2nd trail user reports attempted assault on W&OD

WASHINGTON — A second woman has reported an attempted attack along a popular recreation trail in Loudoun County since last week.

Leesburg police said the woman was jogging on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail between Valley View Avenue and South King Street about 6:30 a.m. Thursday when a middle-aged man approached her with what appeared to be a box cutter. The woman said she was able to run away from the man, who also fled the area.

The jogger, a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy, told Leesburg police the man never touched her and she was not harmed. She was off-duty at the time, Leesburg police said.

Police who arrived quickly to help were unable to locate the man.

Police described the would-be assailant as a black man with a medium complexion who was in his late 40s to early 50s. He was bald or had a recently shaved head. He was about 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-2 and weighed about 220 pounds. He was wearing all black clothing.

Police also released an artists sketch of what the woman’s attacker looked like.

Another woman told the county sheriff’s office that she was accosted last week by two men as she walked along a different stretch of the trail in Sterling. The attackers forced her to the ground and pulled at her clothing. They fled when a bicyclist passed by.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said it would step up patrols along the trail and would send deputies in on bicycles and ATVs.

Leesburg investigators don’t believe the two cases are connected, police said.

Trail users are reminded to never use the trail alone, to carry a cellphone and to tell someone their route and when they plan to return.

Anyone with information about the Leesburg incident is asked to call police at 703-771-4500 or to send an anonymous tip to 703-443-TIPS (8477).

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