Waltham police released surveillance video Saturday of a man they said was the suspect in a series of unprovoked, random attacks in the city over the past few weeks.
At least nine such attacks have been reported in Waltham since Nov. 10, Waltham police said in a statement Friday. The assailant appears to be lying in wait and taking victims by surprise, according to the statement.
The attacks began in the Gardencrest apartment complex on Middlesex Circle, police said. Others have since been reported in downtown areas along Chestnut and Charles streets.
On Facebook, the department on Saturday afternoon posted two videos of the suspect — who wore a dark hooded shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers — and asked for the public’s help in identifying the person.
“This person is a suspect in the string of recent assaults around Waltham,” the post said.
Police did not respond to requests for comment Saturday, and no further information was available.
WCVB-TV reported Friday night that an attack occurred around 8 p.m. that night on Chestnut Street, though it was unclear whether the incident was connected to the earlier assaults.
David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said troopers from the department’s Brighton barracks are assisting Waltham police by increasing patrols in the areas where attacks occurred.
Descriptions of the assailant have varied, police said in their statement, and witnesses have reported different heights, weights, and racial backgrounds. The attacks have occurred between 5:30 and 11:30 p.m.
“Residents have been informed through various sources to remain aware of their surroundings, especially when out after dark,” the statement said. “The Waltham Police are using all means necessary to bring these cases to an end as quickly as possible.”
Sean Durkee, a city councilor who presents Waltham’s Ward 6, said he organized a Zoom meeting of about 40 Gardencrest residents and city leaders, including Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, on Wednesday in response to the attacks.
Police officials on the call recommended people in the area walk in well-lit areas with friends and carry a noise maker while they’re outside, Durkee said. A translator was available on the call to assist Spanish speakers in getting their questions answered, he said.
“This has been a total surprise, a total shock,” Durkee said of the recent attacks. “This has been the first real public safety concern that residents have told me about.”
Councilors will also hold a hearing on Dec. 7 to discuss the attacks, and other issues of concern to Gardencrest residents, Durkee said.
Anyone with information regarding the attacks is asked to contact Waltham police at 781-314-3600 and select option number 4. They can also call the department’s anonymous tip line at 781-314-3636.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.