Arlington County Police are concerned that a man who has committed a series of assaults against women with a plastic bag is widening the scope of his attacks.
The basis for this concern is the most recent attack which occurred in the early morning hours of June 7.
In this incident, a woman who lives in the 2600 block of Lee Highway heard a knock on the door of her apartment a few moments after walking home alone. When she opened the door, a man with a plastic bag lunged at her.
After the victim blocked the man’s attack, he fled on foot. Police were able to set up a perimeter and apprehended a man who fit the description of the attacker.
Public Information Officer Steve Gomez said that a detective working the case had met this man before and had suspicions that he may be responsible for the series of plastic bag attacks that have been occurring on the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
However, after interviewing the man, police were unable to charge him with the crimes due to a lack of evidence. Gomez said that, while detectives haven’t ruled him out as a suspect, he is currently a "Person of interest."
The attack was similar to four other reported plastic bag assaults that have occurred since March 5.
However, in all four prior attacks, the victims were assaulted while walking alone in the street. In this attack the assailant tried to gain entry into the victim’s house.
"This is definitely a concern," Gomez said. "He showed a certain element of boldness by knocking on the door. We’re not happy about that but we’ll do our best to catch him."
In all five assaults, the attacker fled on foot after the victims screamed or physically confronted him. None of the victims sustained serious injuries.
Police are continuing to advise that women should not walk alone at night. Based on the latest attack, they are also advising that people should not open the door to their house late at night unless they are expecting someone.
"Be very careful to who you open the door late at night," Gomez said. "If you don’t know who it is you can call us we’ll come out and talk to the person."
Arlington Police are asking anyone with information about this case, or about similar attacks that may be related, to contact Detective D.R. Cupka at 703-228-4193. If callers wish to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Crime Solvers offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Callers to Crime Solvers do not have to give their names and do not need to testify in court.