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Attacks on Two Women Prompt Warning from Police

By Katie Pyzyk - ARLNow.com

Tuesday - 5/15/2012, 4:45pm  ET

Attacks on two women on the same night, believed to be by the same suspect, have Arlington County Police cautioning walkers, particularly women. Both incidents took place late last Friday, May 11.

The first occurred around 11:15 p.m. in the 3300 block of Washington Blvd, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A 26-year-old female walked home alone after having spent a night out with friends. After she typed in the security code to open her garage door and walked inside the garage, she noticed the suspect standing at the bottom of her driveway. She became frightened and tried to close the automated garage door, but the man allegedly rushed toward her and stuck his hand over a sensor, causing the door to re-open. She made it inside the house, locked the door and called police while the suspect fled the scene.

According to Sternbeck, the victim described the suspect as a black man with a dark complexion and short hair, about 5’11″, 200 pounds and around 30 years of age. At the time, he had been wearing khaki pants and a red and white checkered shirt. The victim noted that she saw the suspect wearing black gloves when he put his hand over the garage sensor.

About an hour later, an individual matching the same description is believed to have attacked a woman in the 2100 block of Lee Highway. The 24-year-old female was walking home alone when the suspect allegedly grabbed and sexually assaulted her. The woman struggled and managed to punch the suspect in the stomach. He then reportedly threw her in some bushes and fled.

This victim told police that the suspect had covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming, and was wearing black gloves.

“Based on their descriptions and the similiarities in the incidents, we believe it’s the same individual,” Sternbeck said.

Police are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings, not to walk alone and to carry a cell phone for emergencies. Walkers are warned not to put themselves in vulnerable situations, or to have the “that can’t happen to me” mentality.

“We want people to be educated if they’re going to be out late at night,” Sternbeck said. “These are things you need to be aware of.”

Anybody with information about the suspect that may lead to his arrest is asked to call the police non-emergency number, at 703-558-2222.