Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham sex assaults: Attacker 'fled' after public intervened

Green Lane, Moorgate
Image caption The two sexual assaults took place less than two hours apart, police said

A man has been arrested on suspicion of rape over an alleged sex attack that was halted by members of the public.

A 27-year-old woman was attacked on Green Lane at about 23:30 BST on Friday. Police said her attacker fled after she was "dragged" onto Moorgate Road and passers-by stepped in.

Two hours later, a second female was sexually assaulted during a break-in at a house a few streets away.

The 26-year-old man is being questioned in connection with both assaults.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said the 27-year-old was attacked as she walked along Green Lane, and then "dragged" onto Moorgate Road where passers-by stepped in and her attacker "fled on foot".

She said the second attack had happened at about 01:00 on Saturday, when a man broke into a house and attacked two female occupants, subjecting the younger occupant to a serious sexual assault.

Ch Supt Jason Harwin said the force had "50 officers deployed at the moment to identify the people responsible, give support to the victims, give reassurance to the local community and make sure no further offences occur".

"At the moment, looking at the times [the attacks] occurred [and] their rarity, clearly we've got to consider they could be linked but we've also got to keep an open mind with it," he said.

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