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ACPD: Woman Raped on Four Mile Run Trail

by ARLnow.com July 4, 2012 at 9:45 am 21,432 165 Comments

(Update at 2:25 p.m.) A woman was raped on the side of one of the bike trails along Four Mile Run last night (Tuesday), according to police.

Investigators say the incident happened along the trail while it was still light outside — between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. The woman, 23, was jogging by trail mile marker 44, near Glencarlyn park, when a man, whom she had seen along the trail earlier, stopped her. He took out a 6-inch kitchen knife, dragged her into some tall vegetation, and took off her clothes and underwear, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

At one point the woman tried to run away but the attacker restrained her and threatened her with the knife, Sternbeck said. After the man was done sexually assaulting the victim, she ran home and drove herself to the hospital. Hospital staff called police at 8:49 p.m. In addition to the injuries from the sexual assault, the woman also sustained scratches to her wrists, Sternbeck said.

The man is described as a clean-shaven Hispanic male, between 5’5″ and 5’6″, 140 pounds, about 30 years of age. He had short black hair and brown eyes. The victim said he had a small head, a high-pitched voice, spoke limited English, and was wearing a green shirt that might have said George Mason University on it.

The victim has been an Arlington resident for 6 months, Sternbeck said.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the crime is encouraged to contact Detective Greg Sloan at 703-228-4198 or [email protected].

  • Jessica

    Absolutely terrifying. My thoughts go out to the victim.

  • QP Doll

    Only OTHER physical injuries… rape is a pretty serious physical injury in my opinion.

    • FedUp

      My thoughts exactly.

      • YoBimbo


  • Chris B

    That is terrible. Very sorry for the victim.

  • WeiQiang

    Dammit to hell. Wish the woman all the best in recovery and bringing the perp to justice.

  • Wendy

    So creepy. Poor girl. Do bike police ever work those trails?

    • Arlingtron

      I do see motorcycle and bike units on the trail occasionally. The time this happened is usually busy in this section. Hope witnesses come forward.

    • Howard Finch

      You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people, people like you. Crimes the government considered “irrelevant.” They wouldn’t act, so I decided I would. But I needed a partner, someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You’ll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number’s up… we’ll find *you*.

    • KalashniKEV


  • Arlingtron

    I hope they catch this guy soon. I wish the victim a speedy recovery.

    This reinforces the guidelines for all users of the trail. Key is to not be alone, especially women. If you listen to music while exercising, use earphones in one ear only so you can be aware of approaching hazards (bikes, cars, criminals). Carry a mobile phone. Yes, it can be clumsy but can be used to summon help quickly for yourself or others and possibly speed up the arrest of the perp.

    Trail users: please keep a sharp eye out. Call police for ANY suspicious activity. Non-emergency number is 703-558-2222. It’s up to them to determine if the situation you see is unlawful activity.

    Criminals: remember that Virginia is a conceal carry state. Your next victim or bystander may be packing heat.

    • Flying Spaghetti Monster

      Bystanders: remember that Virginia is a conceal carry state. Your next criminal may be packing heat.

      • drax

        Criminals may be carrying a concealed gun in any state, regardless of the legality of that. They’re criminals, after all.

        Rapists: remember that Virginia is a conceal carry state. Your next attempted victim may be packing heat.

        • Scott

          Well done!

        • Justin

          How classy to place your personal gun politics into a rape story.

          • dk (not DK)

            I believe the gun comments were first made by people suggesting it was a good idea to carry one while jogging.

    • Kat

      I am one of them, and I may start open carrying so rapists can see women like me aren’t messing around.

      My heart goes out to the woman, and I hope this disgusting pig is found and prosecuted.

  • Jessie

    How terrible. I hope they bring this scumbag to justice.

    • paredes1983

      I do hope the Police find the man very quick because I’m really not like that because is not right.

      • KalashniKEV

        You’re not like what?

  • Cakes

    How f’ing brutal. Ugh.

  • Gymmyray

    Sad that Arlington is becoming more like DC.

    • brendan


  • tabby

    I’m getting choked up about this in a restaurant. So sorry for the victkm.

  • South Awwlington

    Not far from where I live. Creeps troll along the stream and sometimes sleep in the area. I would welcome increased Police presence as well as watching out for your neighbors. Self-defense classes will also help to check these creeps when they least expect it.

    I hope she recovers quickly and the creep is brought to justice.

  • D J

    I which I was jogging around that trail when that happened. The guy wouldn’t have made it out alive. Hope she recovers, though I know it will be tough. That is truly sad.

    • Bill

      I second that. This makes me mad as hell.

  • Mary-Austin

    This is so scary. I was out running in this location during that time. I figured if that time wouldn’t be quite as hot so I went out about 7:45.
    One thing I noticed was there was barely anyone out there while it is usually pretty busy around that time.
    One other thing to add about the safety is to stay on the main trail if possible. It is busier and more wide open so it would be harder for an attacker to do something like this. Some of the side trails can be pretty isolated and you never know who you’re going to run into.

  • PM

    This could have been any of us who use this trail and at that hour, but I am so sorry it happened to her. Female walkers, joggers, and bikers, please ignore anyone who tries to make fun of you for being “on alert” when you’re on the path alone.

    • Jason S.

      Why would somebody mock another for wanting to be aware of their surroundings?

      • Daniel

        Yeah, our normal target is those not being aware (male and female alike). Existing in the special “american bubble” of headphones and lack of attention to your environment puts you in danger.

  • diane

    …exactly why women need to carry a gun.

    • Skeptical

      And/or pepper spray, and/or a whistle. A gun might be a difficult thing to manage while jogging, but nonlethal and legal weapons can be light. For me, though, the hardest thing to imagine is anyone, male or female, having the presence of mind to use them and get away when confronted by this kind of predator.

      People who have lived here long enough will remember that two women were assaulted along that same stretch of trail in 1990 and the assaults were linked to a rape-murder on the trail nearer to Key Bridge. More recently an eyewitness told me about being accosted by a man who aid “You’re too old!” and ran on, shortly before another woman was assaulted but escaped, between the scene of this latest incident and Columbia Pike. I’d say we have a problem along this stretch of trail, though a risk exists anywhere.

    • CW

      Or why we should have an active Police Department that consciously patrols high risk areas rather than checking decals at on ramps.

      This upsets and terrifies me. While self defense and situational awareness are always a good idea, this area should not be the wild west.

      • mark

        This is a horrible thing that happened…. but it’s pretty disgusting when someone uses it to take cheap shots and place blame for it on anyone other than the cretin that did it.

        • CW

          You can make whatever inferences and ad hominem attacks that you wish in order to feel better, but the sad fact is that there was not a sufficient deterrent present to prevent this criminal from committing this terrible act. I do not see how asking for law enforcement to prioritize crime prevention and deterrence can be called disgusting.

          • Tabs


          • mark

            There’s no inference to make, CW. You said that our police issue tickets but don’t patrol high risk areas. Your words. But don’t clutch your pearls and gasp when someone attacks you for those misinformed (and I’m being kind) statements.

          • iCan

            I can call it disgusting. You try to blame the police. the reality is different. crime happens, it can happen anywhere. Their just aren’t enough officers to put every 1/4 mile along the trail and beside banks and on the metro and in malls and every other side walk you walk on. And just because the decide to actively ticket something you disagree with, doesn’t make them responsible for someone getting raped.

            Crime happens everywhere. This BS of “high risk area”. my arse.

            Sh-t happened, period. the one to blame here is the assh-le that raped her.

          • CW

            I stand by my words. One of the major purposes of a functioning Police Department is to deter crime, not just catch criminals. No, I never stated that this was the fault of any one beat cop, I never called our individual officers lazy, etc. They, like anyone else, are just doing their jobs. What I am saying, though, is that if we have a situation where criminals are becoming brazen enough to commit these sorts of horrible crimes in broad daylight in a busy area, then there is insufficient deterrent.

            My mention of issuing tickets was a red herring and detracts from the argument. Let me retract that then because it clouds my point.

            How about this – I believe that this crime could have possibly been a manifestation of a lack of deterrence in the form of police presence in this area.

            If you think that “high risk areas” are BS when it comes to stopping crime, and that “sh*t happens” is a valid excuse for heinous crimes, and that there is an acceptable number of those crimes, then I hope that you have nothing to do with law enforcement.

          • ArlForester

            You think cops should patrol areas of the bike trail because a crime happens there once every 4-5 years? Where did you get you degree in criminal justice again? Where are the cops when someone is assaulted in their homes? There needs to be an officer in every home, NOW.

          • CW

            Sigh. I give up. Everybody, please look out for yourself. Carry whatever you need to stop any threat you may encounter.

          • John K.

            While most of the assualts that have happened over the years on Four Mile Run trail have happened further south on the Trail, the trail itself is the location of much low-level crime (public drunkeness, fights, etc.), particularly, but not exclusively, in the evening and overnight. At least it is in the vicinity of Four Mile Run up to that last ford before Glencarlyn going north. The police could do more patrolling. It certainly won’t fix everything and may not have prevented this particular crime, but they could focus a bit more attention on it.

          • Mack

            I’m with you, CW. I don’t know what ArlForester is talking about regarding a crime every 4-5 years. Isn’t there a perv exposing himself two or three times a week on that trail? Those stories suddenly become not funny at all, and we should all be kicking ourselves for not seeing this one coming.

      • Jason S.

        Decals bring in revenue, rapists costs money to jail. The point of county government as I understand it is to raise as much revenue as possible to pay for pet projects.

        • mark

          So you really believe that those in government have made an effort to prioritize decal revenue over crime prevention?

          • Jason S.

            Crime *prevention* is actually really hard to do, because people are going to do what people do and you can’t have somebody everywhere to stop every bad thing. Suppose a cop was on the trail (pretty unlikely), it would still be unlikely that he could get their quickly. So, it would make sense to do a couple of things to justify your budget: make crime and go to where that crime is. Make decals and HOV into a big deal, have government heros stand around at the freeway ramp and let the dangerous criminals and revenue come to you. It’s certainly much more practical.

        • Enough already

          Anyone who thinks the Police would rather generate revenue rather than arrest Pieces of S*&% like this is nothing more than an A$$hole themselves.

          • Stu

            Totally agree – what a stupid thing to say from an equally stupid person if they actually believe that.

          • Jason S.

            Individual cops might want to go out and bust imaginary bad guys or rough tax people, but they don’t set policy. I seriously doubt some guy struggles for a 2.0 in criminal justice at NOVA in the hopes of standing around with his fat coworkers to the 66 on and off ramps for a few hours each day.

          • Jason S.

            “rough tax people” = “rough up tan people”

          • Tumblebum

            Wow Jason. Exactly how much time have you done? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that you you have attained a 2.0 at a Jr college somewhere. Why don’t you apply for the PD? Should be a cinch for a guy with your credentials and excellent insight. I know that I’d feel better with you out there grabbing all the felons before they struck. Next academy class can’t be far off and you’ll ace it with minimal effort I would suppose.

          • Enough already

            I’m sure Jason is another self made police expert, who has never done anything to give back to his community. Jason is also first to call the police when he is getting his a$$ beat for running his mouth

          • Jason S.

            * I know that I’d feel better with you out there grabbing all the felons before they struck. *

            Please, for your sake, learn to read. I just wrote that *preventing* crime is pretty much impossible, so I don’t think anybody can actually grab felons before the strike. Besides, for most felonies, if you grab them before they strike, then they haven’t yet committed a felony and might not yet be criminals.

          • help a fellow out here

            Jason, show me a one fat Arlington cop, and I *might* start to listen to you.

          • Jason S.

            I’ve a couple of them on the 66 on ramp in the morning when I have to get on 66 eastbound while they’re putting their lives on the line stopping dangerous HOV violators. Should I have stopped and gotten his name?

            We’d probably see more of the fat ones if ACPD got out of their cars and walked around a bit more. Hell, I’d be happy if they got out of their cars and started ticketing delivery trucks for blocking Wilson Blvd.

          • Tumblebum

            Well, I read fairly well and see that you have a bit of trouble with irony. “Busting imaginary bad guys”. Pretty much the same thing as grabbing felons before they strike. Ever wonder how much crime is prevented just by presence? We will never know.
            Get hired by the PD and I’ll buy your first tank of gas to get to the academy.

          • Jason S.

            Why would I want to be a cop? Take a pay cut and put with cops as my coworkers? No thanks.

            Police being visibly in the area can deter crime in that area, but might just displace it. I do agree that it’s a hard thing to measure, because there can be so many factors in crime trends; however, in the short-term it might be worth trying to get some more cops to get out and walk around the freak show at Ballston Metro after sunset.

          • dk (not DK)

            Why don’t you be honest, Jason S. There isn’t anything a cop could do that would reduce your contempt for the entire profession.

            The real mystery is why anyone would choose to be a cop knowing that the a$$ he/she saves one day could belong to someone like you.

      • MB

        I’ve spent a lot of time on our trails in the past decade. While I agree that it would be nice to see the occasional ACPD bike/foot patrol along them, it’s absolutely absurd to call them “high risk areas.” That so many of us can identify and recall the handful of violent crimes that have taken place along these trails just proves that.

      • Ronald James

        Agreed! Sadly, this has always been a high risk area – the murder victim was hispanic in one of those cases, if I recall correctly. Enough said about why police care less.

    • Blueliner

      You ever try jogging with a revolver?

      • MB

        I jog with a cannon every time.


    • dk (not DK)

      ….so that it can be used against them?

    • Flying Spaghetti Monster

      “…exactly why women need to carry a gun.”

      So the perp can wrestle it our of her bra and shoot her with it?? What ever happened to kicking him in the jewels?

  • JimPB

    Protect oneself with
    1 — a compressed air boat horn (a readily pressed button causes a loud, attention-getting sound to be emitted) — they are available in a readily hand-carried size.
    2. — a can of spray paint — surprise, disorient and MARK a perp — also available in a readily, hand-carried size.

    Unlike a gun, which can be used against oneself or discharged wrongly in haste or by accident with unwanted serious consequences, neither the horn nor spray paint inflicts serious harm on another — or on oneself.

    • Jason S.

      Spray paint is fairly toxic, if you think it has no serious consequences, spray it in your eyes and mouth then let us know how things go.

      • John

        Good. Toxic paint in the face, lungs, mouth and bloodstream is too good for this scum.

        • John

          Spray paint is a great idea girls. Bright yellow.

      • CW

        Cmon dude, see the forest for the trees here. Jims suggestion is excellent and stands a far better chance of aiding the average untrained civilian than a gun or knife. All one needs is to disorient the perp for long enough to get separation.

        • Jason S.

          I was mostly commenting on his statement of spray paint not inflicting harm. I couldn’t care less about the health of a rapist.

          • Joehoya

            Well, I’d rather get accidentally spray-painted than accidentally shot.

          • Jason S.

            For me, it depends. I might rather be shot than go blind.

          • Knowitall

            I would suggest pepper spray over spray paint. You want stopping power. Once the momentary shock of being spray-painted goes away (after 2 seconds) the perp will just be more pissed off. Zap him with pepper spray and then use a tiny stun gun to knock him out. Then kick him as hard as you can in the balls. Then repeat the process while calling 911. Keep repeating the spray/taze/kick while waiting for the cops.

      • Stu

        Yeah, you’re right, the consequences aren’t that much less than a lead bullet. Are you kidding me? If a scumbag is going to assault someone they have what’s coming to them and and should consider themselves lucky if the worst of it is some side effects from spray paint which can be totally recovered from – unlike what they were going to do to their victim.

  • Whiskey315

    I wish I was running past there when he did this pathetic act. I just find it hard to believe that nobody could have heard her screaming since it is not that big of a wooded area and the trail is pretty busy even at that time of night. Unfortunately for ACPD there are about 100 men that match this description and stand next to the Weenie Beenie every day.

    • Tabs

      Oh I don’t know. She did well to provide a few key distinctive things about him. “Small head” and “high-pitched voice” do not describe most Latino men I know.

    • iCan

      it was a very hot day.. not may go out jogging at that time.

    • dk (not DK)

      If she was frightened/threatened enough by the knife, she may not have screamed.

  • My thoughts go out to the victim. Nobody should ever have to experience such horror.

    Respectfully speaking, spray paint and an air horn are not the most advantageous tools to use to dissuade a sociopath.

    What you are failing to consider is that this attack is an ambush, emotionally and physically speaking.

    Get educated, get training. Understand how attacks happen and how you can prevent becoming a victim. A little bit of training and preparation can go a long way towards saving your life.

    • South Awwlington

      I hate to mention it, but in seriousness ladies and gents, KICK THEM WHERE IT COUNTS. Trust me, they will drop and you can run. Don’t give these a$$holes one more inch into our neighborhoods.

      • Tabs

        Way easier said than done.

        Upper strength-wise, most men are a LOT stronger than the vast majority of women. It’s just biology. I’m amazed when I see little men pick up furniture like it’s a cardboard box, when I’d struggle to push it across the floor.

        I was pinned to the ground by a screwed up date when I was in college. I realized I was completely powerless to escape, or to hurt him. He experienced a moment of sanity and released me.

        • SouthArlJD

          Use your legs. They’re strong enough to do real damage. In my self defense classes I was taught to stomp hard on the instep of a man who might grab me, to kick his knee from the side, to grab his scrotum and yank as hard as possible. Bite, butt his nose with your head, elbow him in the solar plexus (a solid hit would drop Godzilla – all the wind goes out of someone struck there). A former female MP told me she stopped a rape in action once, sneaking up behind a man who was raping another military member and grabbing his genitals from behind and squeezing. She’s about 5 foot 3 and he was a big guy, but she held on tight until help came. Take a form of martial art that doesn’t rely so much on upper body strength but on balance and using the attacker’s strength against him, such as aikido.

          I think the hardest thing for a lot of women – beside their lack of upper body strength to compete with a man’s – is the sense that we don’t want to hurt anyone so we’re reluctant to use real force. We were all taught that proper young ladies don’t fight. Well, from my standpoint, anyone who tries to lay hands on me like that deserves whatever I can dish out against him. A woman really has a very limited opportunity to take control of the situation, so she must harden herself to the notion of delivering crippling or lethal force with the first blow or her first action.

        • South Awwlington

          Sorry to hear about this. Is there an effective way for women to ward of these kind of attacks once they begin?

          • iCan


          • Flying Spaghetti Monster


          • KalashniKEV

            For who?

    • SouthArlJD

      “Sociopath”? You can’t go around psychoanalyzing someone who would do something like this and declare him a sociopath, nor can you say that using methods such as spray paint and an airhorn would not dissuade him. Most of these guys are committing a crime of opportunity because they think they can accomplish it quickly and in relative quiet and with a solid chance of escaping. Introduce spray paint, airhorns, whistles, and pepper spray into the mix and there goes his sense of security about being able to commit the crime without consequence. I’ve been representing criminals for a lot of years and the vast majority are going to break off whatever they’re doing the moment they get the idea they might get caught.

      You talk about getting education and training, but last time I took a self-defense class I was advised to make life as noisy and uncomfortable for the assailant as possible if I were accosted. Sure, there are things one should do so as to lessen the possibility of being accosted, but it’s annoying to go through life thinking you can’t or shouldn’t walk down a bike trail because some slimy creep might rape you.

      • KalashniKEV

        “I’ve been representing criminals for a lot of years and the vast majority are going to break off…”

        Yeah… and then there are those other rapists:

        Victim: *sprayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy*

        Assailant: *STAB STAB STAB STAB*

  • DeportEmAll

    Any more info on the perp?

  • Andrew

    This is terrible. Perhaps runners who use the trail regularly should start a “safety patrol”? You know, something involving orange vests, cell phones and a schedule where at least two people are covering the trails for an hour or two from dawn to dusk.

    • Jason S.

      In places like Arlington, people pay taxes so they don’t have to be all that community oriented in action. While I like your idea, I just don’t it as something that will happen. Taking up what appears to be the prevailing view in Arlington (and most upper income neighborhoods), they already are paying for a safety patrol in the form of police.

      • Jason S.

        Jeez, I can’t type.

        “I just don’t see it as something that will happen”

    • JimPB

      Andrew — excellent suggestion.

      • iCan

        not really… patrol my arse. so you jog by in your orange vest and don’t make another pass for another 1 hr.. you pass the rapist along the trail as he is just walking and scouting.

        your odds of bumping into this happening are small.

    • MB

      The Friends of the WOD run a trail patrol I see all over Arlington’s trails. More info here – http://www.wodfriends.org/trail_patrol.html

      (And sorry, Jason, to inject some reality into your keyboard commando assaults on the character of Arlington.)

      • Jason S.

        Thanks for the link, but I like the police I don’t think I’ve seen much of them on the trail (but I typically ride in the morning while most people are at work).

  • JimPB

    Spray paint in eye(s) … of assailant.

    Yes, there is a risk of serious harm to the eyes. The perpetrator should be advised to promptly flush the eye(s) gently (rinsing too hard can do harm) for 15 (or more) minutes. Likely, he’ll be begging for the water in your water bottle and in the bottle(s) of any other(s) who appears. Also tell the perp that If irritation continues or becomes worse after rinsing as you have advised, he should promptly seek emergency medical attention.

    If he values his sight at all, he’ll be begging for you to call 911 (if you haven’t already) and praying for a prompt response by the authorities. If he flees the scene and does not seek medical care (which would enable his apprehension if the police promptly alert E-rooms and urgent care facilities), he may well have sentenced himself to a lifetime of impaired vision.

    • Jason S.

      You know, I disagree with your initial statement about spray paint not being capable of “serious harm”, but the idea itself isn’t terrible. I wonder why mace doesn’t come with a dye in it, that would be pretty handy.

      • brian

        a small can of some PB Blaster or WD40 would work also. Too bad brake cleaner (chlorinated) doesn’t come in small cans.

      • iCan

        i would love to see one of you in jogging outfit with a can of spray paint strapped on.. post a picture please.

  • Observer

    Predictably, a sexual assault thread has turned into “Several Men Arguing”

    • Tabs

      +10 million

    • MB


    • drax

      Yeah, arguing about the best way to protect women from sexual assault. You got a problem with that?

    • dk (not DK)

      …and bragging that they’d have stopped it if they’d been there.

  • Carmen

    Horrible. I wish the woman a quick recovery. Hope the scum that did this is caught quickly,

  • SouthArlJD

    For all the folks cracking on the cops for not being there when this happened, the fact is that the police DO patrol the 4 Mile Run Trail. They even have bike cops riding stretches together. But the reality is that the trails are not high crime spots. This was an aberration, a terrible one to be sure, but an aberration nevertheless. It’s scary. I’ve been alone on the trail plenty of times, and over the last couple of decades have even run into some skeevy people who raised my hackles, but there are usually lots of other people coming and going. If I go there again I’ll be sure to at least take along a whistle. Not sure where I put the pepper spray. This is an enraging story though. Makes me hope the next woman he accosts is an expert in self defense and kicks his butt … and certain body parts in its vicinity.

  • replytothat

    he should be castrated.

    • Knowitall

      Amen to that! I would also support live skinning via potato peeler.

  • S4mile

    I have called the police numerous times for these creeps sleeping near the trail and setting up their shanty towns near my home that I pay arlington prices to live in and would think as close as we are to elementary schools, we would get some more enforcement since there is no telling if they are violating sex offender statutes and as bad as they creep me out, i’m pretty sure they shouldnt be allowed near kids.

    • Jason S.

      Being creepy in itself is not illegal, but I would think that setting up camp there would be. From the way you describe it, no enforcement is happening on that front.

      • Knowitall

        Yeah. Sometime drive down Carlin Springs Road and look right across from the elementary school there, just past the hospital. It’s a f—ing shantytown.

        • Bullet Tooth Tony:

          Once the other RV folks see what this RV guy is doing, they’re gonna start parking their RVs on our street and we’re gonna be staring down the barrel of a shantytown situation.

    • drax

      You’re right, there’s no telling.

      Stop blaming random people for crimes you don’t know they’ve committed or not.

      • Justin

        Don’t complain about anything, ever. Right?

    • KalashniKEV

      Don’t worry… you’ll soon be buying them a nicer place than YOU live in at the Clarendon Views!

  • brian

    Mile Marker 44?

    Is that correct or a typo?

    • MB

      It’s not a “mile marker”, but a simple marker. They’re numbered by order, and while I’m not sure that there’s a specific distance between them, I’d guess a couple hundred meters between each. All of the major trails have them, and they’re the best way to identify where you are if you call and need assistance on the trail. Most of us (myself included) would have a very hard time accurately describing where we are in relation to the regular street grid when we’re on the trails.

      • brian

        Well on the W&OD it’s very accurate for the “mile markers”.. it probably needs remarked as you know over the years that trail has changed.

        I don’t get much on 4 mile run, next to W&OD, so I wouldn’t even know what a marker looks like on there is.

        On W&OD, gmap-pedometer.com reports that at about mile 2.33

        • MB

          Yeah, these are entirely separate from the mile markers. They’re simple numbers on square reflective backgrounds (yellow, orange, and blue) attached to posts. I *think* the colors change by trail, but I’m not entirely certain.

  • Michael H.

    Terrible news. I hope the police can find this guy very soon.

    As for the exact location, I would suspect that the attack occurred on one of the Four Mile Run Trail pathways, not the W&OD. But the Mile Marker 44 statement seems to indicate the W&OD.

    The W&OD is busier than the FMRT paths. FMRT heads off into more heavily wooded and shaded areas. I’d suggest that if someone is running through that area alone, that the runner not wear earphones. And stay on the W&OD. Run with a friend if possible.

    • Jason S.

      Mile marker 44 for the W&OD would be near Purcellville.

    • Michael H.

      But Mile 44 doesn’t make any sense on FMRT.

      • drax

        I noticed that too. Perhaps it’s mile 4.4? Is it marked by tenths of a mile?

        • WeiQiang

          You’re right, because it’s not measured from the beginning of the W&OD trail in Shirlington, it’s measured from the terminus of the 4MR trail near DCA.

          • brian

            and it’s not 4.4 miles if measured from there (according to gmap)

          • Arlingtonian

            Mileages on the Four Mile Run Trail begin at Van Buren Street, near the Falls Church-Arlington border. The number of miles increase as the trail travels east. Mileages on the W&OD Trail start at Shirlington Road and increase as the trail travels northwest.

            The marker was not a mile marker. Both the W&OD and the Four Mile Run Trail have colored markers at 0.1 mile intervals. You are supposed to use them when you call someone in an emergency. If you are fortunate, the person who answers your call will forward it to somebody who knows where the marker is located. If you are not fortunate, you will be placed on hold or reach an answering machine.

            The colors on the W&OD and the Four Mile Run Trail markers are different. That enables people to distinguish between the two.

            ArlNow did not state whether the trail was the Four Mile Run Trail or the W&OD. The Examiner states that it was the Four Mile Run Trail.

  • I’m also sorry for the woman. What a horrible experience for her. I’m glad she was able to get herself to the hospital and that she is going to be ok physically. However, I suspect the emotional scars will take a long time to heal.

  • Chris

    One question arlnow did you
    Correct the grammar from the original press release to what you posted here? drug and dragged are two different things.

  • Neighbor

    I was also walking alone along the trail around that time, and it was unusually empty. Definitely made me nervous, and I do remember passing several lone guys, but not one that fit that description. I’m sooo sorry for the victim. Guys, if you ever hear an assault taking place, please come to the aid of the victim.

    • Michael H.

      I rode by there on Monday, on the W&OD. I wish I had been in the area on Tuesday to help deter the assault.

  • alex1138

    Seems like the crime rate in Arlington has really spiked this year. Lots of creepy, scary and crazy stuff going around. I hope this trend stops soon.

  • ArlResident

    Where is a good place to pick up some pepper spray or other small devices to take while running? Is there a store nearby?

    • spaghetti

      Casual Adventure in between Virginia Square and Clarendon Metro on Washington Blvd sells pepper spray

      • Arlingdude

        Use it on that creepy scoutmaster in their tv ad.

        • John K.

          Yes! I thought I was the only one being weirded out by that guy…

        • Flying Spaghetti Monster

          Way harsh. And unnecessary.

  • KalashniKEV

    1) This is an escalation of a pattern of behavior. We have all taken note of the boob grabber, flashlight junk guy, etc. in the Crime Beat. I’m not saying it’s the same guy, but the failure to act has lead to an escalation in severity.
    2) Meeting a violent criminal armed with a knife with ANYTHING less than deadly force is not smart. Some of you guys want to turn a rape event into a body painting workshop? That’s kinky. A controlled pair to the upper torso? That’s smart.
    3) Hopefully this has the attention of Police Administrators. I would like to see resources devoted, boots on the ground, addressing the problem. No more more kick-back and relax, behind-the-glass approach to law enforcement.

    • CW

      But KEV, apparently your suggestion #3 is considered DISGUSTING to our resident law enforcement sympathizers, as I am told above. But you would not know anything about tactics or security, would you now???

      • ArlForester

        Someone mildly agrees with you. At least Kev didn’t blame the police for this crime like you did. That’s why no one agreed with you. You’re both off the mark pretending like the police aren’t doing anything.

        • CW

          I never “blamed the police for this crime”. That would mean that I stated direct causality, one to one. I never did that. I said that a shift in institutional policy at the highest level towards crime prevention (e.g. through increased patrols) rather than non-crime-related enforcement could increase the deterrent effect and possibly have prevented this crime. This is tantamount to what KEV stated. Yes, I stated it in a sarcastic manner with the jab at revenue collection. You are just too dense to understand this nuance and think “Oh, he call police bad, but police heroes, he bad!”

        • CW

          And for the record, your “nobody likes you” schoolyard bully line doesn’t really hold much weight with me. You and two sockpuppets disagreed with me. Whoopty doo, I’ll lose sleep.

      • KalashniKEV

        Here’s what I want to clarify- I place no blame on the individual officers. There is definitely a failure of leadership at the top of ACPD that is fueling a dysfunctional organizational culture and a misallocation of resources.

        Every day when the sun comes up (and right into the next one) there is set of resources at the disposal of the leadership. How they are allocated should be based on promoting the health, safety, and prosperity of Arlington- NOT the political agenda of the county board and NOT quotas/ revenue/ $.

        • CW

          +1, my sentiments exactly. People get all protective about “cops”. We’re not talking about “cops” here; we’re talking about policy. That comes from the top down.

          • Tabs


  • Plus One

    Reading all the comments and suggestions have been interesting and my thoughts and prayers go out to the person who was attacked. One suggestion not raised was having a dog with you. It’s a win, win. The dog gets exercise and the owner has a level of protection from attackers that may see a easy mark. It won’t deter all but quite a will think twice.

  • paredes1983

    Well that is not good news. Please if any lady would like to find a partner for running please feel free in contact me via email or cell phone [email protected] or 703-785-7905.

  • demonfafa

    F**k all the people in this thread that use the violent rape of someone to further their PERSONAL political agenda of everyone and their mother carrying concealed weapons like it’s the OK f**king Corral. For every single person to carry a firearm is the worst idea since letting Ted Kennedy drive home on a date. If it’s really important enough for these raping scumbags to get what’s coming to them, then YOU stand guard on the trail and wait for women to get assaulted. The police can’t be everywhere, so step the f**k up and protect these women or else you’re just a pussy commenting on the internet.

    F**k all the racists who want to whine about Hispanics coming here and bringing their “violent ways.” Italian and Irish immigrants were violent at times too when they first arrived because they lived in condensed shitty parts of town where law enforcement was sparse.

    F**k all the people in this thread who want all the poor people who live within five blocks of them marched off away from their neighborhood because they’re worried about their property values. They’re a goddamn human being.

    • whopeedinyourcoffee

      it’s 10 blocks! get it right

    • drax

      Damn. I’ve been out-outraged.

    • KalashniKEV

      LOL… and my comments get moderated out of existence.

      1) Welcome to America. We carry guns here. I don’t need to be on the trail at night guarding it, but if I was on the trail at night, it would be wise and reasonable to guard myself, no?

      2) We’re in total agreement. Savagery is not bound to one race, or a collection of races.

      3) In a just society every one has a place that they have earned. Let the poors concentrate on the Pike or wherever they wish, but don’t be reaching into my pocket to pay their rent.

      • dk (not DK)

        “1) Welcome to America. We carry guns here.”

        Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      • demonfafa

        I am SO GLAD that we’re in agreement on #2. I don’t know if I could have gone on living knowing you agree with my opinion.

    • sunflower

      finally—a voice of reason!

    • KJ

      Yes, the Gangs of New York were violent fresh off the boat, but that’s why not a lot of Ladies who Lunch hung out near Five Points. I don’t care about mixed economic levels or ethnicities or after-work hobbies living amongst each other – many of our ancestors were living in tenements of some sort- but crime is another matter. Unfortunately, poverty and crime are related so it becomes a matter of community policing. I can’t count the number of times I’ve called the non-emergency police number for something not right, a person or car doing something off-kilter, a non-neighbor sitting on our neighborhood steps smoking dope. As a result I’ve seen more ACPD presence. They can’t be everywhere to watch everything, so they need help from the general public.

    • Not your bro

      Just saw this. Right on, Demonfafa. You couldn’t have said it better.

      • Tabs

        I agree.

        Neighborhood Watch programs seem to die quickly in Arlington. Wonder why.

    • Mittendorf

      Yes, there are Italian and Irish immigrants who bring their violent ways. No, this type of behaviour is not typical of one particular ethnicity. Unfortunately this type of behaviour develops from places where there is no law and order due to war, overthrow of government or third world poverty. The reality is that there are people who come from these areas and they believe that they can act like they did there. Not that it is acceptable behaviour there either. It is sad that in order for these animals to feel in control is to take to committing acts of violence against someone who are less strong.

      If there was a way to suss these people out… Minority Report anyone?

  • arl2012

    Absolutely horrible.

    I am a runner and it was drilled into my head by my dad when I was a teenager to never run on a wooded trail..never run where there aren’t houses, cars, etc. zooming by.

    I used to see women on the wooded C&O canal alone with nobody in site for miles when I was jogging with my husband and other runners. A lot of these women relocated to DC from small, sleepy safe towns. This area is not safe to be a woman walking/running anywhere alone in a secluded area.

    Just don’t do it. It sucks, but when I run alone it is always on some open sidewalk (lee hwy, etc) and places with tons of activity. I also don’t go early in the morning or at night.

    I am truly sorry for the victim. Of course–she did not bring this horrible act upon herself.


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