Police searching for suspect in attempted rape in Arlington

A woman was nearly raped in Arlington last weekend and police need the public's help to find her attacker.

It happened in a neighborhood just around the corner from the Arlington County Police Department. Police said the victim was walking home on 15th Street.

"All of a sudden, this individual ran up, grabbed her and either pulled or pushed her into some bushes," said Arlington County Police Deputy Chief Daniel Murray.

That is the account the 25-year-old woman gave police after she was attacked last Saturday just before 1:30 a.m.

Police say the suspect was trying to rape her, but she fought him off.

"She was able to scream, she was able to fight off the attacker," said Murray. "She got a number of kicks into the area of his groin and it caused him to flee."

A passerby noticed the victim was visibly upset and helped call 911.

"We surrounded the area, we actually did some K-9 tracks," Murray said. "We collected what we think might be some very good forensic evidence."

The victim also helped investigators come up with a composite sketch of her attacker who is still on the loose.

People who live in the area, especially women, said they are concerned to a point, but added that overall this is a safe neighborhood as the police department and sheriff's headquarters are just steps away.

"I feel totally safe all the time, but at the same time, I don't put myself in situations where I'm walking home late at night when it's dark," said an Arlington resident.

"I think it's fairly safe," said Leslie Riegle. "I have a dog as you can hear and I have to walk him late at night, so I feel safe here."

Investigators said the incident could have been worse.

"She certainly was assaulted and we believe it was going to turn into a rape, so we're classifying it as an attempted rape," said Deputy Chief Murray.

Anyone with information or recognizes the man in the sketch is asked to contact Arlington County police at 703-228-4240.