A 14-year-old girl fought back when a man groped her in an Arlington neighborhood Tuesday evening, police said.
Riley England and two other children were walking along 2nd Street near Thomas Jefferson Middle School after 5 p.m. when a man started following them.
Riley said she called her mother, who was shopping.
“I called my mom and I said I think someone may be following me,” Riley said.
The man followed the children around the corner onto South Irving Street.
“He came up from behind me and put his hand under my leg and in between them and grabbed me and then put the other hand in front of me and pushed me closer to him, and I turned around and I smacked him, and I smacked him and I screamed,” Riley said.
A neighbor heard her scream and went to help. The man ran away down 3rd Street.
News4's Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey has been covering this side of the state since joining NBC4 in 1992. She's joined by reporter Drew Wilder.
Police searched the area but didn’t find the man.
Riley’s mother said she is proud of her daughter for fighting off her attacker.
“I am extremely proud of her,” Dawn England said. “Extremely.”
Riley said she learned how to protect herself from her parents.
“Thankfully, she’s actually listening to me when I’m talking to her,” her mother said. “Doesn’t always feel that way, but she does.”
The attacker is described as a white man 30-40 years old, standing 5-feet-7-inches to 5-feet-9-inches tall with a lanky beard. He has dark hair and a dark brown goatee with gray highlights and stubble on his cheeks. He wore a tan hoodie and baggy, light blue jeans.