Virginia man arrested in Newport News for assaulting, abducting 16-year-old in Leesburg

Joel Hernandez-Melendez, 20. (Credit: Leesburg Police Department)

A 20-year-old man accused of abducting and assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Leesburg, Virginia last month has been taken into custody, according to police.

The Leesburg Police Department says Joel Hernandez-Melendez was arrested on Wednesday in Newport News with the help of the Newport News Police Department and the United States Marshals Service.

According to investigators, on August 19, Hernandez-Melendez assaulted Yelsi Mendez-Chicas, 16, of Leesburg and abducted her by force after the two got into a fight at a home in the 0-99 block of Fort Evans Road NE.

Yelsi Mendez-Chicas, 16, of Leesburg. (Credit: Leesburg Police Department)

Police announced that Mendez-Chicas was safely located two days after reporting her abduction, but said that Hernandez-Melendez was still on the run at that time.

Hernandez-Melendez is charged with one count of abduction and one count of assault and battery. He is being held without bond.

READ MORE: 20-year-old wanted for assaulting, abducting 16-year-old in Leesburg: police

Investigators say that Hernandez-Melendez and Mendez-Chicas knew each other prior to the incident.