Victim Speaks Out; Fairfax County Police Release New Photographs Of Serial Slasher

5:05 PM, Jul 28, 2011   |    comments
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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WUSA) -- One of the "Serial Slasher's" victims told her story to 9NEWS NOW Thursday morning. 

The victim says she was visibly pregnant, about five months pregnant,  when she was attacked in February exiting the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax.

She says the attacker left her with a deep three inch gash on her buttocks.

Before she realized she'd been hurt, she yelled to the man as he brushed by her, "Hey, you cut  my leggings."  She says he told her it was just his bag.  

"He was carrying a yellow bag.  How could it be his bag, that makes no sense," she said.   

She tells other women to be aware of surroundings and don't go shopping alone.

She also said she thought police  should have told the public about her attack six months ago.

Police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell says they didn't tell the public because detectives thought it was an isolated incident.  She says the attacks happened in different jurisdictions and different detectives were involved, and so they didn't realize there was a link until the latest attack this past Monday.

Fairfax County Police have released new, significantly clearer images of a man investigators believe has been slashing young women on their buttocks at local retail stores and malls.

There have been five attacks in Northern Virginia since February including three at the Fair Oaks Mall. Other assaults happened at the Greenbriar Shopping Center and at Tysons Corner Center.

Investigators believe the suspect is using either a box cutter or a razor blade. In any case, police are convinced he will strike again unless he is caught.

"It is an unusual case," said Fairfax County Police Spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

The newly released surveillance photographs show the suspect is Hispanic, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and heavy-set. He allegedly distracts his young female victims while they shop and then, he strikes his target.

"It's disconcerting, it is painful and you feel that your space has been violated. It's a form of assault," said Caldwell.

A criminal profiler tells 9NEWS NOW that the suspect may have a sexual disorder called piquerism. It's a form of sadomasochism in which one finds sexual gratification by cutting or stabbing a person in a sexually significant area.

"We were a little surprised and it's definitely a unique thing. It's nothing that would fall in a normal category," said Robbie Stark, the General Manager at Fair Oaks Mall.

At Fair Oaks, where the most recent attack targeted an 18 year-old victim, security remains tight. Women have called the mall, including parents.

"They're concerned, obviously. I'm always more than willing to talk with them and explain what we know and what we're doing. And it's still a very safe place to be," said Stark.

In surveillance photos, the suspect wears different clothing, but one item remains a constant: the large white watch on his left arm.

Police hope someone recognizes the suspect. The profiler said he may have tried this behavior with a wife or girlfriend and was rejected, so now, he's now targeting strangers.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Fairfax County Crimesolvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.  You can also send an anonymous text to "CRIMES" (247637).  Be sure to include "Tips187" in your text.

Written by Peggy Fox

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