WASHINGTON - A Maryland man suspected of posing as a police officer and pepper spraying victims before assaulting them in Meridian Park in Northwest D.C. has been arrested after an attack in Virginia.
Park Police say 47-year-old Michael Thomas Pruden of Fort Washington is in custody after he confronted two victims at Daingerfield Island outside Alexandria.
According to police, on March 21, Pruden confronted two victims walking on a trail, striking one with a stick and then pepper-spraying him.
The victims’ description reportedly enabled police to identify Pruden, and they took him into custody on May 7, charging him with assault on a dangerous weapon.
Investigators believe Pruden is also responsible for a series of assaults over the course of several years at Meridian Hill Park.
In those attacks, a man identified himself as a police officer and then pepper sprayed victims or struck them with a flashlight.
Police are working with the DC U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding the Meridian Hill Park attacks.
If you have any information that might help investigators, call (202) 610-8737.