CRIME

Springfield serial groper suspect sketch released

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As authorities continue to search for an alleged serial groper in Springfield, Fairfax County police are releasing a sketch of a man they think is behind a fifth fondling attack on a 40-year-old woman.

Fairfax County Police say the suspect involved in the Sept. 19 attack is described as a Hispanic male, in his 30's, 5’8” tall, with dark eyes and a neatly trimmed beard. The victim also told police the suspect wore a wore a black and white bandana with designs on it, black nylon pants with two blue stripes down the sides, a blue long sleeved shirt and black shoes.

The woman who declined to be identified says she was a victim of a sexual assault in the same area where at least four other victims, including a 15-year-old girl, were assaulted in Springfield.

Through an interpreter, the woman says two weeks ago she was heading home along Hibbling Avenue with her daughter when a man attacked her.

"I turned around he started touching me, touching me around my breasts,” she says. “And then I started screaming and my daughter started screaming, he turned around and started running back."

Her description is eerily similar to an attack that occurred Tuesday night along the same block. In that case, a 15-year-old girl was fondled. In the last few weeks, three other young women ages 16, 17 and 26 were also attacked in this area.

The case of the 15-year-old started around 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 2. Police say the girl was walking in the 6200 block of Hibbling Avenue when she was grabbed by a suspect. The girl pulled away and fled, police say.

During the interview with the unidentified woman, ABC7 reporter Jay Korff flagged down a Fairfax County investigator who is now looking into the woman’s account.

Residents are on high alert, especially one woman who says she was recently accosted a few blocks away.

"He was following me a little bit and then I was hurrying up and then he gave up and then after that I said to my sister I said it's not safe to walk around here in this area,” says Springfield resident Khongo Tserenbaljid.

Delmi Fuentes says she is afraid to walk in the area, so she now drives her kids to school.

When showed the sketch of the suspect, neighbors couldn’t recognize him. For more, this is the first view of what the suspect looks like. They were happy to see the sketch, but now they want him caught.

“We know a lot of the neighbors and we’re doing what we can to keep our eyes open for new people,” says Richard Owen, a Springfield resident.

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