D.C. police are investigating the rapes of two women that occurred about eight blocks and two hours apart early yesterday, but detectives say they are unsure the assaults were committed by the same man.

The first rape, police said, occurred about 2 a.m. at a home in the 3500 block of 14th Street NW. A 26-year-old woman told police she was awakened by a sharp metal object being stuck in her neck and found a man standing above her.

Police said the rapist told the woman he would harm her 10-month old son and 5-year-old daughter if she screamed. The man, described as having a muffled voice, escaped through the children's bedroom window, police said.

In the second rape, which occurred about 4 a.m. in the 1800 block of Newton Street NW, police said a 38-year-old woman awoke to the sound of footsteps in her apartment. The woman told police she looked up, saw a man and screamed. When she did, the man threw something over her head, struck her when she screamed again and then raped her, police said. Police said the man escaped through the front door of the apartment.

The woman told police the rape occurred in almost total darkness and she was unable to give a detailed description of her assailant.