A suspected rapist who abducted two women, one of whom is Jewish, threatened to kill a builder who helped them escape.
Detectives are hunting for the attacker who they say is a danger to women and has a distinctive tattoo of the name Bobbie on his stomach.
Two women, aged in their 20s, were snatched separately in London on Thursday – the first shortly after midnight from a street in Chingford and the second around 12 hours later at 12.15pm from a street in Edgware.
The suspect drove the women to a hotel in the Watford area and attempted to book a room at around 1pm but left when this was unavailable. They managed to escape in Osbourne Road, Watford, at around 2.30pm.
The attacker was seen dragging one of the victims by the hair after she managed to flee.
She jumped out of a silver or grey Ford S-Max and screamed for help, with builders who were working nearby rushing to her aid.
The boss of construction company Green Contractors Ltd, who wished only to be named as Alex, said that the attacker threatened to kill one of his employees who came to the women’s rescue.
Two members of his staff were crossing Osbourne Road, where they were working, when one of the women managed to jump out of the car.
Alex said of the attacker: “He went after her really pulling her by the hair, when the girl started to scream ‘help, help, help’.
“One of my workers went towards the victim and shouted ‘leave it, leave it’ and punched the perpetrator. He released the girl and started to get into a fighting position to fight back to the worker.”
Other builders came to help their colleague, and one of the women managed to hit the suspected rapist over the head with a bottle.
He then fled, telling the rescuer: “My friend, you’re dead.”
Alex added: “He was very aggressive, they thought it was some kind of a domestic row.
“I’m very shocked how an adult can be dragged into a car like that.”
He believes that one of the victims is Jewish.
Detectives have released CCTV images of the suspect, who is a white man of muscular build, in his late 20s or early 30s, with a bald head or shaved blond hair and a light-coloured short beard.
The car he was driving is believed to be a silver or grey Ford S-Max people carrier, with false registration plates.
A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to rape but police said the hunt for the rapist continues.
The Times reported that one of the victims may have been pregnant.