"East Coast Rapist" suspect Aaron Thomas "passive" and "weak," say surprised detectives

"East Coast Rapist" suspect: Detectives shocked by mild-mannered, talkative behavior of Aaron Thomas
Aaron Thomas, dubbed the East Coast Rapist by law enforcement, leaves New Haven Superior Court after his arraignment, Monday, March 7, 2011. AP Photo/Jessica Hill

(CBS/WFSB/AP) NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The "East Coast Rapist" spent the past 14 years evading police capture while continuing to prey on more and more victims. When detectives finally caught up with 39-year-old serial rape suspect Aaron Thomas, they braced themselves for a combative confrontation with a ruthless predator.

Instead, they found him to be mild-mannered, talkative, and "weak."

Fairfax County detectives who have been following alleged serial rapist Aaron H. Thomas since his first attack in 1999 told The Washington Post that Thomas did not fit the typical profile of a  serial rapist.

"You're expecting this big confrontation," Mark Pfeiffer, a Fairfax County detective who interviewed Thomas after his arrest, told The Washington Post. "You always try to envision what he's going to be like. Then you see this weak person."

Other law enforcement officials who met and interviewed Thomas concurred with detective Pfeiffer and said the suspect was "mild, passive, talkative, and weak."

Thomas confessed to the detectives and talked about his uncontrollable urges that led him to commit the atrocious crimes, but did not necessarily take responsibility or show remorse for the sexual attacks, reports The Washington Post.

After his arrest in New Haven, Conn. Friday, Thomas, who had been following the media coverage asked police, "Why haven't you picked me up sooner?"

Thomas is a suspect in a dozen sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults in Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia from 1997 to 2009. Authorities said he was arrested Friday after DNA taken from a cigarette he tossed the day before matched that of the man policed referred to as the "East Coast Rapist."

The judge ordered Thomas to appear on March 22 in a nearby courthouse reserved for only the most serious cases.

Click here for complete coverage of the "East Coast Rapist" on Crimesider.