Police in Virginia say there is a serial buttock slasher who strikes in shopping malls in Fairfax County, cutting women's backsides through their clothes, with either a razor or a boxcutter, leaving bleeding gashes.
A teenage girl who was attacked on Monday in the Fair Oaks shopping mall was probably the fifth victim in a series of attacks by the slasher since February, according to the Washington Post.
Fairfax County police released new pictures of a man they believe to be a suspect in one of the incidents, according to Virginia's News and Messenger. The suspect, who was caught on tape by surveillance cameras, is described as a heavy-set 5'6'' Latino in his late 20s, police said, according to the Washington Post. He wore white shorts and a short-sleeved shirt in the attack.
The 18-year-old girl who was attacked on Monday said she noticed clothing falling from a rack behind her while she was shopping at the Forever XXI store, located in the Fair Oaks Mall, police said. The she saw a man pick the clothes up, and felt a "sharp pain" in her buttocks, the police said.
At first, she thought a coat hanger had hit poked her bottom, but then she realized that the back of her jean shorts had been sliced, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.
Later, she realized that she had a wound about an inch and a half long on her butt, and that it was bleeding, police said.
She informed store employees of the incident and they then contacted police.
But the assailant had slipped away.
Fairfax County police spokesman Lucy Caldwell said the victim was cut about 5:30 p.m., when the store was busy, probably with a razor or boxcutters, according to the Associated Press. Caldwell said there had been similar attacks in retail stores in Fairfax County over the past six months, adding that the victims were all in their late teens or their 20s.
According to the Washington Post:
“The attacks do appear random," Caldwell said. “Certainly no one would be expecting or suspecting anything like this to occur.”
The last attack before the incident on Monday was on June 20 at the Marshall's department store in the Greenbriar Shopping Center, according to the Daily Mail.
The buttock slasher also cut someone on June 18 at H&M at Tyson's Corner Mall; May 15 at the Ann Taylor outlet at Fair Oaks Mall; and February 14 at the Champs, also at Fair Oaks Mall.
The slasher might be suffering from a sexual disorder known as piquerism, where he gets sexual gratification from stabbing or cutting his victims with sharp objects, a former FBI profiler, Gregg McCrary, said, according to the News & Messenger:
"He's driven to this," he said. "If he's in his late 20s, this is a little late for it to be his first time out. Chances are he's done something like this before. Police, I'm sure, are going to go back and look for similar crimes."
"The dangerous thing here is he's actually hurting women," he said. "He's already crossed that threshold into physical contact. But this is a good news-bad news situation. He'll just keep doing this until he's caught and by keeping on doing this, he'll caught."