pounds. He had shoulder-length dreadlocks and was wearing a green long-sleeve shirt and dark-colored pants.
Investigators said the two attacks don't appear to be connected to a high-profile and unsolved string of rapes in recent years.
"I know there was a serial rapist we were investigating several years ago. Based on the initial report and the (method) of the attacker, it doesn't appear to be related," MacRoberts said.
Anyone with information about either assault is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1352 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).