Rapist reports raise fear, precaution in offices

October 20, 1994|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,Sun Staff Writer

A man wanted by Baltimore County police for raping two lawyers in their Pikesville and Towson offices this month has workers fearing for their safety and scared that he will strike again.

A composite drawing of the suspect was displayed in Towson office buildings yesterday and distributed to employees in the area, police said. The photo was also being faxed from office to office in hopes of helping police catch the man.

The suspect was described as a slightly built black man in his 30s, 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing a black leather hat, casual clothing and carrying a black leather briefcase. Several Towson workers interviewed by The Sun reported seeing a man matching that description as late as yesterday.

"Whether he is just targeting female attorneys or just women working late, we're not sure," said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman.

Police said the man has been seen wandering through law and business offices in Towson as if he has lost his way. If confronted, he usually says he's looking for a business office.

A 37-year-old woman was raped at 6:20 p.m. Oct. 4 in a Pikesville-area office park, and a 26-year-old woman was raped at 6:50 p.m. Friday at a Towson office building, police said.

Police said the man entered the offices through unlocked doors in both cases and told the victims he had a knife or gun but did not display a weapon.

Police asked the news media not to disclose the exact locations of the buildings to protect the identities of the victims.

Police said the man waited in or near the offices until other workers had left and the victims were alone.

Several Towson businesses were taking precautionary steps yesterday, such as installing peep holes in doors and hiring security guards.

"We've hired some private policemen to guard the door entrances," said Arthur Waxter, owner of the First Financial Group building on Washington Avenue in Towson. "We've also got a television viewer at the back door. Our tenants want him caught."

Linda Wagner and Mary Ann McCormick, receptionists for a patent law firm in the building, watched as a handyman installed peep holes in the door.

"Some of the girls saw him at lunchtime," Ms. Wagner said of the suspect. "It's just terrible."

Carla Delvillaggio, a secretary for a law firm in the same building, said she saw the man over a week ago.

"The same guy came to our door early last Monday or Tuesday," Ms. Delvillaggio said. "When I found out about the rapes later on, I realized it was him. Luckily for me, he just opened the door, asked me directions to a business I never heard of and then left. I guess he realized I wasn't alone at the time. It's real scary."

Susan Hulse, who works in the Towson office building where the second victim was raped, said the man was also spotted in her building.

"He came through our office looking for a job," said Ms. Hulse. "A co-worker told him we didn't take applications so he left. We get a lot of solicitors in the building or just people wandering in and out. We were asked by management to keep it quiet so that people wouldn't be too alarmed, but it's just too scary. There's just no security around here.

"It holds up the office by keeping people from getting their work done, but I've instructed people not to come in too early or stay too late," Ms. Hulse added. "We've just got to be extra careful and cautious until this man is caught."

Police are asking workers who are in their offices alone at night to lock their doors and to ask a friend or building security officer to escort them to their cars. Anyone with information on the rapist's identity is asked to call police at 887-2198.

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