MILWAUKIE, Ore. -- Jared Walter appeared in court Tuesday on robbery and transportation interference charges stemming from a rash of bizarre assaults on TriMet.
Walter was arrested New Year's Eve after a woman claims she caught him cutting her hair on the bus. Since then, reports have poured from across the country that allegedly link Walter to various hair-cutting assaults, some involving superglue, and all in communities that he is known to have lived.
Eight women in Clackamas County have joined alleged victims from Pierce County, Wash. to Houston who claim they've been assaulted by the 22-year-old Milwaukie resident.
On Jan. 6, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office announced they had joined authorities across the country who were investigating Walter, after several women said they too had been assaulted in public places by Walter.
Deputies also said he was a suspect in three burglaries at the Bluff's Apartments, where Walter lived alone. One woman claimed that someone broke into her apartment while she slept; when she awoke, she found an "oily substance" in her hair and her purse was stolen, according to Detective Jim Strovinck.
Hair-cutting, super-glue-wielding suspect arrested on NYE
The first bizarre report involving Walter occurred on New Year's Eve, when a woman on the 33-McLoughlin/Fremont bus called 9-1-1 and reported that a man had cut her hair on the bus, according to TriMet and Portland Police. Walter tried to flee but was stopped by the woman and bus driver. He was taken into custody at the Milwaukie Transit Center.
It wasn't the first time TriMet had received reports of random hair-cutting in transit. Spokesperson Becki Witt said three prior reports had been lodged by women claiming a man had assaulted them with glue and scissors, including another attack earlier on Dec. 31. All four reports were lodged by riders of the 33-Fremont.
"It's pretty unusual activity," Witt said, adding that Walter had been cited earlier December for boarding a bus without fare.
Monday, Walter was charged in Multnomah County Superior Court with public transit interference and robbery related to the New Year's Eve attack. He was lodged in county jail on $12,500 bail.
The Oregonian reported that Walter was wanted on hair-and-glue assault charges in King County, Wash. and that he was convicted of burglary with intent to commit a sex crime in Texas.
Report unveils other glue-and-scissor victims
Victims began to emerge across the country, in communities Walter was known to have lived, after the story was first reported on KGW News.
A 12-year-old girl in Houston, Tex. was allegedly attacked and super-glued at a Walgreen's drugstore. The assault was caught on surveillance video and Texas police indicated Walter was a suspect.
"When I touched myself it felt hot like it was sizzling on my hair. And I said, that guy put glue in my hair," the girl told KHOU-TV reporters. Soon after her hair began to fall out.
Four other victims in the Houston area allege they too had superglue squirted in their hair on the same day: one attack happened in a Walgreen's, another in a Kroger grocery store, two at a movie theater and still another inside the discounter Marshall's.
"I turned to my friend and I said I can't move my head, my hair is stuck to my seat," said one victim, whose identity was protected. "I'm like - what's my hair going to be like. I don't understand what kind of satisfaction you get dumping glue in someones hair."
Walter has not been charged in any of the Houston incidents; however, one victim claimed she recognized him as her attacker after his Oregon mugshot was broadcast on the Houston news.
Walter jailed for super-glue squirting in Washington
In May, Walter was arrested on assault charges for allegedly squirting superglue into a woman's hair at a Pierce County, Wash. hardware store.