NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton is generally known to be a safe place, but Sunday night, two women reported being attacked in two different downtown locations.
Northampton Police Captain Jody Kasper told 22News the first call came from a woman on King Street, at about 10:45 p.m. That woman, a 24 year-old from Amherst, told police she was getting into her car with a friend, right outside of the old Hampshire County Courthouse, when a man came up to her from behind, held a knife to her throat, and demanded money.
She gave up her wallet, and her attacker ran away. Twenty minutes later, about a block away, he struck again. This time on Main Street, where a woman told police she was grabbed from behind. Both victims gave similar descriptions of the man, who police believe was caught on camera by a nearby business.
Angelica Torres, a resident of Springfield told 22News she always feel safe in Northampton. “I don’t think that’s something that would happen here often. Someone might have been pressured to that point to do something like that. I still feel very safe here, I wouldn’t change how I view Northampton after that at all,” she said.
Both women are ok, but police are still searching for their attacker. A concern for some women like Springfield resident Brandy Torres, who at times, walks around alone at night. “At night I’d definitely be watching out, more vigilante,” she said.
UMass Amherst student Elisha Orama said she plans on paying more attention to her surroundings. “I guess I’ll have to be more vigilant about what time, and if I’m by myself, kind of regular safety concerns I guess,” she said.
Both women described the suspect as a 30 to 40 year-old, heavy set, white man, who is about 5’10, has blue eyes, and either short hair or a shaved head. If you have any information on the suspect’s identity, you’re asked to call the Northampton Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-587-1100.