Man Sought in Five Assaults on Women
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Five women have been assaulted in the same section of Fairfax County in the past three weeks, and police said yesterday that they have heightened their presence in the area.
Police said three of the women were accosted late last month in or near Nottaway Park, about a quarter-mile northwest of the Vienna Metro station. A fourth woman was assaulted Sunday, and the fifth was targeted Monday.
In each case, the assailant tried to pull down the woman's shorts or groped her before running away when she screamed. None of the victims was seriously injured.
"We don't normally see five cases in a period of about a month, and that is certainly cause for concern," said Fairfax Police Lt. Richard Perez. "We understand the potential for another victim, and we want to prevent that." Perez urged women to travel in pairs and use well-lit areas.
Detectives are running down leads, and more uniformed officers are patrolling the area, Perez said. Officers have gone door-to-door to businesses and homes in the area and distributed a composite sketch of the man believed to be the assailant.
Perez would not say if police have a suspect but said the same man is believed to be involved in all five attacks because of "the descriptions the women gave, the method of the attacks and the general vicinity of the area."
The first two victims called police within minutes on the morning of Aug. 24, police said. At 7:26 a.m., a 39-year-old woman reported that she had been walking on the connector trail from Nottaway Park to the Metro station when a man passed her, turned and grabbed her shorts from behind.
Six minutes later, a 32-year-old woman told police that 20 minutes earlier, she had been walking west on Country Creek Road when a man came up behind her and groped her.
Three days later, on Aug. 27, a 37-year-old woman was assaulted. She had been walking in the 2600 block of Glengyle Drive when a man approached from behind, assaulted her and tried to pull down her shorts.
Steven Taubenkibel, a Metro spokesman, said Metro personnel at the Vienna station have been alerted "to be vigilant and on the lookout for any unusual activity. We would also remind our customers to be vigilant and alert."
The last two assaults were farther from the station. On Sunday night, a Fairfax area woman, 26, was assaulted in the 3300 block of Willow Crescent Drive. Police said the man approached her from behind and pulled down her shorts.
Monday's attack was similar. At 8:15 p.m., a Fairfax area woman, 46, was walking toward her house in the 12000 block of Fairfield House Drive when she was approached and groped.