Neighbors Sound Off on Alleged Salesman Attack

Fairfax County Police: Look Out For Suspicious Solicitors

By John Schriffen
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 9:46 AM EDT
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A <a title=Fairfax County neighborhood is shaken after a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted, allegedly by a door-to-door salesman." />

A Fairfax County neighborhood is shaken after a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted, allegedly by a door-to-door salesman.

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"He had like some homemade soap on his belt loop," said Lorton, Va. resident Ryan Thomas. "It looked really shady and [he] had some kind of story."

Thomas was home Monday afternoon while, he said, Tommy Lee Harmon, 26, was going door to door in his neighborhood trying to sell cleaning products. Thomas said he wasn’t buying it and sent the stranger on his way.

But Fairfax County Police say Harmon continued down Plaskett Forest Lane until he found a teenage victim.

"Around 3:30 p.m. the girl was home alone," said Fairfax County police officer Tawny Wright. "Somebody knocked at the door. When she answered the door he entered the house and asked to use the bathroom. When he came out of the bathroom, that’s when he proceeded to allegedly sexually assault her."

Later that night, using tips from neighbors, police were able to track down the traveling salesman from North Carolina. They arrested him and charged him with indecent liberties with a child.

Although police say the alleged victim is physically OK, neighbors are shaken up.

"This is a good neighborhood," said neighbor Caroline Pearson. "I’m just shocked that this has happened."

This isn't the first complaint about a door-to-door salesman peddling products from the Mrs. Clean Pump It Off company. Earlier this month in Harrisburg, Pa., a resident was assaulted after refusing to let the salesman inside.

"We recommend to people if you're unsure of who's at your door, the first thing you should do is ask for that solicitors license," said Officer Wright. "They are required to present it to you upon asking."

All door-to-door salespeople are required to register with Fairfax County and obtain one of these licenses before hitting the streets.

"I didn’t know that they were supposed to have like a license," said neighbor Hemant Datto. "I might be careful in opening my door right now."

Calls to the Mrs. Clean Pump It Off company have not been returned.


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