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Suspect sought in Springfield-area fondlings

Monday - 10/1/2012, 12:40pm  ET

Fondling attacks 'scary'

WTOP's Hank Silverberg reports

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Fairfax County police are on the lookout for a suspect possibly responsible for three separate attacks on young women in the Springfield area.

The latest incident occurred about 9 a.m. Sept. 18 when a 17-year-old girl was walking in the 5900 block of Erving Street after dropping a sibling off at Crestwood Elementary School. Police say the girl was grabbed from behind and fondled by a man wearing a red baseball cap.

Two similar attacks took place earlier in the month, including one near Lee High School on Sept. 18 in which a 16-year-old girl was grabbed from behind and fondled before the man ran away.

Another attack occurred Sept. 7 at about 8:30 a.m. when police say a 26-year-old woman walking near Old Keene Mill Road near Springfield Boulevard heard a whistle. When she reached the 7200 block of Monticello Boulevard, police say a man grabbed her from behind and fondled her.

The women involved in each case were not seriously injured, but police say they believe the attacks all were done by the same man. The suspect is described as Asian or Hispanic, in his mid-30s and between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall. The suspect may have a black beard or goatee and was wearing a red baseball cap on all three occasions.

Parents of students attending Crestwood Elementary - near where the latest incident occurred - have received fliers from the school notifying them of the attack.

But word appears not to have spread very fast. A 19-year-old woman walking down Floyd Avenue Monday - just a half block from the latest attack - said she was unaware of the incident.

"The crime rate over here has been pretty bad," said the woman, who did not want her name used. "I have been a little scared lately walking around at night and coming home from work and stuff."

Further up Floyd Avenue, a man playing with his three young sons also had not heard about the attacks. He said he plans to tell his wife, whom he says often walks through the neighborhood.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS, text TIP187 with your message to 274637 or send an anonymous email here. You also can call Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)