Prague Police have arrested the man accused of cutting numerous women’s hair while they used public transport in the city.
According to police spokeswoman Hana Křížová, the 41 year-old man (whose identity is not being released due to Czech privacy law) was taken into custody aboard a bus on Budějovická Street in Prague 4. At the time of his arrest he was found with both scissors and the hair of several victims in his pockets.
Once in custody, and under questioning, the man confessed to some 25 individual incidents in which he would approach women on trams or buses, snip their hair with a pair of scissors, and then run away. In his home, investigators found more evidence (see image below).
Earlier in February, after 5 prior reports of assault from women, police released a video of a man they believed to be the alleged suspect or possibly a witness who was seen on camera near the scene of a 6th incident. The police then asked for help in identifying the perpetrator and requested that any women who hadn’t yet come forward contact them as there was fear of escalation – after all, the attacks were in public, often during daylight, and quite brazen.
In the UK, a man named Danilo Restivo, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, is known to have began the same way as the Prague suspect by cutting the hair of 9 strangers in both the UK and Italy while they were on the street or on public transit.
Records show that, unlike the current case in Prague, the Italian police were aware of Restivo but never took action after reports came in. Eventually, Restivo’s attacks escalated into violence culminating in two murders, one in the UK where he is currently serving his sentence for the murder of his neighbor Heather Barnett in 2002 and another in Italy where he was convicted in absentia for the murder of 16 year-old Elisa Claps. Thankfully, the police here acted quickly.
The suspect here has been booked on the charge of Disorderly Conduct and faces up to two years in prison if convicted. Given the evidence at hand and the confession, prosecutors feel he will be given the maximum sentence.
The Police thanked the public for their assistance in locating the suspect based on the video that was released.
Women in Prague can breath a sigh of relief knowing the man is off the streets.