Sexual assault cases under investigation on Waltham’s Riverwalk
Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault cases.
Two sexual assaults recently took place along the Waltham Riverwalk. The Riverwalk, located along the Charles River and stretching approximately two miles, is under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts State Police, but the Waltham Police Department “has and will continue to assist in these investigations,” according to a statement from NBC Boston. Additional patrols have been added to the area.
A teenager, whose age remains unknown, was assaulted on the night of September 14. After walking with friends near the entrance to the Riverwalk on Elm Street, when alone she was grabbed from behind by an unknown assailant, police say. The suspect pushed her against a tree and assaulted her, but left when he thought he heard someone approaching. The girl did not see her attacker, but heard what sounded like the suspect riding a bicycle away.
On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 20, a woman running along the Riverwalk bike path was assaulted by an unknown suspect, according to state police. The 37-year-old reported on the evening of October 20 that a man approached her from behind and touched her inappropriately twice. “He followed me along the promenade to the east, then assaulted me closer to Moody Street, so he could roll through traffic and not be seen,” the woman told CBS News. Boston. She ran away, but he approached on his bicycle and grabbed her from behind a second time. “He did it twice in 30 minutes, so if he didn’t do it to me again, he would have done it to someone else.”
The woman reported that the attacker was wearing an orange sweatshirt. He is described as white or Hispanic, of average height and build, and in his 20s or 30s. State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in an October 26 Boston Globe article that it is currently unclear whether or not the attacks on the two women were committed by the same person. .
The woman shared her experience on a neighborhood app after reporting the incident to Waltham Police, and her story resonated with other Waltham families. A woman who spoke with NewsCenter 5 reported that drunk men repeatedly harassed her as she strolled along the Riverwalk. “In general, [it is] a beautiful path. However, on several occasions over the past few months, I have felt uneasy,” she said. Another woman reported her teenage daughter was assaulted on the Charles River Greenway in mid-September.
Waltham City Councilman Jonathan Paz, according to WCVB 5, is urging the state to take more precautions to protect its citizens, such as better lighting on the Riverwalk. “Assaults like this are not the norm,” Paz said. “We know we don’t see this all the time, but it’s important to show that this area isn’t just abandoned.”
Brandeis students have also faced harassment along the Riverwalk in the past, but the University has not released a statement on the recent assaults.
Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police at 617-740-7544. Brandeis students can also call the Center for Rape Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center’s 24/7 Rape Counseling and Crisis Hotline at 781-736-3370; Brandeis 6TALK hotline at 781-736-8255 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, or the Brandeis Police Department at 781-736-3333. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 assistance through their helpline at 1-800-799-7233 and resources for prevention, crisis intervention and crisis planning. Security. REACH provides emergency shelter, education, prevention programs and a confidential 24/7 helpline https://reachma.org/get-support/direct-services/.