The rumors that there have been multiple rapes around NE and SE 28th haven't died down; A Mercury staffer spotted a flyer warning people to be careful, at The Standard on NE 22nd at Burnside. I tracked down the person who made the flyers, and she has some concrete information about what's really been going on.
Hazel Gross, who lives in the neighborhood, notes that the situation "is being slightly blown out of proportion." What she's been able to piece together points toward "isolated incidents," not a serial rapist.
There has been one rape that she's aware of, Gross says. It happened to "a friend of a friend," at SE 22nd and Ankeny, but wasn't reported to the police (and I'm not sure when it occurred). The victim's friends are encouraging her to report it, Gross says.
As to the rumors that a woman was attacked near the Mercury's NE 21st and Hoyt offices, that's true: Last week, Gross' friend was walking home along NE 20th at 2 am, when she was attacked by a stranger with a knife. He pulled her into a secluded courtyard just north of Hoyt. "He dragged her back there with a knife, and tried to cut her and took her money. She managed to get away, get home, and call the police. The cops responded with "dogs and everything," trying to find the suspect. I've asked the police for a copy of the police report related to the incident.
"People think she got knocked unconscious and raped," Gross says, but that's not true.
Finally, there's a guy who's been masturbating in public in the neighborhood. He's been spotted in front of the Goodfoot, for example. Gross says she's spoken with three people who've seen this guy.
I'll let you know if I find out any more.