WEST SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WUSA) -- The serial groper has expanded his territory into West Springfield, attacking his 12th victim, according to police.
At approximately 10:28 a.m. Tuesday, a 49-year-old woman was jogging on Blarney Stone Drive near Omega Court when a man came from behind her and groped her. She punched him and he ran off.
This incident marks the first time the serial groper has attacked a woman in West Springfield. Most of the cases happened in the heart of Springfield on or near Hibbling Avenue, several miles away where Karina Bedosky lives.
Bedosky told WUSA 9, "I walk my dogs all the time, they're small dogs and I know they're not able to protect me, sometimes I keep it in mind but most of the time I forget about it."
Linda Wuckovich, a retired Arlington County police officer, added, "Even though you're close to home that's when you let your guard down and bad things can happen."
Wuckovich is a 28-year veteran of the Arlington County Police Department. She's taught thousands of people in her 25 years of instructing self defense classes. She says there's not only a false sense of security close to home but people deny anything bad will happen.
"We're like, 'oh, I'm sure it's nothing.' You want to always plan an exit, see a delivery truck or other people walking. Start going where people are going to be," said Wuckovich.
Bedosky admitted, "If someone came up to me I wouldn't know how to react if something happened to me."
Wuckovich has advice: "The first thing you should do is 'no get off me!' Yell really loud and so it attracts attention. You have to be prepared to do something and the majority of people don't know what to do so they don't do anything."
If you are attacked, Wuckovich says follow these three tips:
1. be aware of your surroundings.
2. have an escape route.
In many of the cases, the groper is described as a Hispanic male, around 5' 8" between 25-30 years old, wearing a red baseball cap, and skinny jeans.
In this case, the suspect was described as Hispanic between 25 and 30 years old and approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall. He was wearing a red cap, black jacket and blue skinny jeans.