A woman walking with her young daughter in a park in Arlington, Virginia Friday evening fought off a man who tried to wrestle her to the ground and sexually assault her, police say.
The sixth attempted sexual assault of a woman in Arlington in the past month occurred about 8 p.m. Friday in Lubber Run Park.
A woman and her 3-year-old daughter were walking on the northern end of the park, near N. George Mason Drive, when a man approached them. She had turned to leave the park when the attacker lunged at her and tried to throw her to the ground.
She shielded her daughter from the man, screamed and the attacker ran away. Neither the woman nor the child were harmed, police said.
Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the attempted sexual assault may be linked to other recent attacks on women.
A man followed a woman walking on the 1900 block of N. Highland Street early August 8, threw a pillowcase over her head and jumped on her. The woman screamed and the man fled, police said.
A woman was walking home near 15th Street and Courthouse Road -- near police headquarters -- about 1:20 a.m. Saturday, July 25 when she heard someone approaching from behind, police said. The attacker pushed the woman into the bushes and tried to put his hand into her pants. She was able to escape. He was described as clean-cut and boyish.
A woman was running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in the Glencarlyn Park area about 8:45 p.m. Friday, July 31 when she was approached by a man and thrown to the ground, police said. The man tried to cover her mouth, but she screamed and the man fled. The victim described the attacker as a Hispanic man in his 20s who stood about 5-foot-6, weighed about 140 pounds and wore long gray shorts with a belt and no shirt.
Another woman was walking home in the 4300 block of North Pershing Drive about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, August 1 when she was pushed to the ground from behind and touched inappropriately, police said. The attacker fled when the woman bit his hand. He was described as Hispanic, 5-foot to 5-foot-3, with black hair and a mustache. He wore a gray T-shirt and jeans.
Also, on July 12 two young women used the Uber app to get a ride home from the Clarendon neighborhood in Arlington to Woodbridge, Va. The driver, Mengistu Asfaw, is accused of groping one of the women over her clothing as she helped her friend out of the car, police said. Asfaw adamantly denied the allegations.
Arlington is sending additional officers into high-traffic areas on weekends, plus deploying plain-clothes officers, Sternbeck said Monday.
Police are advising residents to not walk alone in dark or isolated areas.
Anyone with information on the suspect or incidents is asked to contact Det. K. Bercovicz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703-228-4235 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).