An Alexandria man was strangled Saturday afternoon near the Mount Vernon trail, and the United States Park Police has initiated a homicide investigation to find a suspect. The body of Mark Creasy, 48, was found on Daingerfield Island near a National Park Service maintenance site between the Washington Parkway and the Potomac River.
Investigators suspect that he was killed around 4 p.m. on Saturday, shortly after dozens of boaters in the area were rescued by two fireboats from the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department after strong winds capsized about 20 boats participating in the sailboat races at Haines Point. Police arrived at the crime scene at 4:45 p.m. According to Amy Bertsch, public information officer for the Alexandria Police Department, local officers helped the Park Police secure the area and find witnesses.
Park Police spokesman Scott Fear said that witnesses in the area indicated that Creasy's death "was not by natural causes." He said that Creasy was wearing bicyclist clothing, and that a bicycle found near the crime scene probably belonged to the victim. After the Virginia State Medical Examiner's Office determined that the cause of death was strangulation, the Park Police reclassified the suspicious death as a homicide investigation. Since that time, several anonymous tips have been made on a hotline.
"We have some pretty good leads from information that was left on the hotline," said Fear. "We feel pretty certain that this was an isolated case."
SHORTLY AFTER Creasy's death, a naked man was arrested after running across the George Washington Parkway. Andre Suggs, 35, of Alexandria was detained after a struggle that involved several Alexandria Police officers.
"Our officers were in the area helping out the U.S. Park Police in the investigation when they received a call about this naked man running across the parkway," said Capt. John Crawford. "Officers attempted to take him into custody, but he was very disorderly. He threw some sort of a bottle at two of the officers, kicked others and attempted to bite at least one of the officers as they were putting handcuffs on him."
Crawford said that none of the officers involved in the apprehension required treatment as a result of the assault, and that the man was taken to the Alexandria Hospital after being detained. He was charged with six counts of assault.
"U.S. Park Police will undoubtedly be looking at this guy," said Capt. Crawford. "We don't now if this guy is directly connected to the homicide, but we did make contact with the Park Police after we were finally able to detain him."
The Alexandria police have not released the Suggs' mug shot because of the ongoing Park Police investigation. He appeared in a video-link court advisement yesterday.
"He was advised of the charges against him and he was asked if he wanted a court-appointed attorney," said Commonwealth Attorney Randy Sengel. "A public defender was appointed and the judge declined to set bail."
A preliminary hearing is set for June 15.
“U.S. Park Police are looking into whether this guy is associated with the crime,” said Fear. “We’re looking to put some closure to this incident as soon as possible.”
Park Police ask that anyone with information about the homicide investigation call 202-610-8737.