Officers Patrol Dallas Neighborhood After Sexual Assault

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013  |  Updated 12:03 AM CDT
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Dallas police have stepped up patrols after second rape on Ferndale Road in the Lake Highlands Area.

Randy McIIwain, NBC 5 News

Dallas police have stepped up patrols after second rape on Ferndale Road in the Lake Highlands Area.

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Dallas bicycle officers are patrolling a neighborhood where a woman was sexually assaulted Friday in the second attack in three weeks.

The victim was sexually assaulted in a home along Ferndale Road in Lake Highlands at about 10 p.m.

Investigators do not believe the attack is related to the first sexual assault. In that case, a woman was raped at knifepoint by an intruder in her home in the 10800 block of Ferndale Road on Feb. 22.

Fernando Munoz, who police say is a "strong suspect" in the Feb. 22 assault, was in custody at the time of the most recent attack. Police also said that the descriptions of the attacker in the two assaults do not match.

Munoz was arrested earlier this month in Lewisville on suspicion of burglary. He was charged in a 2010 Dallas sexual assault after DNA evidence linked him to the attack, police said.

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Police are testing DNA evidence to see if Munoz is connected to several rapes dating back to 2008, including the Feb. 22 assault in Lake Highlands.

Dallas police said the bike patrols are a direct response to Friday's attack, but residents say it is little comfort.

"It's very frightening," Melissa Hairston said.

Hairston said the attacks have her feeling vulnerable.

"I don't know if the rapists are getting some idea that we're easy pickings over here," she said. "I don't know what the deal is."

"We've always locked our doors. We never keep our garage doors open," she said.

The president of the Lake Highlands Estate Neighborhood Association said people are constantly calling, wondering if there is an update on the Friday attack.

Joe Sides, a landscape contractor in the area, said the usually friendly neighborhood has become understandably guarded.

"This morning, they're barely opening the door," he said.

Police said the attacker in the Friday case was a man in his 20s who was about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a chubby, clean-shaven face and a short, buzz haircut. Police said the victim also said he wore gray shorts and a jacket and spoke English with a Spanish accent.

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