Police in two jurisdictions are searching for a man who they suspect in six different assaults against local women.
The City of Falls Church police department announced Tuesday that they are seeking a man who shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, approached a woman walking with a baby stroller in the area of South Maple Avenue and Gibson Street.
Falls Church police said the man approached the woman from behind and forcefully grabbed her buttock area.
“He did not let go until she screamed. The suspect appears to be brazen as this attack occurred in broad daylight,” said Falls Church spokeswoman Susan Finarelli.
Finarelli said the suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall. He has a thin build, his hair is worn short in the back and he may now be clean-cut having shaved off his beard. His skin complexion is medium and he was wearing a grey long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and a red baseball cap.
That red baseball cap is what may tie the man with five previous assaults in Fairfax County.
The first incident, around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 7, a 26-year-old woman was walking in the area of Old Keene Mill Road and Springfield Boulevard when she heard a whistle. When she reached the 7200 block of Monticello Boulevard a man allegedly grabbed her from behind and fondled her. The man fled. Police said the woman described that suspect as Hispanic, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and wearing a red baseball cap.
Then, around 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 18, police said a 16-year-old student was walking on a path in the 6700 block of Metropolitan Center Drive in Springfield when she was grabbed. The suspect allegedly fondled her and ran away. The suspect in that incident was described as a Hispanic male with a thin, black goatee or beard. He wore a red baseball cap, blue jeans, and a white T-shirt.
A 17-year-old girl was then grabbed from behind and fondled around 9 a.m., Sept. 27, in the 5900 block of Erving Street. Police said the woman was walking on the sidewalk when the assault occurred.
Police said the woman described the suspect as either Asian or Hispanic, mid-30s, around 5 feet 8 inches tall with a black, close-cut beard. He wore a blue T-shirt, black cotton sweatpants with a white stripe on each side and a red baseball cap.
In a fourth incident, a 15-year-old girl reported that she was grabbed from behind and fondled around 7:15 p.m., Oct. 2, in the 6200 block of Hibbling Avenue in Springfield. The girl was walking northbound on Hibbling near Exmore Street when the incident occurred. After she was grabbed, she pulled away from the suspect and fled.
Fairfax County police said a fifth fondling victim then came forth in the Springfield area and described a similar incident that took place on Sept. 19.
In that case, a 40-year-old woman reported that she was walking along Hibbling Avenue near Exmore Street when she heard someone behind her. As she turned to see why he didn’t pass, he grabbed and groped her as she struggled free. The suspect then fled. Police did not disclose the time of that incident.
“We are looking into the connection between these assaults and the one in Falls Church,” said Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell. “Besides the red baseball cap, there are other similarities in the Fairfax County cases, including the fact that many took place during daylight hours.”