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Fifth Northern Virginia fondling incident reported; sketch released

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A fifth fondling incident in the Springfield area has been reported, and police have released a sketch of a possible suspect in the attacks.

A 40-year-old woman told detectives that she was walking along Hibbling Avenue near Exmore Street on Sept. 19 when she heard someone behind her. She turned to see why the person hadn't passed her, and a man grabbed and groped her as she struggled to break free. Her attacker then fled, Fairfax County police officials said.

The woman described the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 30s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with dark eyes and a neatly trimmed beard. He was wearing 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.

Police are aware of four other similar Springfield-area fondling incidents from the past few weeks.

The most recent of those occurred Tuesday, across the street from the Sept. 19 attack, police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. In that incident, a 15-year-old girl was grabbed from behind. She then pulled away from her attacker and fled.

On Sept. 7, a 26-year-old woman was walking in the area of Old Keene Mill Road and Springfield Boulevard when she heard a whistle. She was grabbed from behind and fondled on the 7200 block of Monticello Boulevard.

On Sept. 18, a 16-year-old girl was walking on a path on the 6700 block of Metropolitan Center Drive when she was grabbed and fondled, officials said. The suspect then ran away.

On Sept. 27, a 17-year-old girl was walking on a sidewalk on the 5900 block of Erving Street when she was grabbed from behind and fondled.

In the Sept. 7, 18 and 27 attacks, the suspect was described as wearing a plain, red baseball cap.

Detectives believe there might be additional victims and are encouraging them to contact police. Anyone with information on the case can contact Crime Solvers by phone at 866-411-TIPS (8477), by email at fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or by texting "TIP187" plus a message to 274637. People can also call Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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