A man sought in a bizarre series of buttock slashings that targeted young women at busy Fairfax County shopping malls has fled to his native Peru, police said Wednesday.
Authorities are exploring whether Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, 40, can be extradited to stand trial in the United States, but he has not been taken into custody, said Lucy Caldwell, a county police spokeswoman.
“We are aware that he has been seen there,” Caldwell said. “We are working with Peruvian officials to determine whether or not we can bring him back to the United States.”
Caldwell said that Guillen Pimentel arrived in Peru about mid-December but that it was unclear whether he had gone there directly from the United States or how he had left this country. He is believed to be staying in Lima, the nation’s capital.
In September, Fairfax County police issued a warrant charging Guillen Pimentel with malicious wounding in connection with one of the attacks, and asked for the public’s help in locating the former Fairfax resident. Authorities have said they suspect he slashed nine women in their teens and early 20s between February and July at Fair Oaks Mall, Tysons Corner Center and other locations.
The attacker would distract the women, cut their buttocks with a razor blade or box cutter and then disappear into crowds, authorities said. No one was seriously injured, but the random attacks drew widespread media attention and prompted police to form a task force to find the culprit.
Police have not uncovered a motive for the slashings, but Guillen Pimentel’s brother told The Washington Post in September that his brother was not known to be violent or aggressive. The brother said Guillen Pimentel worked as a day laborer and has a young son. He said Guillen Pimentel came to the United States about eight or nine years ago.
Guillen Pimentel’s arrival in Peru generated headlines in a number of media outlets, which dubbed him a “corta nalgas,” or buttocks slasher. Some have used actors to stage reenactments of Pimentel’s alleged crimes.
Interpol Lima officials said they had not received official notice that Guillen Pimentel is wanted on charges in the United States. Officials at the Peruvian Embassy in Washington were researching the case as of Wednesday evening.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they could not comment on whether Pimentel had flown from the United States to Peru. The agency checks passenger manifests for flights leaving the United States against a database of outstanding warrants to prevent fugitives from leaving the country.
The United States and Peru maintain an extradition treaty. Fairfax officials must submit a formal request for Guillen Pimentel’s extradition through diplomatic channels.
Staff writer Allison Klein contributed to this report.