The suspect in a string of at least 10 random assaults in Massachusetts now has a price on his head. Authorities in Waltham, about 20 miles outside of Boston, offered a $5,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible for the recent attacks, NBC News reports. The suspect, described as a Black male between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 with a medium build, was "lying in wait" for his victims, said Police Chief Keith MacPherson. Lead detective Sgt. Steve McCarthy said the attacks have created a "fear factor in our city right now," adding, "I'd be lying to you if I said I'm not losing sleep at night, you know, coming into work." On Facebook, the city advised residents to "remain aware of their surroundings" and said police have stepped up patrols.
The attacks began Nov. 10, with the first five happening at an apartment complex and another five in downtown Waltham. The assailant hasn't used a gun or knife, but struck his victims with a blunt object, according to reports. "The motive is somewhat in question but it appears to be a thrill of the assault, or someone who's very violent and enjoys seeing someone hurt by this," MacPherson said, per the Boston Globe. "There's never been a robbery. It's always been just an assault and the assailant takes off." One victim said the attack happened "very quickly" and left him with a broken nose and a cracked head: "I was not prepared for this," he said. Mayor Jeannette McCarthy asked residents to avoid walking outside at night, per Patch. "Use the buddy system if you have to go out," she added. (Read more assault stories.)