Updated at the bottom: There might be another assailant out there, but cops still think this guy did most of the handy work.

Call him the Mad Slapper.

Cops this morning arrested a man they say has slapped, punched and pushed four three women and one man, unprovoked, near City Hall and, yes, LAPD headquarters downtown.

The city's illustrious General Services police spotted the suspect yesterday and even took his photo, but did not arrest him. Huh. Alas, LAPD cops nabbed Jermaine Vincent Moran about 7 this morning near …

… the scene of the crimes — at Temple and Main streets. Lt. Paul Vernon said in a statement:

It didn't take long to find Mr. Moran, and he was within a block of where all of the previous attacks occurred.

Police were holding Moran on warrants while they gather evidence in the alleged assaults, they said.

The suspect had been doing this since Jan. 3, according to the department. As late as yesterday the same man allegedly slapped a woman in the head at First and Main streets, police said.

The LAPD describes other allegations:

Police received the next report on January 10 at 8:30 a.m. when he punched a woman in the nose as she walked past him on the sidewalk at Main and 3rd Streets. The next day, he struck twice, punching a business man in the neck in the morning, then punching a woman in the stomach in the afternoon. The last two victims are women.

General Services Department police actually spotted the guy at City Hall's Los Angeles Mall about 7:40 a.m. and took his photo (published here) but appeared to have let him go on his merry way.

[Update at 1:14 p.m.]: The LAPD says a victim ruled out Moran as her assailant, and now they're looking for another alleged slapper on the loose. From City News Service:

One victim, a woman who was accosted on Jan. 11, “clearly eliminated'' Moran as the suspect, however, Vernon said. Her assailant was described as … 5 feet 10 inches tall, “thin, but not too thin,'' who wore dirty blue jeans. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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