Police release additional photos of man suspected for attempting sexual assault

Photo courtesy Portland Police Bureau

Portland Police continue to investigate attempted sexual assaults that occurred on October 18th and 27th in downtown Portland.

Police say they're looking for a man who followed at least two women into elevators in downtown Portland buildings recently and threatened to sexually assault them.

The first incident was reported around 10:40 a.m. on Oct. 18 in the 500 block of SW 5th Avenue. A woman reported being followed into an elevator by a man who then threatened to sexually assault her. She forced him out and called police.

A similar incident occurred around 8:50 p.m. in the Smart Park on 10th Avenue and SW Morrison Street. A woman reported she was followed into an elevator by a stranger, who threatened to harm her if she didn't comply with his demands. When another person saw what was happening, the suspect stopped and let her go.

Donja Finlayson, a manager at Dosha Salon Spa, works right by where the first incident happened. She says safety is always on her mind.

"I get concerned sometimes walking around downtown by myself or leaving work at a late hour. You're honestly confronted by people all day long," said Finlayson.

In both incidents, the suspect was described as a white man standing about 6'2", weighing 250 pounds with a muscular build. He was clean-shaven and had a "prominent chiseled jawline."

Personal safety expert and founder of Empowered Focused Self Defense, Michele Maupin, says predators look for two conditions:

1. An easy target

2. Can they get away with it?

In enclosed spaces like elevators, there's only so much you can do, but Maupin suggests to make it clear to the predator the he/she needs to back up. If the predator continues to get closer, aim for the face. She says whatever you do, don't give up the fight.

"It's never ever somebody's fault that this happened to them, so I don't want them to go, 'Oh, shoulda, coulda, woulda, because that doesn't help," said Maupin.

Anyone with information about the suspect in the photographs should contact Detective Matt Estes at 503-823-0462 or Matthew.Estes@portlandoregon.gov or Sergeant Nathan Sheppard at 503-823-3886 or Nathan.Sheppard@portlandoregon.gov.

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