A Brighton woman was sexually assaulted near Queen’s Park in the early hours of this morning.
The 26-year-old was pushed to the ground in the attack before a passing cyclist chased the assailant away.
The same man may have targeted another lone woman shortly afterwards but fled when she screamed for help.
Detective Inspector John Wallace said: “We believe these two frightening incidents may be linked and we would like to hear from anyone who saw a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of these reports.
“Officers from Brighton CID are working to identify who this man may be and extra police patrols will be carried out in these areas at night while we try to establish who the attacker is.”
The attacked followed the 26-year-old along Eastern Road and dragged her into Park Street shortly before 3am today.
When the cyclist stepped in, the attacker ran off from Park Street in the direction of Hereford Street.
Shortly afterwards a man who had been standing in Coombe Road, Brighton, followed a woman and ran towards her as she entered Bevendean Road.
He backed off when she screamed.
The attacker is described as white, of stocky build, around 5ft 5in tall, in his twenties to early thirties.
He may be of Eastern European origin and is believed to have been wearing a hat which was light or possibly white in colour.
Police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen the victims or attacker in the area.
While the attacker was on foot on both occasions, police said that it was possible he had transport or used transport nearby.