US Park Police homing in on ‘1 person’ in nighttime pepper spray attacks

Investigators with the U.S. Park Police are possibly closing in on one individual who they suspect may be responsible for sporadic pepper spray attacks in D.C.’s Meridian Hill Park that have been occurring since 2018.

“At this point, we’re leaning towards one person,” U.S. Park Police Sgt. Roselyn Norment told WTOP on Monday. “We’ll have more suspect information and more on where we are in the investigation in 48 hours.”

On Monday, via Twitter, the agency asked additional victims to come forward and speak with investigators in hopes of getting descriptions of their attacker.

According to a Park Police news bulletin posted on Twitter, the suspect confronts victims in the park and shines a flashlight in their faces before assaulting them with pepper spray and/or the flashlight.

The attacks have been occurring intermittently since 2018. The most recent attack was March 2021, Norment said.

“The attacks generally happen after dark during hours when the park is technically closed,” Norment said. “Park Police has been investigating the attacks and is also working with different agencies to identify additional victims.”

The purpose of the news bulletin is to give additional victims an opportunity to come forward with suspect information.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the attacks — especially those who’ve been a victim of the attacks, or similar crimes — to contact U.S. Park Police detectives at 202-610-8730.

Tips can also be sent in via text to 202-379-4877 or by phoning 1-888-361-3332. Emails may be sent to USPP_TIPLINE@NPS.gov.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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