Arrest made in 3 Arlington attempted sexual assaults

WASHINGTON — A man has been arrested in connection with two of the many attempted sexual assaults that have plagued Arlington since late July.

The Arlington County police said on Wednesday that Melvin Perez Bonilla, 19, of Arlington, was arrested early Wednesday, and police say he confessed to two sexual assaults including one reported last week.

Bonilla is accused of attacking a woman on the night of Sept. 29 in the 1200 block of North Quincy Street and in the early hours of July 25 in the 1900 block of North Scott Street, in the Clarendon area.

Police are awaiting DNA results that could link Bonilla to a third attack in the 1900 block of North Highland Street in the early hours of Aug. 8.

All three attacks were on women who were walking alone.

The victim in the Sept. 29 assault told police that her attacker was on the same bus as she and got off at her stop. Arlington County police obtained surveillance footage from Metro to help identify the man responsible and his travel patterns, says polices spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Police arrested Bonilla as he climbed off a Metrobus in the Courthouse area early Wednesday, Sternbeck says.

A composite sketch based on victim statements previously released had similar features to Bonilla including thick eyebrows, a tall hairstyle and long, somewhat prominent ears.

Bonilla is charged with two counts of attempted abduction with the intent to defile. He was being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility Wednesday.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty and Amanda Iacone contributed to this report.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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