Police investigate bus stop sexual assaults


by khou.com staff


Posted on February 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 17 at 12:47 AM

HOUSTON—Metro police say that its bus stops and park and rides are safe, despite the fact that there have been at least three sexual assaults at bus stops in recent weeks.

The latest attack was at 5 a.m. Tuesday.  A woman waiting on her bus at a Metro stop in the 7500 block of Bellfort was attacked at knife point, taken to a wooded area about 100 feet away and sexually assaulted.

Metro police officials insist that this is not normal.

“These are very unusual cases for Metro,” said Assistant Chief Craig Goralski.

The three victims range in age from 30 to 50, and investigators said they are looking for more than one suspect.

“No connections between them. The suspect descriptions and the mode of operation for those suspects are completely different. [The] weapon of choice [is] completely different,” Goralski said.

In one case a gun was used, in another one a fist was used, and in the latest, a knife was the weapon used to force the victim away from the bus stop.

The incidents are spread out around the city, the first happened in the 15000 block of Post Oak on New Year’s Day, last week it happened in the 9600 block of Beechnut, and on Tuesday morning on Bellfort.

That is where Lavina Atkins and Nia Gray wait for the bus every single day.

“I be scared at night, but I be with her most of the time,” Atkins said.

Nia Gray said she is prepared.

“I have mace in my purse,” she said.

Metro police said they have beefed up patrols in the area of all three attacks.  They have also asked the city for help clearing out the wooded areas to help make them less of a hot spot for crime.

The investigations into all three of the cases are ongoing.