Baltimore mayor, police visit neighborhood after three attacks against women

The Baltimore Sun
Mayor, police chief urge residents for info in "geographically connected" attacks on women.

After three women were attacked in Northwest Baltimore in recent weeks, the mayor and police handed out flyers and pleaded with residents in the Arlington neighborhood Tuesday to come forward with information that could help solve the crimes.

The most recent incident happened 2:30 a.m. Saturday when a 71-year-old woman was sexually assaulted during a break-in and had her money, jewelry and car stolen in Arlington.

She was the third female victim in the area. A 90-year-old in Central Park Heights was assaulted and robbed and a 41-year-old Cylburn woman was shot. Both were killed.

All three lived within a two-mile radius of each other, events that Police Chief Kevin Davis described as "geographically connected."

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stood on Beaufort Avenue along with a group of police officers and asked the public to call in tips to help find the suspect in Saturday's attack.

"In the past month, we have had three very significant incidents with women in this community," Rawlings-Blake said. "The thought that in particular our seniors, our elderly, are being preyed upon is unconscionable."

Mary Helen Dickson-Hines, 90, died last week after spending about three weeks in the hospital following a home invasion that left her beaten, sexually assaulted and robbed, Davis said.

"She was beaten, she languished in a hospital before she died," Davis said. "About three weeks later, we have since been notified by our medical examiner last week that Mary Hines was also sexually assaulted during that home invasion burglary."

Latrina Ashburne, 41, was fatally shot outside her home Friday. She was a teacher's aide at a local elementary school.

Ontarion Woodley, an Arlington resident, said she was not surprised by the incident involving the 71-year-old woman. Woodley's house was broken into during the winter and she said she now puts wooden blocks in the windows at night to prevent them from being opened.

Another resident, Zanett Stevenson, said she has dragged heavy, metal chairs to block the doors every night for the past 2 1/2 years.

"You already have to worry about walking on your street, but you got to worry about living in your house now too? Come on now," Stevenson said. "People coming and invading your privacy, and taking your sanity and your security from you, that's the worst thing ever."

The brother of the 71-year-old victim who lives near the neighborhood said he wants the entire thing to be over with and for the suspect to be caught and serve time.

"Too much goes on in this neighborhood," he said. "It's been going on too long. It's got to stop."

He found out about his sister being robbed and assaulted by a phone call around 4 a.m. Saturday morning. He had a bad feeling before answering the phone due to the time of the call, he said.

"I just went out, hollering, screaming, it definitely brought tears to my eyes," the brother said. "I'm not a guy that cries a lot. That night brought plenty of tears to my eyes."

He described his sister as someone he has always looked up to and a woman that helped him buy a suit for his graduation. The victim lives with her 4-year-old granddaughter.

Forensic evidence was recovered from Saturday's incident, but police would not provide specifics. However, Davis said he was encouraged by the evidence gathered so far. Police asked for information to be called in to 1-866-LOCKUP.

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