NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man believed to be responsible for rapes and other attacks on 17 women since 1997 and dubbed the East Coast Rapist has been arrested in Connecticut, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

The suspect, identified as Aaron Thomas, 39, was taken into custody in New Haven at his home without incident by the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. He was captured Friday afternoon based on a lead from authorities in Virginia, said U.S. Marshal Joe Faughnan, who couldn’t provide further details.

No charges had been filed, he said.

“We’re still working the case,” he said. “At this point we’re trying to put everything together, and there’s been no formal
charges at this time.”

The East Coast Rapist eluded authorities for years despite committing a string of high-risk outdoor attacks, law enforcement officials say.

In a recent effort to generate new leads in the case, authorities posted sketches of the suspect on electronic billboards
in states where attacks occurred — Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland and Rhode Island — and in neighboring states.

Police also set up a website about the case at Detective John Kelly in Fairfax County, Va., said the website generated 44,000 hits in 12 hours after it was launched late last month.

The attacker wore a mask or hooded sweatshirt to conceal his face in some attacks, investigators say. He typically approached women outdoors on foot and threatened them with a knife or a handgun, they say.

The last known attack occurred on Halloween night in 2009, when two teenagers on their way home from trick-or-treating in Woodbridge, Va., were raped, authorities say.

The cases have been linked by DNA. Investigators say they have cleared more than 700 suspects.

On Saturday at 10 a.m. the New Haven Police along with other involved agencies will be holding a press conference at Police Headquarters, 1 Union Ave in the 3rd floor Lobby Area. No other information will be given until Press Conference.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (11)
  1. ko says:

    Get out the rope!!

  2. Doug says:

    Maybe we should give him life for NOT being
    a WEST coast rapist, as well.

    ………On second thought,take the loser out back and execute him,
    by the cheapest means possible.
    Times are ruff and we tax payers don’t want to waste another
    dime on this low life.

  3. bernard mc kernan says:

    Thank god. Lock him up for life until he dies in prison. He will get hell in the joint as well as the hereafter.

  4. Herman Glimsher says:


  5. delores perry says:

    dna will tell lock him up throw away the key let bubber get his butt

  6. issac7 says:

    Delores,…Tsk, tsk, you always talk dirty?

  7. marsha says:

    Once a positive ID is made I think the loser should be put in the center of town with his victims around him. They should be allowed to do what they want to him then someone should castrate him. Then when all is said and done they should execute him by the cheapest but slowest means possible.. Jail is too good for this creep

  8. Scott's County says:

    DNA is evrything guys. If the police took good rape kits and weren’t careless and negligent with him, they’ll get a 100% accuracy on his DNA profile and that he left on and in his victims.

  9. herman e says:

    this is so much b s they should have been caught him they caught me and i was only selling pot

  10. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    There should be an automatic blood DNA sample taken from anyone arrested not just for a felony. Run it through a national data base & the honest citizens could clear up half the crime in America. I don’t want to hear violation of rights B.S. If you are doing nothing wrong you won’t get arrested. How many criminals have we caught when their names S.S numbers are run through a data base that are wanted fugitives? DNA could solve a lot of rapes, murders & physical abuse victims.

  11. bernard mc kernan says:

    Cut his dic off but let him live. He will make a good girlfriend for all the horn-toads in the slammer. For sure he will get slammed again & again & cry for his mommy.

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