Female Jogger Attacked on W&OD Trail in Sterling

A female jogger was attacked while out on a popular Northern Virginia trail during daylight hours Monday, and authorities are still searching for a suspect.

The woman was assaulted around 7:10 a.m. while jogging on the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail near Oak Grove Road in Sterling. Authorities said a man knocked her to the ground from behind. She was able to get away without serious injury.

The man was wearing dark-colored clothing, and ran east on the trail, heading toward Fairfax.

Out on the W&OD on Tuesday, Brenda Leong said she sticks to the more populated sections of the trail when she jogs -- but that typically includes the stretch by Oak Grove Road.

"I think about it sometimes, trying to make sure it's a good day, that there are people. I don't go, you know, in less-traveled sections usually," she said.

The W&OD is popular with joggers and cyclists, and there's typically a lot of activity in the morning. Eric Roberts said he was surprised that something like that would happen on the trail. 

"I've even run before the sun comes up, and there's people on it running with lights on and thing like that," he said. "I've never had a problem."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-737-8481.

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