AFTA Martial Arts School shares defense tips after police release potential rapist suspect sketch

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford Police release the sketch of the man they believe is responsible for five sexual assaults and two strong arm robberies on Rockford's northwest side.

Police describe the suspect as a black male in his late teens to early twenties, standing about five feet four inches tall and weighing around 145lbs.

Rockford Police Detective Gabe Wassner says the department is doing their best to solve the case.

"Trust me we are grinding away at it absolutely."

Owner of the AFTA Martial Arts School Joel Bowing says everyday items such as your cellphone can be used as a very powerful weapon against attackers.

"They're looking for the easy target," said Bowling. "Someone who is isolated or not walking with a lot of confidence doesn't think they know where they're going anything like that."

Rockford Police also remind residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.