Aug 10, 2010

This composite sketch provided by the Michigan State Police on Friday Aug. 6, 2010 shows a suspect in a string of murders in the Flint area. Investigators say a knife-wielding serial killer has been attacking men on Flint-area streets since May, killing five people and wounding eight others in a vicious spate of violence that may be motivated by racial hatred. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)
 

A white man who stabbed or attacked three dark-skinned men in Leesburg this month is probably the "Flint serial killer," thought to have killed five men and wounded 10 -- almost all of them black -- in Michigan, police said Monday.

The unprovoked Virginia assaults began Aug. 3, when a teenager out for a nighttime jog suddenly felt a sharp pain, then turned to see a man who had plunged a knife in his back. Two days later and a short distance away, police think, the same assailant stabbed a 67-year-old man who was sitting on the stoop outside his apartment. Then, on Friday, the attacker asked a man for help fixing a dark-green sport-utility vehicle, then struck the good Samaritan in the head with a hammer.

Leesburg Police Chief Joseph R. Price said he is confident the man wanted in Flint is the same person attacking men in Loudoun County. There are striking similarities in the methods of the attacks, but the strongest evidence is the specific description of the suspect's green SUV, which is nearly identical in both locations.

Price said he thinks the man may be prowling for more victims and warned residents to be on guard. He recommended that people use the buddy system while walking or jogging. Police in Michigan have been reluctant to say the attacker is motivated by race, but Price was not.

"He's attacking based simply on the color of their skin," Price said. "I would consider this man to be very desperate and very dangerous."

Meanwhile, indications emerged Monday that the assailant may have struck over the weekend in Toledo. The last attack in Leesburg was on Friday.

Police in the Ohio city said Monday that the stabbing of a black Toledo man Saturday is likely linked to similar crimes in Flint and Leesburg, ToledoBlade.com reported.

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