Detectives in Hackney are urgently seeking a man in connection with two separate attacks on women in the space of two days.
On Wednesday, 10 May, a 36-year-old woman had been out in Dalston.
At around midnight, she began her journey home and walked along Kingsland Road, Middleton Road and then Haggerston Road. She was wearing headphones.
As she walked along Scriven Street, E8 at around 00:20hrs she took out her phone to send a message but was grabbed from behind by a man who pushed her to the ground. Thinking she was being robbed, she thrust her phone in the direction of the man but he ignored this and continued to pin her down. A passing car disturbed the man and he fled on foot in the direction of Haggerston Road. The victim ran home and called police.
The second incident happened in the early hours of Friday, 12 May. A 35-year-old woman was walking home after a night out in Kingsland High Road. At around 00:30hrs she was walking in Hertford Road, N1 when she noticed a man on the opposite side of the road, walking 20metres behind her. She kept walking but the man ran at her and pulled her to the ground. The victim screamed and drew the attention of a passing taxi driver who came to her aid. The suspect fled on foot towards Downham Road.
The suspect in both incidents is described as a black man, between 5ft 6inches to 5ft 10inches tall and aged in his early 20s.
In the incident first attack in Scriven Street he was wearing a dark green Adidas hood top with dark trousers and trainers.
The investigation team has been scouring the area for CCTV and investigations remain ongoing.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley from Hackney CID is leading the investigation. He said: "I am linking these two attacks based on locality, victim profile and the suspect description given by both victims.
"In both instances, the suspect targeted two lone women late at night, waiting until there were no witnesses before striking. He only made off when interrupted by passing motorists. I am convinced the same attacker is responsible for both incidents.
"While neither woman was sexually assaulted, I am treating these attacks as sexually motivated. The assailant had ample opportunity to steal property from both women -however, no words were used or demands made.
"I would ask anyone who is out tonight and over the weekend in the Dalston area to remain vigilant and if you see anyone suspicious then contact police immediately.
"Please be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. If you where headphones you are putting yourself in a more vulnerable position.
"If there have been any other victims who have yet to contact police I would strongly encourage them to do so. Also, if you know the identity of the man responsible please contact police as we need to urgently track him down."
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is urged to contact Hackney CID via 101, or by tweeting @MetCC.
Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.