It was 11:30 p.m., May 13, when two women were parking their car at 7th and G'streets SE on Capitol Hill. A man suddenly forced his way into the back seat, and ordered the women to drive to an isolated area nearby where he raped one of the women and robbed both of their rings and other jewelry.
Eight days later and just one block away, another woman was parking her car, also late at night, when an intruder forced his way into the back seat. He forced the woman to drive to an isolated spot, where he raped and robbed her.
The next night, last Monday, a third attack occurred, this time a little after 6 o'clock and a few blocks further west on G Street. Two women and a 4-year-old girl were abducted in their car and told to drive to an isolated area. The woman driving, however, thwarted the abductor when she ran the car through a stop sign and into a police car that happened to be cruising the area.
The suspect fled on foot, after attempting to fire a hundgun twice at the officer in the police car, who ducked under his dashboard for cover. The assailant's gun had apparently misfired.
Then at 1:15 a.m. last Thursday in the 400 block of 7th Street SE, a lone attacker again hijacked a car with a female and her male companion. The man ordered them to drive to an isolated spot, where he robbed them of $80, a watch and a ring.
This latest attack and its similarities to the first three, have led D.C. Police to believe that one man is responsible for all of them.
A team of detectives assigned to track down the man also says, that this latest series of assaults could have been committed by the so-called Capitol Hill rapist who terrorized the same Southeast area last fall in a string of five assaults.
A composite sketch of the current suspect drawn by a police department artist form descriptions by assault victims also bears some similarity to a composite drawing of the Capitol Hill rapist made last year.
The current suspect, however, does not have the beard and longer hair ascribed to last year's rapist. Also, the present suspect is described as being about three inches shorter than the Capitol Hill rapist, but police say this is an impression that could be caused by the shorter hair style of the recent suspect.
Both sets of assaults bear other features in common, police say. in most cases, the suspect would accost the women just as they were parking their cars or entering them and then order the women to drive to isolated parking lots or alleys nearby, police said.
Police have recently beefed up patrols on Capitol Hill and reportedly started using decoys to capture the assailant.
At least five police officers are assigned full time to the case, including Officer Walter Rau, the policeman whose scout car was struck by the woman driver in last Monday's abduction.
Last September, when the Capitol Hill rapist struck, the D.C. and Capitol Police formed a similar task force to investigate that series of assaults. No suspect has been arrested.