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Another Va. fondling attack, police release sketch of suspect

Thursday - 10/4/2012, 12:38pm  ET

sketch.jpg
Fairfax County police released the sketch of a suspect they say grabbed a woman who was walking along Hibbling Avenue in Springfield. (Courtesy Fairfax County police)

WASHINGTON - Another woman is reporting she was fondled by a man in the Springfield, Va. area, and police believe the incident is related to a series of similar crimes.

The 40-year-old woman says she was grabbed by a man while walking along Hibbling Avenue in Springfield on Sept. 19, police say. The woman tells police she was walking near Exmore Street when she heard someone behind her. When she turned to see why he didn't pass, he groped her and she struggled and broke free, police say.

The woman described her attacker as a Hispanic man in his 30s, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall with dark eyes and a trimmed beard. She says he wore a black and white bandana with designs on it, black nylon pants with two blue stripes down the sides and a blue long-sleeved shirt, police say.

The incident is the latest in a series of reported fondlings in the Springfield area. Police have released a sketch of the suspect and are urging any other victims to come forward.

Police say the latest incident occurred on Oct. 2, when a 15-year-old girl was grabbed and fondled while walking on Hibbling Road near Exmore Street. The girl was grabbed around 7:15 p.m., Fairfax County police say, and pulled away from the suspect, who ran away.

"After she was grabbed, she was able to pull away and flee," police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell says. "She did not require any hospitalization and was not physically injured, but certainly traumatized and very upset."

Three similar events occurred in Springfield in September, and Caldwell says police believe the same man is responsible. A 17-year-old girl was grabbed from behind and fondled on Sept. 27.

On Sept. 18, a 16-year-old girl was grabbed and fondled while walking on the path along Metropolitan Center Drive near Lee High School.

And on Sept. 7, a 26-year-old woman was grabbed and fondled after hearing a man whistle at her while she was walking in the area of Old Keene Mill Road.

In each September incident, the suspect was described as a possibly Hispanic male who wore a red baseball cap. Caldwell says authorities don't have a good description of the suspect from the latest incident on Oct. 2.

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