Police have issued an arrest warrant for a man who they said is a suspect in a bizarre series of attacks in which young women were slashed in the buttocks at busy Fairfax County shopping malls.
Fairfax police are looking for 40-year-old Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, who they believe may have left the area. Police said he might be driving a blue 2003 Honda Civic with the Virginia tag KLX2689.
Pimentel so far is being sought in one of the attacks, but police previously have said they think the same man has cut nine women in their teens and early 20s since February.
The man generally distracted the victim, slashed her with either a boxcutter or razor, and then darted away, police said.
None of the women was seriously injured, but the seemingly random nature of the slashings unnerved shoppers and authorities alike. Police said the motive for the attacks still remains a mystery.
The most recent slashing occurred on July 25 at the Fair Oaks Mall. An 18-year-old woman who was shopping at Forever 21 around 5:30 p.m. noticed a man bending over to pick up some clothes that had fallen off a rack, police said.
Suddenly, the woman felt a sharp pain, but thought it was a hanger poking her. A short-time later, police said she noticed her denim shorts were torn and her buttocks were bleeding. The cut was an inch-and-a-half long.
Four other victims were also cut at the Fair Oaks Mall, where the first known attack happened on Valentine’s Day, police said. Two other incidents occurred at the H&M at Tysons Corner, one was reported at Marshalls at the Greenbriar Shopping Center and another at the T.J. Maxx at Fairfax Towne Center.
All of the attacks occurred in the afternoon or evening, when the malls were crowded, police said.
The attacker’s image was captured by surveillance cameras and has been widely distributed by Washington area news outlets, including The Washington Post. But initial tips about the man’s identity did not immediately pan out.
Fairfax County police had stationed additional officers at retail centers across the county to Fairfax County to deter the attacker and formed a task force in August to work the case.
The slasher’s first victim, a 20-year-old woman from Northern Virginia, told The Post in July she was left shaken by the incident. She said she was heading for an exit at the Fair Oaks Mall on Valentine’s Day, when a man suddenly ran up and cut her buttocks. He was carrying a shopping bag, she said.
“I thought he was grabbing me at first, and then I felt my skin. I was like, ‘You just ripped my leggings,’ ” said the woman, who is not being identified because she is a crime victim. “He said, ‘No, no, no — it was the bag’ and ran away really fast.”
Police are asking anyone with knowledge of Pimentel’s whereabouts to call the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.