Three women were groped by a stranger in Springfield, Va. this week, incidents that could be the latest in a string of more than 20 such cases dating back to last September, according to police.
A 20-year-old woman was jogging on Amherst Avenue Tuesday evening when a man approached her from behind and fondled her, police said. The woman screamed and the man fled. The incident was reported on Thursday.
A second incident occurred Thursday evening when a 29-year-old woman walking on Dinwiddie Street was approached and grabbed from behind by a man, who fled when the woman screamed.
The third incident happened Friday morning when a 28-year-old woman was grabbed as she was walking on Floyd Avenue, police said.
The three incidents happened within a radius of several blocks. None of the women suffered physical injuries in the attacks, said Lucy Caldwell, a Fairfax Police spokeswoman.
In each of the three cases, the description of the assailant is similar, police said. He was described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall with facial hair and was wearing a ball cap and blue jeans.
The behavior and description of the suspect is consistent with the previous groping incidents, Caldwell said.
This brings the total number of possibly related incidents to 21. The victims have all been women between the ages of 15 and 49, though the attacks have mostly targeted young women in their 20s.
Caldwell said police have had extra patrol, both undercover and visible, in the surrounding area for months, but the suspect has been “elusive.”
Caldwell added that police have researched dozens of leads but do not have a specific suspect yet.