DC police seek man in pair of sexual assaults in same NW block

A shooting around 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17, 2019, prompted D.C. police response in the Columbia Heights area. (WTOP/Will Vitka)

D.C. police are asking for the public’s help in solving two very similar home invasions and sexual assaults that happened in the same block in the span of a little more than 48 hours.

Both incidents happened in the 1600 block of Irving Street, in the Mount Pleasant area of Northwest — one at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 21; the other at about 6 a.m. Thursday, Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

In the first case, a woman awoke to find a man in her bedroom who claimed he was armed, Newsham said. He added that the suspect got in by removing an air conditioner from a back window.

Security-video images of the man police are seeking in two very similar home invasions and sex assaults in D.C. (Courtesy Metropolitan Police Department)

He made her undress and sexually assaulted her, then took her into a second bedroom and took money from someone else, then left through the south alley, stealing a bicycle on his way out.

In the second incident, a man entered a house through an unlocked basement window, then approached a woman in her bedroom and demanded money and “engaged in unwanted sexual contact” with her, before leaving through the rear door and riding off on a bicycle.

The police have seen security video of the subject and described him as a black man in his 50s, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2 with a medium to heavy build, light brown eyes and a gray and black beard.

A security-video image of the man police are seeking in two very similar home invasions and sex assaults in D.C. (Courtesy Metropolitan Police Department)

“We have reason to believe” that both crimes were committed by the same man,” Newsham said. If anyone has any more information on the cases, Newsham asked for them to call 202-727-9099 or text 50411.

Council member Brianne Nadeau called the crimes “very disturbing,” and added that the spring has been “a very difficult time for Ward 1” with a spate of violent crime. “Secure your homes, and if you’ve seen anything, please report it” to the police, she said.

“This is the type of thing that really scares people,” Newsham said.

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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