West End Assaults

West End Assaults

Two recent assaults at Holmes Run Parkway may be linked, according to police.

An unidentified woman experienced a terrifying attack early Monday near the intersection of North Beauregard Street and North Morgan Street — the second time in recent months a woman has been assaulted by a man who police say attacks his victims from behind as they are walking near Holmes Run Park. The first incident happened around 6 a.m. on Aug. 31, when a 50-year-old Alexandria woman was attacked by an unknown suspect who approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. The second incident happened shortly after 6 a.m. on Nov. 5, when a 39-year-old Alexandria woman walking along the sidewalk when she was physically detained and assaulted from behind with an unknown object.

"We are operating on the theory that these case are probably linked," said Lt. Jamie Bartlett, a spokesman for the Alexandria Police Department. "Both of these cases are very similar in terms of how these woman were grabbed from behind."

During Monday morning’s assault, the woman had just exited a bus and was walking on the sidewalk along the northeast corner of the intersection at Beauregard and Morgan when a man wearing a ski mask grabbed her from behind. She struggled against the man, who tried to drag her into the heavily wooded Holmes Run Park. The victim lost consciousness for a period of time and was later taken to a hospital for her injuries.

"The most obvious charge a prosecutor would consider in this kind of a case would be abduction and assault," said Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel. "It’s also a felony to wear a mask in public if you are trying to conceal your identity while trying to commit a crime."