Women in Boston’s western suburbs are rushing to buy pepper spray after four crimes that may ahve been committed by one man: two rapes, a knife assault, and an intruder’s assaulting a woman in her bedroom.
The Boston Globe says that more than 100 people called police in Hopkinton over the weekend, and the number of calls about pepper spray and mace increased dramatically. “People have gone from not thinking about it at all to wanting to arm themselves to the teeth,” Framingham police Officer Peter Galvani said. “They’ve gone from one side of the spectrum to the other. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing.” A salesman at The Sports Authority in Framingham said he sold more mace and pepper spray over the weekend than he had in the past six months.
Criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University told the Globe that the attacker does not appear to be a highly organized and extensive planner. By committing four attacks in a short time frame, the suspect probably thinks he is “uncatchable, unstoppable, or he just doesn’t care at all,” Fox said. Fox said someone who appears sporadic and haphazard in his attacks usually gets caught by making a blunder: “This is not a skillful offender who is attempting to cover his trail. Offenders like this tend to be easier to catch.”