A man wearing “Harry Potter” glasses has attacked two women jogging alone in Melbourne’s east and police are investigating his links to four other attacks.
In the first attack, the man snuck up behind a 22-year-old jogger in April but she managed to fight him off and break free.
“I just screamed,” said Kristie, of Ferntree Gully. “He had these round glasses on, kind of like Harry Potter.”
Digital image of a man police wish to speak over a series of attacks on joggers. Photo: Courtesy Victoria Police
She sprinted along Scoresby Road and got a passer-by to call police.
“I think I just had so much adrenaline that I just screamed and just ran.”
A month later, a 41-year-old woman, from Scoresby, was jogging alone in the early morning near Ferntree Gully Road and Rushdale Street in Knoxfield when a man leapt out in front of her, grabbed her, and dragged her to the ground. She managed to push him away just as a passer-by came to help.
“I was really lucky, lucky it didn’t go further,” said the woman, who wanted to be identified as “Nicole” when she recalled the attack on Friday.
She said the man made “noises” and flicked his tongue out at her.
“It was really frightening,” she said.
“I like to think I’m quite aware when I’m running. I obviously know as a female running on my own, you’re vulnerable. But it was just really scary not knowing what the intentions with this guy were."
Police say the two attacks – on April 14 and May 24 – are believed to have been committed by the same man.
Detectives are investigating whether he is also behind four other attacks on the other side of the city, in Newport and Yarraville, between April 29 and May 14.
In all cases, women who were jogging alone in the early morning were attacked. Officers are have increased patrols in the Newport and Yarraville areas, and are urging women to be cautious when jogging alone, especially while wearing earphones.
Detective Sergeant Brad Sprague said police fear the man is becoming more brazen.
“We are concerned and that’s why we’re trying to identify who this man is,” he said.
“Given the winter months, we ask that those jogging in the area be aware of their environment and consider who they jog with, maybe have some company with them if it’s going to be dark.”
The man is described as being in his late 20s with a medium build and an olive complexion. He wore a hood in the western suburbs attacks.
Police have released a digital image of the man wearing the distinctive round glasses.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.