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Police release video of Boston attacker as city sees surge in random unprovoked attacks

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Lisa Kashinsky

Boston Herald

Waltham Police are now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the “awful” string of at least 10 random, unprovoked attacks that are stoking “fear” in their city as they step up patrols on the ground and in the skies.

“There is definitely a fear factor in our city right now. We’ve never experienced anything like this,” Detective Sgt. Stephen McCarthy said during a press conference Tuesday.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not losing sleep at night,” McCarthy, one of investigators on the case, said. “This is an awful situation. But I’m very confident that we’re going to work through this and find the people or persons that are responsible.”

The new reward comes after police released video over the weekend of a man they say is responsible for the “surprise” nighttime attacks that have been terrorizing residents since Nov. 10.

McCarthy said police “have a couple of persons of interest” in the assaults — 10 incidents in which men have been assailed between 5:30 and 11:30 p.m., and sometimes hit in the face or head with an object.

An 11th victim was reported through the police department’s anonymous tip line. While the reported incident had the “same characteristics” of the others, police have not verified it.

With the attacks shifting over time from the Gardencrest apartment complex to the downtown area, Waltham Police said they’re increasing patrols downtown and using drones to keep watch overhead.

Waltham Police Chief Keith MacPherson said the person responsible appears to be “laying in wait for the victims” and attacking from behind to catch them off guard. MacPherson urged residents to be aware of their surroundings, particularly at night.

“The motive is somewhat in question,” MacPherson said. “But it appears to be a thrill of the assault or someone who’s very violent and enjoys seeing someone hurt by this.”

Some of the victims have been hospitalized, he said, with the severity of their injuries leading police to believe “there has to be a weapon involved.”

“They’re pretty serious injuries, including orbital and facial fractures, a fractured nose, lacerations to the face,” MacPherson said. “We don’t believe it can be just someone’s fist.”

MacPherson said the potentially life-threatening nature of the injuries was one of the main reasons behind the monetary reward.

“If someone’s struck in the head with a blunt object, a strike alone could cause a serious head injury, as could a fall to the pavement,” MacPherson said. “There’s definitely the potential for serious injury or even death.”

Anyone with information can call Waltham Police at 781-314-3600 (select option 4) or the anonymous tip line at 781-314-3636.

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