Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Arlington Police Search For Possible Serial Rapist

Sketch of suspect wanted in connection with attempted Arlington rape incident.
(Photo: Arlington County Police Department)

Bruce Leshan, WUSA 6:39 p.m. EDT August 10, 2015

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- With four attempted rapes or abductions happening to women walking alone at night in the last 16 days, Arlington police fear a serial rapist may be on the loose.

All four women were able to fight off their attacker.

PREVIOUS: Pillowcase put over woman's face in Arlington assault

The most recent assault occurred on Saturday near Lyon Village Park when a woman was walking alone from a bar at 3 a.m. Saturday.

The man approached the woman from behind and threw a pillowcase over her head. She kicked and screamed until he finally pulled off the pillowcase and ran away.

"It's terrible. I just don't expect that around here," said neighbor Tammy Gibbs.

The first attack happened on July 25th around 1:20 a.m., just blocks from police headquarters. The man grabbed a woman from behind, dragged her into the bushes and pulled on her pants. She fought him off and waved down a motorist.

She helped police develop a composite sketch.

"I live here and sometimes I come at night and it's really dark and you cannot see anything," said Victoria Vallejos.

The second attack happened on July 31st around 9 p.m. in Glencarlyn Park on the trail. Again the victim was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground.

The woman bit the man's hand and he ran away. She helped with a composite sketch that could be the same man. Police say they see other similarities.

"They are attacked from behind, the females are thrown to the ground, where this individual or individuals tries to get on top of them and sexually assault them," said Arlington Police Spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The third attack happened on August 1st around 11:30 p.m. at 4300 N Pershing Drive. A 25-year-old woman was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground while she was walking home. This woman also bit his hand and he ran off.

"Important to point out that if you are a victim of crime, that you call 911 immediately. In a couple of cases, the victim did wait until the following morning," said Sternbeck.

Some of the women may have waited to report because they were a little drunk after leaving a bar. Police say if you're a victim of crime, it doesn't matter if you're sober or intoxicated.

Arlington police say they have stepped up patrols and deployed extra undercover officers. Police are also reaching out to other jurisdictions to see if they too have had similar attacks.

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