Updated: Extra police patrols after two incidents of women being grabbed in same area of Leeds

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Police are carrying out extra patrols after two incidents of women being grabbed by a man in the same area of Leeds on consecutive nights.

The first incident happened at about 7.45pm on Thursday as a 23-year-old woman was running along a track in a wooded area between Swinnow Lane and Wellstone Garth, Bramley, which is known locally as The Quarry.

And police said that a 30-year-old woman was grabbed by a man as she walked her dogs in Bramley Fall Woods, off Pollard Lane, at about 7.45pm yesterday. Her Akita dog, which was ahead of her on an extendable lead, returned to where she was and growled at the man and she left the woods to an open area nearby. In both incidents a man approached the woman from behind and grabbed them.

Police say they are keeping an open mind about whether the incidents are linked.

In the first incident the victim was approached from behind and grabbed by a man causing her to fall to the ground.

She struggled and kicked out and managed to break free and run off. She received cuts and grazes to her arms and legs in the incident.

She came across another man further along the track and told him what had happened. He helped her to get home and called the police.

The suspect was described as taller than 5ft 7ins and of muscular build. He was wearing a black top and was possibly white.

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was a very distressing incident for the victim and we urgently need to identify this man at the earliest opportunity. Nothing was said by him and so his motive is unclear but we are treating this incident very seriously and will continue to do everything we can to trace him.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area around the time of the incident and saw anyone acting suspiciously or who fits the description of the suspect.

“We recognise that an incident such as this will cause concern in the local community and officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are conducting extra patrols of the area. Our advice is that people take normal precautions around their personal safety when they go out.”

The victim in the second incident described the man who grabbed her as being mixed race, about 5ft 9ins tall, slim, with black hair. He was wearing a grey top, possibly a hoody, and grey tracksuit bottoms.

Det Insp Jackson said: “We cannot say for certain what the man’s motive was but clearly this is an incident which causes us concern and we are carrying out enquiries to trace the man involved.

“We are obviously conscious of the similarity to the incident at ‘the quarry’ in Swinnow Lane, Bramley, on Wednesday night where a woman out running was grabbed by a man. There is nothing at this stage to suggest a clear link between the two and we are keeping an open mind.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was in the vicinity of Bramley Fall Woods at the time of yesterday’s incident or who saw a man fitting the description in the area.

“It is possible there could be an explanation for the man’s actions and if there is and you are that person, we would ask you to come forward as soon as possible.

“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure people and deter any further offences and we would ask that people take sensible precautions around their personal safety, particularly when out in secluded areas.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting log number 1560 of June 24 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sinead Wooding

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