Attack on W&OD trail prompts extra patrols in Loudoun Co.

WASHINGTON — Deputies will patrol a popular local trail after a woman reported an attempted sexual assault on the trail in Sterling, Virginia.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said the woman was attacked by two assailants who emerged from a wooded area about 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail near Sterling Boulevard.

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said the woman was in her 30s.

“Two black, male individuals approached her, got her to the ground, tried to take her clothes off,” he said.

The suspects were also described as having a thin build and curly hair. One stood about 6-foot-2 and the other was slightly shorter.

The attackers then ran off, possibly because a person on a bicycle rode by. Chapman said his office would like to hear from that rider and anyone else with information about the attack.

In response, Chapman said he will increase patrols in the area of the attack, including on the trail itself. Deputies will patrol the trail on bikes and ATVs.

Those who use the trail are urged to go with a partner or group and avoid wearing earphones in order to stay aware of their surroundings and hear anyone around them. Trail users should also share their route and when they plan to return with a friend or family member, the sheriff’s office said.

Avoid using trails and paths after dark. The W&OD trail closes at dark, according to the sheriff’s office.

Suspicious activity should be reported to the sheriff’s office by calling 703-777-1021. Anyone who has information about the attackers or the assault is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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