CRIME

Springfield groper possibly hits again; attack would be 13th

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Just two days after the Springfield groper struck for what would be the 12th time, another possible sexual assault was reported to authorities Thursday morning, police say.

The assault, which would be the 13th in a string of gropings that have happened since September, happened at about 9 a.m. Thursday on Floyd Avenue near Erving Street in Springfield.

Fairfax County Police say that a 22-year-old woman reported a man running up behind her and fondling her. The suspect then fled. On Tuesday, a similar incident was reported on Blarney Stone Drive, about five miles from Thursday's assault.

This is the second such assault in the same neighborhood as well. On Sept. 27, an assault that is presumed to be connected in this series of gropings happened near the corner of Erving Street and Giles Place.

In Tuesday's incident, a 49-year-old jogger reported being fondled. Police say the victim hit the suspect before he got away.

The description of the suspect falls in line with the other, supposedly connected assaults; a lookout is for a 5-foot-6 bearded Hispanic man, this time wearing a black knit cap, green pants and a green jacket.

An 18-year-old woman, who declined to be identified, may have been one of the first victims. She says she was walking home from dropping her younger sister off at school when she noticed a shadow coming from behind her.

"I feel someone's hands touching me and I push back, saw his face and he ran away,” she says.

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