Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester police are advising citizens to exercise additional vigilance in light of two assaults reported this week.

In both cases, the female victims were struck on the head and grabbed by their necks in attacks that occurred along the busy streets in different parts of the city. Police spokesman Captain John Sherwin says it’s not known if the two cases are related, but the similarities are very concerning.

The first incident occurred Wednesday night around 9:45 p.m. and involved a 17-year-old girl out for a walk in her neighborhood. Captain Sherwin says she was on the North Frontage Road along 37th Street Northwest just east of the busy 18th Avenue intersection when her attacker hit her from behind on the head, grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground before he fled after attempting to pull her into some bushes.

The second assault was reported early today by a 25-year-old woman who went outside her home in the 100 block of 7th Street Northwest around 2:40 a.m because she wasn’t feeling well and wanted some fresh air. Captain Sherwin says she reported being punched on the head and then grabbed around her neck by a white male, possibly in his 30s. The woman managed to fight off her assailant and then ran several blocks away from her home before she felt safe enough to call 911 on her cell phone.

Anyone with information about either assault is asked to contact the Rochester Police Department.

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