Riverside police and other agencies asked for the public’s help Wednesday in identifying a serial rapist and robber involved in dozens of violent attacks on women at businesses in three counties.
The male attacker — described as about 6 feet tall and weighing 240 to 260 pounds — has sexually assaulted women at dozens of massage parlors, spas and acupuncture clinics, authorities said.
Some victims were badly beaten, police said. The man also told victims he would kill them if they contacted police, authorities said.
His DNA profile has been available to police for a decade but he has not been identified or caught, Riverside Police Department Detective Arulio Melendez said during a morning news conference Wednesday.
“He’s operating in what we could call a normal state of mind during the rest of his life … He’s able to compartmentalize,” Melendez said.
In one case, the man chased a 55-year-old woman down a hallway, slammed her into a wall, dislocating her shoulder and knocking out five teeth, Melendez said. He then punched her and dragged her down the hallway by her hair, he added.
“He’s capable of great violence,” Melendez said. “It’s repulsive.”
Seven different law enforcement agencies have teamed up in the search, according to the Riverside Police Department.
More than 30 people across Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have been victimized, police said. Only one of the crimes occurred in the city of Riverside — the attacker’s most recent, police said.
Twelve of the crimes have been tied to the same attacker through DNA evidence, while other crimes fit similar descriptions — often including a robbery, Melendez said.
The crimes occurred from 2003 to 2009, according to evidence, but Melendez said police believe the attacks could be continuing but are not getting reported.
That could be in part because the victims are foreign nationals who are not familiar with local police or are ashamed, police said.
“There’s no reason to believe he’s just stopped,” Melendez said.
Wednesday’s news conference was the first time authorities were publicly connecting all the crimes, Melendez said. Police released security camera footage of the attacker in several settings.
Some victims came forward to report a robbery, only later saying they were sexually assaulted, police said.
The primary concern of police was to identify and help victims of the attacker, Melendez said.