Man arrested for sexually assaulting woman on Fairfax trail, police say

- Police have arrested a 21-year-old man for sexually assaulting a woman on a walking trail in Fairfax.

Fairfax County police say a woman was walking alone on a trail near Waples Mill Road and Random Hills Road at around 5:10 p.m. Thursday when a man grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and groped her.

The suspect stopped his assault on the victim after being startled by a passing car, police say. The man was last seen running westbound along Random Hills Road after the assault happened.

Officers responded to the trail along with K-9 units and a police helicopter to search for the suspect, but were unable to locate him. Police say the victim was not injured during the incident.

Police arrested Jeremiah Whitmore Tolley, of Fairfax, at around 7 p.m. Friday. He was charged with abduction with intent to defile and sexual assault.

Investigators are trying to determine if Tolley is connected to other sexual assaults where women’s buttocks have been grabbed on nearby Fairfax area trails. Police say during the past two weeks, there have been five reported assaults that have occurred after 4 p.m. on women who were exercising on the trails.

"We are interviewing victims again, witnesses again, trying to determine if they are related, if it is the same suspect," said Fairfax County Police Officer Courtney Young.

Anyone with information about this case or any other assaults is asked to call Detective N. Porter at 703-591-0966. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Solvers at http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637).

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