Prince George's County police said yesterday they have arrested a Landover man they believe is responsible for six of the 10 sexual assaults committed on women during the last seven months near the New Carrollton Metro stop.
Raymond Lorenzo Chittams, 20, of 6527 Landover Rd. was arrested Sunday and charged with raping a 32-year-old woman who was walking home from the subway station in the 5200 block of Ellin Road on Saturday. Police said Chittams made statements after his arrest that implicated him in at least five other attacks.
He is being held without bond in the county detention center.
In the latest incident, police said the assailant approached the victim from behind and threatened her with a knife before forcing her into a wooded area and raping her.
Police spokesman Bruce Gentile said that this pattern of attack is similar to that reported by victims of previous incidents. Investigators returning to the scene the next day found articles Gentile said belonged to Chittams.
The six attacks are part of a string of sexual assaults that have occurred in the area since March, 1983. Gentile said the investigation linking Chittams to the crimes centered chiefly on incidents that have occurred since December.
Residents of the area said yesterday they are relieved that someone has been arrested but that they will continue to be cautious while walking in their neighborhoods.
"Hopefully they've caught the right person," said Gwen Johnson, who lives on Ardwick-Ardmore Road near Landover Hills. "Whenever you have something happen like this, you have a lot of freaks who come out of the woodwork and copycat."
James Dean, who is president of the West Lanham Hills Civic Association, said people in his neighborhood feel that crime in the area has increased since the Metro stop opened in 1978.
Police are showing photos of Chittams to victims of these incidents:
A Dec. 21 attack on a 22-year-old jogger in the 6200 block of West Brook Drive.
A 19-year-old walking home from the store was attacked in the woods near Rte. 202 and Rte. 50.
On Jan. 14, a woman was raped at 5:30 a.m. at Old Landover Drive and Pennsy Drive as she was walking to the Metro.
An 11-year-old girl was attacked near 6688 Old Landover Rd. as she was walking to or from a store.
On Feb. 24, two women walking behind a fabric store in the 7400 block of Annapolis Rd. were assaulted.
A composite sketch distributed by police that was based on victims' descriptions and run by the media, including The Washington Post, did not resemble Chittams, Gentile said