Editor's Note: The story below contains details of an assault that some may find disturbing.
Police are searching for a man who attempted to strangle a woman while she was on a walking path early Tuesday evening in the Colonial Village area of Arlington.
It was still light outside at 7 p.m. Tuesday when people in the 1800 block of North Uhle Street heard the sounds of a desperate struggle coming from a nearby path.
The victim told Arlington County Police that a man came up behind her and tightly put a rope or cord around her neck. She said she attempted to pull it loose and while doing so she fell to the ground.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
The man, now over her, began to strangle her with his hands, stopping only when two people nearby heard her distress and rushed to stop the assault.
"At this point, we have not identified any information that they were known to each other prior to this, so we are investigating this as a stranger incident," Ashley Savage, the public information officer for Arlington County Police, said.
A witness who did not want to appear on camera said the man calmly walked away after people showed up to help.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
The victim told police that the man did not try to remove her clothing or attempt to sexually assault her, and instead seemed focused on strangling her.
Police have described the suspect as a "light skin Black male in his late teens to early 20's, 5’6” tall with a thin build. He was wearing frayed blue jeans, a black zip up jacket with red accents on the sleeves, a tan or beige shirt underneath and a black baseball hat."
Police searched the area but could not locate him, leaving residents on edge.
"My fiancé wasn't around today, so I went to a friend's house to work just because I didn't want to be home alone," one resident said.
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s homicide/robbery unit at 703-228-4180 or at ACPDTipline@arlingotnva.us. To leave an anonymous tip, call the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
"Please take a look at your home surveillance systems. If you captured anything in that area, it's very important to have that information turned over to Arlington County Police," Savage said.