York Regional Police are asking for the public's help identifying a man suspected of carrying out a bizarre sexual assault and a series of strange incidents in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill sexual assault suspect

Police released this image last week while they were still trying to identify the man linked to a string of foot fetish incidents. Mattieu Petrin, 28, now faces sexual assault and other charges, York Regional Police said. Sudbury police are now investigating similar incidents in the city. (York Regional Police)

According to police, a man walked into a tanning salon in the Yonge Street and Canyon Hill Avenue area on Thursday morning and began asking a female customer about her boots. It's alleged that the man then grabbed the victim's leg, tore off her boot and sock and forcibly began licking her bare foot. 

The suspect then fled the scene with the woman's boot and sock. The victim was not hurt in the incident. 

The previous day, Nov. 19, a suspect believed to be the same man strolled into a different tanning salon near Yonge Street and 16th Avenue and asked a woman to see her shoe. Police said he told her he was shopping for a new pair of shoes for a relative. 

When she handed over her shoe, the man smelled it and then fled with it, police said.

Investigators believe the same suspect may be responsible for numerous other similar incidents. 

The individual being sought is described as approximately 30 years old, about five feet eight inches tall with a medium build, 170 pounds and sporting short reddish-brown hair and a neatly cropped beard.

Anyone with potentially helpful information is asked to call York Regional Police Special Victims Unit — Sexual Assault Section or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.