The attack took place just before 3:00 a.m., on the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street.
Police say the men, who are brothers, were sleeping on benches outside the library when another man approached and began arguing with them. The argument escalated and the suspect then brandished a machete and began slashing at the victims, police said.
The victims suffered “numerous large lacerations” all over their upper torso and face area, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. They were transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The victims have not been identified by name, but Sternbeck described them as 26-year-old brothers of no fixed address.
The suspect, 28-year-old Derrick Sutherland, remained at large this morning but was later arrested in the Ballston area. Sutherland is homeless and was known to carry a machete, Sternbeck said.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has taken a 28 year-old man into custody and charged him with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding stemming from a machete attack that occurred early this morning. Derrick Sutherland, 28, of no fixed address is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
Sutherland approached the two victims outside the Central Library at 2:50 a.m. and began arguing with them. The argument escalated and Sutherland brandished a machete, which he used to strike each victim numerous times. Both victims sustained significant non-life threatening injuries and were transported to GW Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Sutherland fled the scene immediately after the attack and remained at-large through the morning hours. However, through a collaborative effort between the Homicide/Robbery Unit and Patrol Division, officers were able to locate Sutherland in the area of Wilson Boulevard and N. Piedmont Street and take him into custody.