NOTE: This article was published Oct. 19, 2017. There are no current threats in the area. 

Earlier this week, I shared the story of a young Cedar Rapids woman who had a terrifying encounter with two men in the westside Cedar Rapids Walmart Sunday night. One of them had grabbed her hand before she escaped the situation. Now, we've been made aware of two others... outside, in broad daylight.

Each of these has happened in the last 48 hours. The first one happened in downtown Cedar Rapids Thursday (10/19) afternoon. Marjorie K. had gotten off work early and after lunch with a friend returned some items to the public library. Here's the rest of her terrifying story:

" As I was outside getting ready to leave, a man who was very well dressed approached me and had his phone out, and he said he couldn’t seem to connect to the internet on his phone and asked me if I knew if he needed to put in a password. He then held his phone out and it was pulled up to the screen where you could choose a wireless network. He then asked me if he needed to enter in some type of password. I then said, “I have no idea.” At that point I really wasn’t looking for conversation or trying to help him and all of the sudden out of nowhere, he reached out his hand grabbing at me and then began forcing himself on me, and speaking very vulgar. My first instinct was to scream, however I was literally so scared, no words would come out!
I finally managed to get away from him and go back towards the library. In looking back to make sure he wasn’t following me, I noticed he took off in the opposite direction very quickly down the sidewalk. It took me a moment to get it together, and then I felt empowered to follow him and track him down as well to contact the police, however it was too late as by this time, he was running down the street and I couldn’t tell where he turned as there were cars obstructing my view. I went around downtown for awhile in an attempt to find him and didn’t have any luck. In contacting the police, they were sending an officer downtown, as I was able to get a very good description!
For the most part, I am rather vigilant about being aware of my surroundings, or so I thought, as obviously he caught me off guard! Be safe out there ladies! It doesn’t have to be night time for things like this to happen!

Marjorie describes the above individual as over six feet tall. "He was dressed very well in dress khakis and a dark blue button down shirt that had a small plaid print and nice dress shoes. He had a very heavy accent. While he was asking about his phone, he indicated he was from Kenya."

The other situation happened about 24 hours earlier. Early in the afternoon Wednesday (10/18), Megan S. of Cedar Rapids was enjoying lunch with another woman at Pancheros at 4701 1st Ave. SE. Here's what she saw:

A man in his 50's following women out of Pancheros to their cars. One woman that he followed did not see him, and I was ready to run out if she needed help. We stayed in the store and just watched him. Multiple times he stared us down and kept pacing the parking lot. I then called the cops and gave them a description of the man. At that time, I saw another man also in his 50's approach the man, exchange a few words, point to Best Buy across the street, and walk over to the Best Buy parking lot TOGETHER. Then, they split and continued going to cars with women in them. All of the women they approached were alone. I KNOW that they were working together. I do not know their intentions, but I urge all women and anyone to be aware of their surroundings and to protect yourself. The dispatcher said they have been receiving many calls in the nature of this one at all times of the day. This incident was in broad daylight. Just be aware of what is going on around you, and keep your safety in mind."

Megan says the two people she saw were both white males. One was balding, with short brown hair. They both wore casual clothes and one of the two men had a sweatshirt tied around his waist. She said both "looked unkempt."

I bolded the part about what the dispatcher said (above) because this is clearly very important information. Something is going on in this city that's giving me a very uncomfortable and disgusting feeling.

Please be watching out for one another, like Megan was. Most importantly, keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel. Protect yourself... and if you see something, say something. We'll continue to share these stories with you to help everyone stay safe.

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