View Springfield Sexual Assaults in a larger map
The Springfield neighborhood where a man has "grabbed and groped" 14 women in the past four months was quiet Friday, with just a few people walking the streets on the cold but sunny afternoon.
“My husband's mad at me," said Polly Robes, walking her granddaughter in a stroller early down Hibbling Avenue, the same street where at least two of the incidents were reported.
"I said 'What do you want me to do, stay in the house?'" she said. "My husband doesn't like me to go, but I still go."
Robes said her granddaughter was frightened Thursday by the sound of police helicopters over the neighborhood, searching for the suspect in the latest attack, which took place at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
The incidents have largely been reported in residential areas of Springfield and police believe the incidents are connected and committed by the same suspect.
The victims have varied in age, ranging from 16 to 49-years-old; the times of the reported attacks have also varied. Each victim has described their attacker as a Hispanic male in his 20s to 30s, ranging in height from 5-feet-6 inches to 6-feet-tall.
The reported incidents have occurred on:
- Sept. 7 at approximately 8:30 a.m. around the 7200 block of Monticello Boulevard
- Sept. 9 or Sept. 13 at approximately 7:30 p.m. around Cumberland Drive and Dinwiddie Street
- Sept. 18 at approximately 2:45 p.m. around the 6700 block of Metropolitan Center Drive
- Sept. 19 around Hibbling Avenue and Exmore Street
- Sept. 27 at approximately 9 a.m. around the 5900 block of Erving Street
- Oct. 2 at approximately 7:15 p.m. around the Hibbling Avenue and Exmore Street
- Oct. 25 at approximately 9:30 a.m. around Lake Pleasant Drive and Edinburgh Drive
- Nov. 1 at approximately 4 p.m. around the 7200 block of Commerce Street
- Nov. 1 at approximately 4:30 p.m. around the 6000 block of Hibbling Avenue
- Nov. 19 at approximately 6 p.m. around the 7200 block of Commerce Street
- Nov. 21 at approximately 1:20 p.m. around Amherst Avenue and Cumberland Avenue
- Dec. 11 at approximately 10:28 a.m. around the Blarney Stone Drive near Omega Court
- Dec. 13 at approximately 9 a.m. on Floyd Avenue and Erving Street
- Dec. 13 at approximately 5:45 p.m. around the 6000 block of Hibbling Avenue
To view a map of the incidents, click the media player at right.
There are theories as to why the man might be committing the crimes over and over again. The suspect could be suffering from Frotteurism, a paraphilic disorder where the offender rubs up against unsuspecting people.
"This could be somebody who is escalating toward a rape," said Dr. Mark Hastings, a Northern Virginia-based forensic and clinical psychologist. "It could be someone progressing on that scale, and these are early trial runs of sexual expression that could get worse over time."
Last month, WUSA 9 interviewed clinical psychologist Kacie Fisher, who echoed what Hastings told Patch. She too thought the groper might be afflicted with Frotteurism, when someone becomes sexually aroused by committing socially deviant behavior.
On Friday, WTOP reported that a former FBI profiler said the man might be seeking publicity.
"This could be someone with a low IQ, someone socially inadequate, who has normal sexual urges but doesn't know how to express them,” Hastings said.
A drive through the neighborhood Friday showed several Fairfax County Police officers driving through the neighborhood in police cars.
FCPD tweeted Friday morning, in response to a question on Twitter: "Yes we have saturated the area with officers, both in uniform and plain clothes. You may not see them but they are there!"
Despite the police presence, some residents say they are still nervous and upset that someone is committing such crimes in the area.
"They don't like to see any people outside the apartments at night," Santiago Carillo said. "I'm surprised. This is the first time that I have heard about men touching girls. This is new."
Carillo, 34, has lived at the Springfield Gardens Apartments for 19 years with his daughter, who attends nearby Crestwood Elementary School. "I'm scared, because I have my daughter and she's 10 years old, and if this continues I'm going to have to move from the area," he said.
Mary Ann Barton and Raytevia Evans contributed to this story.
See More on Patch
- FCPD Detectives Following Up on Serial Groper Tips
- Police Release Video of Potential Serial Groper Suspect
- Possible 24th Report Made in Series of Springfield Assaults, Police Say
- Serial Groper Attacks for the 23rd Time, Hours Before Police Meeting Thursday Night
- Police Still in Search of Suspect in Serial Groping Incidents
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