Fairfax County Police on Wednesday identified a suspect in at least one of the incidents this summer in which a woman’s buttocks were slashed while shopping.
The suspect has been identified as Johnny D. Guillen Pimentel, 40, according to police, who have obtained a warrant for his arrest. Mr. Pimentel may be driving a blue 2003 Honda Civic with Virginia tags KLX2689.
The attacks in Northern Virginia stores occurred from February to July 25. None of the women who have reported being attacked suffered serious injuries.
Police say they are looking for Mr. Pimentel based on a tip they received, and they think he may have left the area.
A total of nine incidents that were similar in nature have been reported, Fairfax County Police Department spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. Several of the victims came forward to report the slashings after the police department first publicized an incident in July.
“Some of the victims didn’t realize what had happened to them,” Ms. Caldwell said. “Their injuries were relatively minor.”
Police have issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Pimentel but would not say which of the nine cases it was in connection with.
The tip that led to the identification of Mr. Pimentel as a suspect came from a person in the region who had seen one of the fliers posted by police, Ms. Caldwell said.
The most recent attack occurred July 25 at the Fair Oaks Mall, inside the Forever 21 women´s clothing store.
The 18-year-old victim received a 1.5-inch gash across her buttocks, police said. The woman said she was shopping when she noticed clothing that had fallen from a rack behind her and then a man bending down to pick up the fallen items. She then felt a sharp pain in her buttocks, but thought she might have been poked by one of the clothes hangers. A short time later, she realized that her denim shorts had been slashed and that she was cut and bleeding.
A motive for the attacks remains unclear.