Police released a computer-generated rendering Tuesday of an unidentified man believed to be responsible for at least 13 groping assaults on women and teenage girls in Chula Vista over the last four months.
Four of the attacks have occurred since Friday, and one of the latest victims, a 19-year-old woman, was able to provide the most detailed description of the assailant to date, CVPD Lt. Phil Collum said.
In each case, the groper -- a white man or light-skinned Latino who appears to be in his early 20s, with a thin mustache -- grabbed a female pedestrian and fondled her briefly before running off.
None of the victims, who range in age from 15 to 40, reported any significant injuries from the assaults, though one told investigators the man had bit on her buttock during the attack.
"He's certainly escalating significantly from groping to now biting," said former El Cajon police officer Kevin Lachapelle. "I think that is a significant jump... My gut feeling is if he escalated once, he may escalate twice."
Police said there is no pattern as to what time of day the man will strike, but all the women were alone during the attack.
"If they can jog with a partner or walk to and from school with a partner, that would potentially take away that opportunity for the suspect," said Chula Vista Police Department Lt. Roxana Kennedy.
10News spoke with one of the victims who said she was groped earlier this month.
"Out of nowhere I felt somebody just grab me and I turned around and I remember having him by his shirt," 18-year-old Angelica Rodriguez told 10News reporter Joe Little.
In the last five days, four women have come forward to report they were groped.
Many women walking in the area of the attacks Tuesday afternoon had no idea the man was on the loose.
"I think all women should be careful," said Chula Vista resident Nereida Mora.
"Turn around, make sure no one's behind you," added Genae Glasper, also a Chula Vista resident.
Three of the victims are juveniles, Collum said. One of the targeted women managed to punch the assailant before he fled.
Police believe the same man, frequently clad in a sweat shirt with the hood pulled over his head, carried out groping assaults at the following times and locations:
Sept. 19, 8 p.m., 100 Fifth Ave.
Oct. 6, 12:20 p.m., 400 Moss St.
Nov. 25, 6:40 p.m., 511 Naples St.
Nov. 26, 9:40 p.m., 726 Broadway
Jan. 6, 6 p.m., Broadway at Halsey Street
Jan. 7, 10:15 a.m., 240 Quintard St.
Jan. 7, 11 a.m., G Street at Fifth Avenue
Jan. 12, 3:45 p.m., 100 Palomar St.
Jan. 13, 2:50 p.m., 4th Avenue at I Street
Jan. 14, 6:40 p.m., F Street at Broadway
Jan. 14, 4:50 p.m., Main Street at Jacqua Street
Jan. 17, 4:05 p.m., 1067 Fourth Ave.
Jan. 17, 6:15 p.m., 300 Naples St.
Lachapelle said he's seen cases that are similar, but this one is unusual.
"This is seriously a high amount of cases in a very short amount of time," he said.
Police asked anyone who spots a suspicious-looking man matching the description of the assailant to call CVPD communications at 619-691-5151.
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