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UPDATED: Woman Sexually Assaulted Near Ballston

by ARLnow.com May 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm 3,904 61 Comments

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) A man was arrested and accused of sexually assaulting a woman near Ballston last night.

The alleged incident happened around 9:00 p.m., in front of a church on the 600 block of N. Vermont Street, in the Bluemont neighborhood near Ballston. Police say a woman noticed a man following her while she was out walking her dog. She tried to alter her route and at one point shouted “stop following me,” but the man then grabbed her from behind, fondled her, and tried to pull down her pants, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

During the attack the woman managed to knee or kick the suspect in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. She ran away and sought help, while the suspect was seen by a witness fleeing in the direction of Ballston Common Mall, according to Sternbeck.

After calling in a K-9 unit and establishing a perimeter, police found a man matching the suspect’s description trying to change his clothes in an alley outside Ballston Common Mall. The man was arrested and was positively identified by the victim, according to Sternbeck. Police also determined that the suspect had stolen the clothes he was trying to change into.

Nathanael Lovett, of no fixed address, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile, grand larceny and trespassing. Lovett, who’s in his late 20s, was also arrested in March after a police officer saw him allegedly masturbating outside the 7-Eleven store at 3510 Wilson Boulevard in Virginia Square.

  • Modwop

    OK – isn’t the suspect in the sexual assault the “7-11 public lewd acts” dude from a couple of weeks ago? This is an awful escalation if it is…..my heart goes out to the woman that was attacked.

    Here’s the clip from the Crime Report:

    INDECENT EXPOSURE, 03/31/12, 3500 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 4:42 am on March 31, an officer observed a male subject masturbating while standing on the sidewalk in front of a convenience store. Nathanael Lovett, 28, of no fixed address, was charged with indecent exposure and held without bail.

    • KalashniKEV

      If something doesn’t look right, it usually isn’t. This includes public masturbation.

    • WeiQiang

      Good catch.

    • Scott

      Wow- that’s terrible

    • John Fontain

      Yep, looks to be the same guy but with a slight spelling difference in his name. And he’s gotten a year younger too.


      Since it appears the justice system is eager to continually let this guy back out on the street, can we at least see a picture of his mugshot so we’ll know who to be on the lookout for?

      • Modwop

        This appears to be a photo of him in the Patch piece, courtesy of the Arl Co Sherrifs: http://clarendon.patch.com/articles/police-man-charged-with-indecent-exposure-in-front-of-7-11

        • John Fontain


        • Sandy

          Thanks! I will make sure to send that around to my friends in the neighborhood.

          • drax

            Well, let’s hope he’s been permanently removed from the neighborhood and eventually to a state prison.

          • Scott

            How much jail time will this kind of offense actually result in/ how much time should it result it?

          • drax

            How the heck do I know?

            Have you already decided he won’t get as much as he deserves?

        • Swag

          That guy seems legit.

      • This has been confirmed by the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office. The article has since been updated. Thank you!

    • TJLinBallston

      Thank-you the the added insight into the very local problem of repeat-offenders offending the population repeatedly. I sure hope your keen eye alerts Arlington County Law Enforcement to the fact that this case has legs; how they enforce the law in this instance will impact public perceptions of police force effectiveness.

  • Southeast Jerome

    [This post has been removed for violating our comments policy]

    • Southeast Jerom

      Sorry- I wasnt quite meaning that in the way you took it, but obviously since it was taken it that context- it should be removed. My bad dude. Dont taze me bro.

  • UYD Fan

    Nice Mortal Kombat reference, though I don’t agree with it.

  • I don’t follow

    Southeast Jerome – this sounds like a terrible incident having taken place. But I didn’t follow your extrapolation – what is it that you propose be done with homeless people that would have prevented this from occurring?

    • UYD Fan

      I think he proposed murder, though the comment was deleted.

      • Southeast Jerom

        Not murder- moreso dude should be in prison not back on the street already.

        • drax

          “He is being held without bond.”

          • nom de guerre

            He was held without bond after being arrested and charged with indecent exposure on 3/31/12. He was released from jail earlier this week. Admittedly this is a more serious offense, but it does illustrate problems with the CJS and the mental health system.

          • Scott

            So this guy should have gone to prison or an indefinite stay in a mental health facility on the earlier indecent exposure charge- really? Every crime convicted does not result in a life sentence.

          • Arlingtonian

            Public masturbation = castration

        • UYD Fan

          Fair enough.

  • KalashniKEV

    One of the main points lost in the deletion of SEJ’s post was that we can all expect more of this if the large capacity, public funded, multi-story homeless shelter is constructed.

    • drax

      Proof of your hatred for the homeless.

      Most homeless people are not rapists. Many rapists are not homeless.

      Your hatred is irrational.

      • KalashniKEV

        Keep telling yourself that these guys just hopped off a boxcar to play the harmonica all day and carry a bindle.

        It’s not like they’re violent criminals, drug addicts, and substance abusers victimizing our community.

  • That’s horrible. Lock him up & throw away the key.

    Anyone else wondering what happened to the dog?

    • pollosmoky

      Yes! And wondering what kind of dog doesn’t bark and make a fuss over something like that?

      • nom de guerre

        A Basenji is a breed that doesn’t bark although some say they can “yodel.”

    • SomeGuy

      He could be acquitted, so maybe throwing away the key isn’t such a bright idea.

  • Rick

    That’s not Bluemont, that’s Brandon Village.

    Sorry for her and hope they lock this turd up for a looong time.

    • drax

      It’s both.

  • Bob

    Anyone know what happened on S. Pollard St. in Douglas Park last night? There was a cop there last night around 1115pm and today there is a TV news van there.

  • Southie

    Just curious, when it says no fixed address does that generally mean homeless?

    • KalashniKEV

      The politically correct term would be un-housed.

      • WeiQiang

        That may or may not be politically correct, but I love the term.

        • InTheKnow

          “Urban outdoors(wo)man” is the preferred title.

    • James Pennybocker

      “Gentleman of the road” is the correct term

      • KalashniKEV

        I like that one, but it should be “Gentleperson”

  • Don

    No fixed address, exposure, sexual assault, then shoplifting? Sounds like another sad example of our system’s inability to deal with people with serious mental illness. Sad for him that he’s going to cycle in and out of criminal justice till he does something that gets him locked up for longer, sad for those of us he might harm because of his illness.

    • KalashniKEV

      Sad for him indeed… what about the woman who was sexually assaulted? Or the next one he rapes/kills?

      • dk

        Let me quote Don:

        “…sad for those us he might harm because of his illness.”

        Is he not expressing sadness for the woman who was sexually assaulted, as well as any future victim?

        • KalashniKEV

          Eh, you’re right, but it’s weakly stated, and negated by the absurdity that precedes it.

          He could also be talking about financial harm, in that we are all victims every time we pay our sky-high taxes. I’m talking about the people he will kills or ruin-for-life.

    • Lauren

      why do you call him mentally ill? Why is everyone who is homeless or a criminal mentally ill? We no longer hold people accountable for their actions – don’t blame him – he’s mentally ill. YUCK! This is why we end up with jerks like this one. He is evil, nasty and a criminal. No illness here. Lock him up!

      • dk

        You know he is not mentally ill because….?

        • Arlingtonian

          Who cares?

        • KalashniKEV

          Let’s give him a cupcake and a psych eval! Then we can satisfy dk’s curiosity.

    • dk


  • get this man some affordable housing.

    • Arlingtonian

      He’s got it. The local hoosegow. Taxpayer’s expense.

      • KalashniKEV

        This could have been prevented if we moved him into the sweet new Bum condos in Clarendon. He probably could have met a girlfriend and started a large, happy family. All out of the pockets of responsible, hard working people.

  • og

    Maybe we can help this man get an affordable housing unit in the new sedona and slate building in rosslyn?

    • og

      opps should of read al gores post!
      CARRY ON!

  • AR

    I live down the block from this incident and I will reconsider walking around at night by myself (even with my dog that could easily rip the guy’s throat out if she wanted to). I’m glad she got away and I hope whomever’s house she ran to was able to help her. The lighting is not great on N. Vermont, especially by the church and the backside of the townhouses. Due to parking, we sometimes have to park far from our houses at night and walk the distance. They could really use better police presence in the actual neighborhood – I see far more Arlington County parking inspectors (whatever they are called) up and down the street than actual police.

    • KalashniKEV

      This is a smart move that any sensible person would take. I hope other readers take notice, however, that the criminals are winning when we change our patterns of life to accommodate them.

      If there was a way to make money off of preventing sex crimes, you can bet the County Board would probably hold a special session, followed by an amendment to the budget increasing their raise. I’m sure they’ll address this issue by hiring more parking inspectors to increase the “presence” in the area… and generate more revenue.

    • SomeGuy

      I like the term “meter maid,” but there have been times I’ve used much more colorful terminology for them.

  • Your Mom

    Late night dig walkers should consider obtaining a concealed weapons permit.

  • I wonder why the dog didn’t bark and alert someone. Maybe the Balslton area implemneted Silent Barking weekend. Soccer, dogs, what’s next?

  • jenn

    Sad thing is, this sound feakishly similiar to the attack on the woman in the Ballston Mall parking garage….so does the description


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