The first victim of Fairfax County’s serial butt slasher spoke out Thursday to warn others.
“Just because it’s happening in the mall, it can happen anywhere,” said the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous. “Anytime, anyplace, to anybody.”
The 20-year-old was visibly pregnant – almost five months – when she was targeted at the Fair Oaks Mall in February. After a long day of shopping, she was carrying her bags alone toward an exit. When she approached the door, she saw a reflection of a man following her about 30 feet back.
“I’m pushing the door open, and then all of sudden, he’s right there behind me, and I felt a pinch on my bottom and I thought he just grabbed me and I was like, ‘Hey, you just cut my leggings,’ and he was like, ‘No, no, no. It was my bag.’ He was carrying a little, yellow bag,” the victim said.
When she touched the wound, her hand became covered in blood.
Since then, similar attacks on women have occurred at the Marshall’s in the Greenbriar Shopping Center, the H&M at Tysons Corner and on two other occasions at Fair Oaks Mall. In the most recent attack, an 18-year-old woman was in Forever 21 at the Fair Oaks Mall at 5:30 p.m. Monday when clothing fell over and felt a sharp pain in her butt. It took a moment for her to realize she’d be cut through her denim shorts with a box cutter or a razor.
In each attack, the victims have been women in their late teens or early 20s. Usually, the slashing follows some sort of distraction, and the attacker calmly walks away without creating a scene and before anyone realizes what happened. Once a woman was walking in an open area of a mall when she was bumped and slashed.
While none of the five victims suffered serious injuries, the first victim said the cut went pretty deep and she has a permanent scar.
“It was a really weird cut,” she said. “It was kind of sideways, so it didn’t need stitches because he said the scarring would be worse if I got them, but I definitely could have had them.”
She said she fears future attacks could be more serious.
The best defense against the serial butt slasher is to be aware of your surroundings, report suspicious people immediately and, if possible, don't shop alone.
According to Fairfax police, the suspect is described as Hispanic, in his late 20s, approximately 5-foot-6 in height and heavyset.
Anyone with information about the case should call police at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS/8477. Or you can submit tips by texting TIP187 plus your message to 274637 or online.