The Fair Oaks Mall is the latest in a series of public places where Fairfax County police report young women have become victims of physical violence. A man, dubbed as the "serial cutter," has been the subject of a police hunt since February.
The most recent incident involved an 18-year-old female shopper at Forever XXI in Fair Oaks Mall. The teenager said that some clothing had fallen from a rack behind her. As a man knelt down to pick up the clothes, the woman said she felt pain in her backside.
The shopper's immediate assumption was that she had made contact with a clothes hanger. She later realized that her shorts had been slashed and that she was bleeding from a wound to her rear end. By the time the woman notified store employees and police were called, the suspected cutter was nowhere to be seen.
Investigators say the "serial cutter" has struck five times since February. Before the most recent occurrence, another young woman was slashed under similar circumstances. The victim had been shopping at Marshall's in Greenbriar Shopping Center on a Monday afternoon when she was cut with a sharp object.
All of the women have been young and shopping in public places. The man apparently distracts women first and then cuts them.
Investigators describe the assailant as a Hispanic man in his late 20s who they believe may have a history of assaults against women. One ex-FBI profiler suggested that the slasher may suffer from piquerism, a disorder that provides a person with sexual pleasure when he or she inflicts pain on others with sharp objects. The profiler believes the attacks will continue until the cutter is caught.
Northern Virginia police do not take allegations of violence lightly. If investigators notice a trend, they often work tirelessly to figure out who is committing the crime. If you suspect you are being investigated for a crime, it is important to speak with an experience defense attorney. Speaking to a lawyer before talking to police can be helpful in making sure you fully understand your rights.
Source: Inside Nova, "Criminal profiler: serial butt slasher won't stop until caught," David Pierce, 26 July 2011