Woman Fights Off Man Who Tried to Rape Her in Alexandria

A man tried to rape a woman in a laundry room in Alexandria, Virginia -- and the victim got a good look at the attacker before she smacked him in the face with the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner.

The attack occurred Friday morning on the unit block of Canterbury Square, less than a mile east of the Landmark Mall, Alexandria police said.

The 28-year-old victim was walking through an underground laundry room about 10:30 a.m. when the man grabbed her and tried to pull down her pants. She fought back and hit with in the face with the heavy nozzle of an industrial vacuum cleaner. The attacker pulled out a small knife and ordered the woman to stay in the room until he got away.

The suspect was described as a black man in his 30s who stands about 6-foot and has a heavy build, police said. He had long, braided hair and tattoos on his arms. He was wearing a black tank top and dark boxer shorts.

Anyone who recognizes the person in the sketch is asked to call police at 703-746-6858. Police reminded the public that the sketch is a composite image. "If any of the features in the composite remind you of someone, please contact the police immediately. Keep in mind that the suspect may have recently changed his appearance," police said.

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