Man arrested after allegedly assaulting two different women in Markham, Scarborough

York Regional Police (YRP) have arrested a man in connection with the assaults of two different women in Markham and Toronto earlier this month.

On Feb. 1 between 8 and 8:30 p.m., a woman was reportedly walking through an alley from McCowan Road towards Woodhall Road in Markham when a male suspect grabbed her and forcefully dragged her between two houses.

Police say a person with dog then walked past the area and motion sensor lights were triggered, causing the suspect to flee.

A few hours later, just after midnight on Feb. 2, another woman was walking in the area of Brimley Road and Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough when a male suspect approached from behind, choked her and stole her cellphone before running away.

Investigators linked the two incidents and identified a male suspect but were unable to immediately locate him. Last week, police released images and security footage of the suspect walking through a mall.

“Investigators with the YRP Special Victims Unit – Sexual Assault Section, along with members of the Toronto Police Service Sex Crimes Unit and investigators from 12, 43 and 55 divisions, worked cooperatively and tirelessly on these cases,” YRP said in a press release Thursday.

“Through investigation, the suspect was identified and on February 15, 2023, he was located and arrested in the City of Toronto.”

Police say they believe the suspect may have followed other women on the evening of Feb. 1 and are encouraging any additional victims to come forward.

Oegadesg Thomas Howe, 33, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, robbery and failure to comply with a release order.

He was held in custody for a bail hearing and is scheduled to appear in the Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket on Feb. 16.

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