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D.C. Man Charged With Liquid Attack at Ballston Bank

by ARLnow.com August 2, 2011 at 9:30 am 3,715 44 Comments

(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) An arrest has been made in the case of two female bank employees who were splashed in the face with a caustic liquid in Ballston two weeks ago.

On the afternoon of July 19, a man approached the employees outside the Capital One Bank in Ballston Common Mall and allegedly threw a liquid at them. Although the liquid was later determined to be “non-hazardous,” it reportedly caused the women to suffer a burning sensation and the inability to open their eyes. The man fled the scene and managed to elude police.

On July 29, however, police say the suspect was spotted near the bank again. Officers took the man, identified as 33-year-old Rodolfo Caguay of the District, into custody. He’s charged with Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance.

Photo by Katie Pyzyk

  • CW

    There are going to be some liquid attacks on Crystal City bathrooms this morning.

    • LOL!

    • pon

      ?? not seeing what you did there….

    • BoredHouseWife

      morning coffee kicked in?

  • Ted williams

    Probable illegal alien.

    • SSRS

      Just because he has brown skin doesn’t mean he’s illegal.

      The racist commentary on this blog seriously makes me wonder sometimes whether I’m in the Deep South and not Arlington County.

    • SSRS

      I’d LOVE to know how you came up with that assumption.

      • Ted williams

        Look at his name.

        • SSRS

          Ha! So a hispanic name = illegal?

          Thankfully not everyone isn’t as ignorant as you, otherwise, I’d have cops asking me for my papers all the time.

        • Arl-Lady

          Hey jerk I have a hispanic name too because I was born in Colombia and my parents legally entered the US for the American Dream and to provide my brother and I a better life. Today not only am I an American Citizen, but also a U.S. Marine no longer on Active Duty. Your comment is unnecessary and inappropriate.

  • Shirleyyoujest

    Sooo glad I don’t cross Rt.50 and have business in the north. Very dangerous these days.

  • ZoningVictim

    Okay, I’m no linguist, but how can the liquid be “caustic” and “non-hazardous” when thrown into someone’s face?

    • Reginald Winterbottom IV

      Just guessing, but it was probably something mildly acidic, like salt water or even alcohol. So perhaps legally included under “caustic” but not actually injurious. The same way that “assault” could actually be spitting on someone or even just touching them.

      Glad it wasn’t something more serious.

      And when did Ballston become the new magnet for every kind of riffraff in the entire DC Metro area? Seems like every crime I see written up shows the suspect hailing from DC or PG.

      • brian

        i just hope for the tellers sake it wasn’t hiv infected caustic bodily fluids

        • ZoningVictim

          It being that substance was one of my fears as well, although I didn’t really think of the infected part of it, but I’d have expected them to charge him with sexual assault if that were the case.

        • Lee-n-Glebe

          Generally, transmission of HIV that way is highly unlikely, if not impossible.


          • brian


            but ‘several hours’ outside the body.. and splashed in eyes.. fresh load, and splashed in eyes.. ummm

      • ZoningVictim

        I know what you mean about the riffraff coming in from other crime ridden areas.

        The definition of caustic (according to dictionary.com):

        1. capable of burning, corroding, or destroying living tissue.
        2. severely critical or sarcastic: a caustic remark.

        I’m guessing that you’re right, that it wasn’t really caustic but caused discomfort and they really didn’t have anything else to charge the guy with other than simple assault. However, they may have a hard time convicting him of that in court after calling it “non-hazardous.”

        • Lou

          Look closely at the picture. Case solved.

        • Josh S

          The article simply says “the liquid was later determined to be “non-hazardous,”” – it doesn’t say who used that term, what the definition of the term was, etc. It would have no impact in a legal proceeding unless it was used in the official police report.

      • brian

        it’s a bottle of PINE SOL.

        you can see his face off the rear window of the cruiser

  • BerryBerryCold

    Well, if they can’t catch bank robbers at least they can catch teller attackers!

    • billy

      banks too risky now. i hide my money under my matress!

  • We’ve updated the article with a photo from the arrest.

    • John Fontain

      I know I don’t have the benefit of seeing the face, but that sure doesn’t look like a man.

    • Thes

      Who blurred the face? ArlNow or the photographer? Doesn’t seem like ArlNow’s style to do that.

      • We blur faces of criminal suspects as a general rule.

        • Josh S

          And bravo to you for doing so.

          Innocent until proven guilty.

          • bluemontguy

            Printing someone’s picture unblurred doesn’t mean they are guilty though.

            Should he not print the guy’s name too?

          • BerryBerryCold

            That’s a guy? I thought it was a woman…

          • Arl-Lady


        • Thes

          Interesting. You used to post mugshots. Sounds like your liability insurance agent grabbed you and gave you “the talk”.

          • brian

            look at the back window of the car

          • JamesE


        • Someguy

          I generally support the decision to blur faces. But how does that reconcile with the posting of mugshots this afternoon in the $20K insurance fraud grand larceny charge?

          That’s a serious question. Just curious to know what drives the decision.

          Side note: I noticed that you removed the “Crime Report: Grabby Jogger Edition” from about a year ago, which showed a mugshot and caused some controversy in the comments since that sort of thing can haunt a guy even if he’s not guilty. Probably the right thing to do.

  • PikerShorts

    Can anyone make out which Hispanic soda that is?

    • John Fontain

      Looks like the hispanic soda called Pine Sol.

      • Lou

        He probably wanted the girls to smell like his car.

      • PikerShorts

        Haha YES. I thought that was what it said on the label and wondered if that was the “caustic substance” but then thought the bottle looked too small in the cop’s hand.

        Now that I Google-Imaged “Pine Sol” it is def a bottle of Pine Sol.

  • Southeast Ben

    Nice call on the window…it does vaguely look like a dude’s face in the window, but certainly looks like a chicks body. Can we get another bank robbery in the area please? Two more hours of work…I need it to get me thru the day.

    • DudesWhoLookLikeChicks

      That’s one busty guy!

    • Queenie

      I just enhanced the reflection in Photoshop. Just a slovenly fat dude with manboobs who needs a haircut.

  • sure looks like a woman – even seems like he is wearing a pony tail. Guess it’s something on the shirt worn by the man behind the perp. And that is pine sol!

  • mickey644

    cut off his nose


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