Police are searching for a suspect who accosted and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl by knifepoint near Lake Anne on Sept. 19, an incident police say may be linked to two attempted abductions five days earlier.
The teenage girl, who normally rides the bus, walked home from work Tuesday, nearing the area of Fairway Drive and North Shore Drive around 9 p.m. when the suspect attacked. “She was grabbed from behind by a guy with a knife,” said Officer Shelley Broderick, a police spokesperson.
The suspect, wielding a steak knife, forced the girl into a nearby wooded area. “He said, ‘Show me love,’” said Det. G.W. Barlow of Fairfax County Police, who is leading the investigation. Then, the suspect sexually assaulted the girl, according to the police report.
“Fortunately, there were people walking on North Shore Drive,” said Barlow. When the victim heard the passersby, she screamed, which caused the suspect to flee the area, said Barlow.
The girl did not suffer injuries that required treatment, said Broderick.
The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic man, 30 to 40-years-old. He was 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed between 140 and 160 pounds. He wore a blue wind-breaker.
FEAR GRIPPED nearby neighborhoods as news of the attack spread.
“It’s scary because my child plays around the parks until 7:30 p.m.,” said Panita Ambokar, who has lived in the area for eight years. “I never heard of anything like this.”
Pete and Feliz Bunting, who live close to Fairway Drive at Fairway Apartments, said they remember driving home that Tuesday evening.
“We saw the helicopters and everything out here,” said Feliz Bunting, adding that six or seven police cars were parked in the area. “It was very scary.”
The couple, with a three-year-old daughter, said that in the past they have both parked on Fairway Drive, which is a short walk to their home. But they don’t plan to do that anymore.
“And she walks the dog at night and she’s not going to do that anymore,” said Pete Bunting.
The police have since distributed flyers to various neighborhoods, hoping to generate leads. “The Reston bike team is going up and down the paths at night,” said Barlow, one measure police are using to monitor the area.
POLICE ALSO believe that two other cases, an abduction and an attempted abduction both on Thursday, Sept. 14, may have been committed by the same suspect.
On Sept. 14, around 8:30 p.m., a 28-year-old Reston woman walking on North Shore Drive just east of Moorings Drive was approached by a man from behind. The man, brandishing a knife, grabbed her arm and pulled her, said the report.
The suspect then told her several times to come with him, but the victim refused, said the report. Barlow said the victim pretended to faint, which caused the suspect to leave the area heading east on a path paralleling North Shore Drive. The victim was not injured.
The suspect was described as a dark-skinned Hispanic man wearing a dark shirt over his head. He was in his early 20s.
LATER THE SAME night around 10:30 p.m., a 30-year-old Reston woman was walking across North Shore Drive onto Cameron Crescent Drive when a man walked up and grabbed her arm, according to police.
The suspect, also brandishing a knife, attempted to pull her toward a hill on the left side of Cameron Crescent Drive. The victim refused to go with the suspect, and he watched as she walked away, said the report. The victim was not injured.
The suspect was described as a black man about 26 to 28 years old. He is about 5 feet ten inches tall and 150 pounds. He wore a black T-shirt and light blue shorts.
Barlow reported Monday that, with the help of the canine unit, police have recovered what they think is the knife the suspect used.
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477 or Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.