The Arlington Police Department is investigating what is at least the fifth confirmed attack on teenage girls in a specific neighborhood over the past six months.
The most recent incident was reported on Friday, April 18, in the 1900 block of Carter Drive, according to police. That location is where a man ran behind two teens — ages 14 and 15 — pushed one girl down and grabbed the second girl, police said.
That girl screamed and fought with the suspect before she and her friend ran away toward a neighbor's house, according to police.
Veronica Arriaza spends a lot of time in one of those neighborhoods where her boyfriend lives. She says news of the attacks has made her feel uneasy about being there.
"It's kind of scary," said Arriaza. "It worries me. You want to know you're safe just walking up and down the street."
This attack is similar to four others reported between November 2013 through January of this year. Those reports involved a man who approached and inappropriately touched other teenage girls in the same general neighborhood.
All the attacks have been reported in the area near state Highway 360 between Abram Street and Pioneer Parkway.
In each of those instances, the four girls — ranging from age 12 to 16 — were approached from behind by a man as they walked home in the afternoon and evening hours, according to a news release from the Arlington Police Department.
"These are young girls that are being frightened, that are being attacked and so we want to make sure that we can do everything we can to get this man or these men off the streets," Tiara Richard of the Arlington Police Department told NBC 5 on Tuesday.
Arlington police continue to step up patrols in the area where the attacks have happened and have alerted their Citizens on Patrol volunteers to keep an eye out for the Civic. They've also met with several Community Watch groups in the area and are encouraging people to come forward with any information.
"The increased eyes out there don't do any good if we don't get the information," said Sgt. Jeff Houston, a spokesperson for the Arlington Police Department. "So it does take the call to 911 to let us know what you've seen and who doesn't belong in the neighborhood."
The previous incidents happened in the following locations:
- A 12-year-old girl was attacked on Nov. 15, 2013, on the 800 block of E. Timberlake Drive.
- A 14-year-old girl was attacked on Dec. 10, 2013, on the 2200 block of E. Park Row Drive.
- A 16-year-old girl was attacked on Jan. 2, 2014, on the 1800 block of E. Tucker Boulevard.
- A 16-year-old girl was attacked on Jan. 16, 2014, on the 2300 block of Huntington Drive.
- Two girls, ages 14 and 15, said a man ran up to them, pushed one down and grabbed the other on April 18, 2014, on the 1900 block of Carter Drive.
- To see the locations plotted on a map, click here.
So far, police cannot confirm if the same person is responsible for each of these assaults, but do acknowledge the similarities.
"And that's the tough part to know. Until we get this person or the persons responsible in custody we really won't know their intentions," Richard said.
In the most recent incident, the suspect is described as a young man in his 20s wearing a gray hooded top, according to a news release. He was seen leaving the scene in a vehicle, possibly a newer model dark-colored Honda Civic.
A neighbor's security camera captured video of what may be the suspect's vehicle driving along Carter Drive before the attack. Arlington police are asking for help locating the vehicle in the surveillance footage.
Below is the surveillance video that police posted to YouTube:
There may have been other incidents as well.
Savannah Weathers, 17, said she was approached and chased by a man under similar circumstances three weeks ago in this same neighborhood.
"I heard someone following me and when I turned around he, like, whistled at me and I just kept walking and he started chasing me," Weathers said.
Weathers said she reported the incident to Arlington police and spoke with an officer at her school about what happened.
When asked if she could identify the man if she were to see him again, Weathers said she could.
"Terrified," Weathers said about how the ordeal makes her feel today. "Makes me not want to go anywhere alone anymore."
If you have any information about the vehicle seen in the surveillance video, please contact Arlington police.
NBC 5's Tim Ciesco contributed to this report.