Sheriff: Woman sexually assaulted near Bertram after stopping to help man at side of the road

Authorities say it's one in a series in E. Iowa

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Authorities are urging motorists to use caution after three women have reported being assaulted this month while driving in isolated areas.

In the most recent report, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said a woman reported being sexually assaulted early Friday when she stopped to help a motorist near Bertram.

The woman told deputies she was driving alone at about 4:50 a.m. near Mount Vernon Road and Bertram Street, north of Bertram, when a man, whose car was on the side of the road, flagged her down.

When she got out of her car to help, the man pushed her up against his car and sexually assaulted her.

The woman described the suspect’s vehicle as an older, light brown, four-door sedan.

On Friday, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo reported it has received similar reports of two women being assaulted in August, though officers would not specify if those were sexual assaults.

One assault was near Dunkerton and one was in Cedar Falls on lightly traveled roads in rural or outlying urban areas after dark, authorities said.

A fourth woman reported being approached by a man in Tama County, just south of the Black Hawk line, though no details were available on that report.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office encouraged motorists encountering such scenarios in remote areas to call 911 or the sheriff’s office and let law enforcement officers handle the matter.

“If you see somebody broke down, don’t stop to help,” Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Petersen said. “If the hair goes up on the back of the neck, pay attention.”

Also, drivers who experience a breakdown and don’t feel safe should stay locked in their vehicles and call authorities to help, the sheriff’s office said.

Anyone with information about the Bertram assault, or who was in the area at the time, is asked to call the Linn County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 398-3911.

Those with information about the Black Hawk County assaults is asked to call (319) 291-5108.

In Tama County, the phone number to call (641) 484-3760.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier contributed to this report.

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