Following some intense investigation, plus collaboration with local residents, Fairfax County police have arrested the man they believe sexually assaulted a Chantilly woman last Monday, July 3. He is Hien The Dinh, 20, of Stafford, and he was apprehended last Thursday, July 6.
Police charged him with sexual battery and abduction with intent to defile – and Police Chief Kevin Davis says Dinh allegedly confessed to committing both crimes. Dinh is currently being held without bond in the Adult Detention Center, and detectives are looking into possible links between him and the suspect in a May 18 sexual assault in the same neighborhood.
The July 3 incident occurred in the 14500 block of Northeast Place in the Meadows of Chantilly mobile home park off Route 50. The one on May 18 happened in the 14500 block of Iberia Circle, also in that community. Last Friday, July 7, Davis held a press conference detailing the suspect’s alleged offenses.
“Three women in Northern Virginia – two in Fairfax County and one in Loudoun County – over the last couple of months, were traumatized as victims in sexual batteries,” said Davis. Referring to the crimes, he said, “They were bold, they were brazen, they were in broad daylight. They were disturbing cases by someone who was absolutely not going to stop until we caught him.”
Davis noted that he used the pronoun, “we,” because authorities wouldn’t have been able to apprehend Dinh so quickly without the community’s assistance. “They stepped forward with their Ring doorbells, phone calls and interaction with the Fairfax County Police Department,” said Davis. “It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to identify this predator – and that’s exactly what he is – and stop him before he harmed someone else.”
Police believe there are more than three victims; but, said Davis, “These three, by no means, should have been subjected to this type of sexual assault and attempted abductions.” The first incident was May 10, at Northern Virginia Community College in Loudoun County, followed by the May 18 offenses in Chantilly.
“That second victim worked with our sketch artists and detectives from Major Crimes, and we put together a sketch [of her assailant] which ultimately proved extremely beneficial to this investigation,” said Davis.
The third attack happened last Monday, July 3, in the same Chantilly neighborhood. “[It was] broad daylight; a woman walking down the street in a residential community is grabbed from behind,” said Davis. “Our defendant, Hien Dinh, [allegedly] sexually assaulted her and then attempted to abduct her. Thankfully, our victim screamed, her mother was nearby, heard the screams and was able to intervene and prevent that abduction from going through.”
Davis said: “We anticipate more criminal charges in the future; we’re still actively working our May 18 case.”
Then Lt. Erin Weeks, with the Major Crimes Bureau’s Violent Crimes Division, presented further information. “Our investigation first began May 18 when the suspect [reportedly] broke into the victim’s house,” she said.
Officers responded at 12:02 p.m. that day to the 14500 block of Iberia Circle where, said Weeks, the victim “bravely fought [her assailant] off and was able to free herself before he fled.” The woman was then taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
“On Monday, July 3, the suspect [allegedly] struck again, around 11:30 a.m., in the 14500 block of Northeast Place in Chantilly,” continued Weeks. “He approached the victim, violently grabbed her intimate parts before placing her in a chokehold and fleeing when her mother came and screamed.”
Weeks said police focused intensively on this case and detectives were quickly able to obtain surveillance footage of the suspect entering and leaving the neighborhood, and it was disseminated to officers both locally and regionally, and to the community. “As we continued to review surveillance footage from the area, detectives located a suspicious car that appeared to be following the victim in a nearby shopping center,” she said. “We believed the vehicle could be related and began to pursue that lead.”
“Detectives’ dedication and commitment paid off,” said Weeks, because, on July 6, they found that vehicle in an industrial park off the 3900 block of Stonecroft Boulevard in Chantilly. They then quickly called the Police Department’s Fugitive Track and Apprehension Team, which responded and waited patiently for the suspect to exit the building. As Dinh entered his car, he was taken into custody and charged.”
Weeks said police believe that, for the suspect, these were crimes of “opportunity,” and that the victim in Loudoun’s case was also followed by a car before being attacked. Added Davis, “What we have [the suspect] connected to now is awful and vicious – and we’re glad we caught him. He has confessed and is continuing to interact with our detectives.”
Meanwhile, anyone with information about any of these incidents – or if they’ve been victims, themselves, or know someone else who has – is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via Crime Solvers by phoning 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477).