Dallas police are on alert for an armed man they are describing as a "serial rapist."
Investigators revealed Tuesday night there have been seven sexual assaults near Fair Park since June. The State Fair of Texas begins in just three weeks.
The first attack happened June 22 in the 4600 block of Metropolitan Avenue. Another followed June 30 in the 4100 block of Malcolm X Boulevard.
The assailant attacked again, police say, on August 20 on Spring Avenue, attacking two women who were walking together.
The assaults continued August 22 in the 2800 block of Warren Avenue; August 30 in the 3200 block of Meadow Street; and September 1, again on Spring Avenue.
Dallas police said it wasn't until the August attacks that detectives realized there was a pattern.
"The two victims from June, the information we developed at the time did not indicate there was a serial [rapist]. We had this gap — we don't know, that's part of our investigation — why we had this large gap of six weeks," said Maj. Jeff Cotner. "Since August 20 through September 1, we've had five occurrences. Certainly we could see the trend there."
Victims describe the assailant as a black man in his mid-20s to 30 years old; 180-200 lbs; at times wearing a T-shirt and basketball shorts. He is said to cover his face with a mask or bandana. He wears oval/round prescription glasses with a gold metal rim.
And he always uses a gun.
Police said the suspect often approaches his victim at gunpoint, demanding money. He then forces the victim to a vacant lot or wooded area and demands to have sex.
The suspect's getaway car is believed to be either a gray four-door Honda civic or a gray older model Volvo with tinted windows.
"I want to give some precautionary advice to those folks living in these neighborhoods," Cotner said. "Be aware. We have a possible predator among them. Take precautions not to walk alone. Walk with others if possible."
But Cotner noted that one woman who was attacked was walking with her older children when she was forced away at gunpoint. And there was the August 20 attack on Spring Avenue where the man victimized two women walking with each other.
Dallas police are increasing patrols in areas the suspect has targeted — the 75210 and 75215 zip codes south and east of Fair Park — and they say they are working with the victims to try and develop a sketch of the suspect.