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Police searching for man who hid in Macy’s bathroom, then sexually assaulted 55-year-old woman

THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – According to Philadelphia Police officials, a 55-year-old woman was sexually assaulted inside of a restroom in a Macy’s store by an at-large male suspect. 

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in helping identify the suspect involved in the attack. 

The incident reportedly occurred between 11:30 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. at the Macy’s location situated along the 1300 block of Market Street on February 21st. 

Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Burgmann stated that the victim had decided to use the restroom while shopping, which her attacker was reportedly waiting inside of the women’s restroom: 

“A 55-year-old female who was shopping at the store with her husband, she decided to use the bathroom on the third floor. She went inside the bathroom and went into the stall, the offender jumped over the stall.”

“He dragged her out of one stall into another stall where he then raped her.”

Captain Burgmann stated that the suspect was waiting inside of the restroom for as long as 20 minutes before the victim had entered and was assaulted: 

“It’s pretty brazen to go inside of the bathroom for 20 minutes and wait there, thinking someone else is going to come in.”

Captain Burgmann further noted that the suspect had used numerous skewers as a makeshift-edged weapon to threaten the victim during the attack: 

“About 12 inches long, sharp sticks being used for cooking, for shish kabobs. He had several of them in his hand and he threatened her with those.”

From what police officials say, the suspect then exited the store after the attack and headed over to a nearby train station and exited the train at 52nd and Market Street. 

Investigators have been trying to trace the suspect’s movements thereafter, but have been coming up dry. 

Image of Macy's sexual assault suspect from Feb 21st - Philadelphia Police
Image of Macy’s sexual assault suspect from Feb 21st – Philadelphia Police

Hence, police are now asking the public to help identify the suspect involved in the February 21st sexual assault. The suspect has been described as a black male, possibly in his 20s, with a thin build and totes a, “unique” walk. 

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In other cases stemming from Philadelphia, police are searching for three suspects involved in a violent carjacking that occurred in late January where the victim was an elderly woman undergoing cancer treatments. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – In an update to a previous story we reported on here at Law Enforcement Today, a 78-year-old woman who was the victim of a carjacking in late January in Philadelphia has recently recounted the harrowing ordeal.

In those moments during the attack, the victim says she thought she “was going to die” by the hands of her three attackers.

On the afternoon of January 27th, Angelina Bellissima had parked her car along the 2700 block of South Smedley St near Oregon Ave where her and her daughter began to unload some groceries.

Little did Bellissima know, at the time, was that she was about to become the victim of an assault and carjacking.

Looking back on the traumatic experience, Bellissima stated the following:

“I just feel them come back, like hit me from the back and I feel this pepper spray in my face… They threw me to the ground, punched me in the face. They grabbed the keys out of my hand and I heard them saying, ‘Open the doors, open the doors.”

The three female suspects that were caught on video attacking the victim are still at-large and have yet to have been identified by police.

Investigators are hoping that the circulation of the video in which the attack transpired will help in tracking down the suspects involved in this attack and carjacking.

Bellissima, who had recently undergone cancer treatments prior to the attack on January 27th, had not only been attacked and had her car stolen by the suspects – she’d also suffered a stress-induced heart attack following the incident.

Since the assault, Bellissima has managed to regain her eyesight in her left eye that was affected via the physical trauma from the attack – but now she lives in fear due to her attackers still being at-large:

“I’m scared to death to go out because they’re not caught yet. I really am. Usually, I’m pretty strong. Let me tell you, I’m fighting cancer, but this time I’m scared because I know they’re still out there.”

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In late January, we at Law Enforcement Today had initially reported on the incident where Bellissima was attacked and carjacked by a group of three suspects. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the city of Philadelphia experiencing an unsettling uptick in carjackings since the onset of 2021, one of the latest victims is a 78-year-old woman who has recently underwent cancer treatments and surgeries.

The disturbing attack was allegedly enacted by three female suspects, which said attack happened to be captured on surveillance footage.

Angela Palumbo was with her mother, 78-year-old Angelina Bellissima, while unloading some groceries on January 27th. While the two were unloading these groceries, video surveillance footage shows three women walking by the vehicle with which the two were getting the groceries out.

Shortly after unloading the groceries, Bellissima had decided to park the car around the corner from their home which is located on Bancroft Street in Oregon Ave.

Upon parking the vehicle, the elderly woman was attacked by what appears to be the same three women who was captured on frame while the elderly mother and daughter were unloading groceries.

The elderly woman was maced, fell to the ground, punched, and had the keys to her vehicle taken with the suspects making off with her car. This entire attack was all done in broad daylight.

Palumbo recounted the moment she heard her mother screaming for help:

“I hear a scream, ‘Help me, help me!”

“When I saw my mom in a ball crying with her face full of pepper spray, I just lost it. For somebody to come along and just hurt her like that, there’s no pain, there’s no pain like that.”

After having reviewed the security footage, Palumbo thinks that the three women that initially walked by as they were unloading groceries may have likely been thinking of launching the attack right then and there – until they’d seen Paulmbo was with her elderly mother helping unload:

“I think they might have seen an opportunity, but then I came out so that opportunity went away with that.”

Apparently the three suspects, who are still at-large, had allegedly asked the elderly victim for a ride- to which Bellissima had refused. It was after said refusal that the three suspects launched their attack against the elderly woman and stole her vehicle.

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With the brazen nature of the attack, and the fact that Palumbo’s mother had been undergoing cancer treatment, she says that the three suspects need to be caught:

“They need to pay for what they did to her because she doesn’t deserve this. She just got done cancer radiation, five surgeries and now this.”

Bellissima was reportedly so shaken after the attack and robbery, she reportedly suffered a heart attack. The latest updates with regard to the victim’s condition was that she was being treated at a local hospital and recovering.

The entire city of Philadelphia is feeling the effects of this increase in carjackings in 2021. To put matters into perspective, since the onset of the new year there have been 68 victims in carjacking cases in Philadelphia.

Looking back at 2020, there were 410 incidents the entire year – averaging out to about 34 incidents per month in 2020. Basically, there has been approximately a 200% increase in carjackings based upon 2020’s average monthly incidents.

Captain James Kearney of South Detectives said officials haven’t quite figured out what is propelling this particular increase in carjackings:

“We have seen an uptick, which is odd to see so many carjackings occurring. It turns your stomach.”

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Philadelphia Police’s South Detectives division to submit their tips. 

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