Pillowcase Thrown Over Woman's Head in Arlington Attack

A man followed a woman walking in Arlington early Saturday morning, pulled a pillowcase over her head and tried to sexually assault her, police said about the latest in a string of attacks on women in the area.

The woman, 29, was walking on the 1900 block of N. Highland Street, south of Lee Highway, about 2:45 a.m. Saturday when a man ran up behind her, Arlington County Police said Monday. The attacker grabbed the woman, threw a pillowcase over her head and jumped on her.

The woman screamed and fought back, and then the man fled, taking the pillowcase with him, police said.

Police believe the attack may be linked to other recent attacks on women in Arlington.

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.

Police are advising women to take extra precautions in Arlington late at night.

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 kbercovicz@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

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