Arlington County Police have made an arrest in the Aug. 1, 2015 sexual assault of a woman in the Buckingham neighborhood.
It was initially believed that the Aug. 1 case may have been related to another series of sexual assaults last summer. A suspect was arrested in October and charged in some of those crimes. (That suspect, Melvin Perez Bonilla, is still in jail and due in court today to face charges in a July 25 assault on N. Scott Street, police say.)
Investigators now believe that separate suspects were each responsible for a separate series of assaults.
Police say the man just taken into custody, 19-year-old Santos Efrain Vasquez-Lopez, may have also sexually assaulted women along the W&OD Trail. ACPD is asking anyone with information about him to come forward.
From a press release:
The Arlington County Police Department arrested and charged a 19 year-old subject with abduction with the intent to defile for his role in a sexual assault incident last summer. Santos Efrain Vasquez-Lopez, 19, of Arlington, VA is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
The attack occurred on August 1, 2015 in the 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive at approximately 11:26 p.m. As the 25-year-old victim was walking home, the suspect grabbed her from behind and pushed her to the ground. The suspect held her down, covered her mouth, and attempted to remove her shorts. The victim was able to bite one of the suspect’s hands before he fled the area on foot.
Investigators assigned to the Tactical Unit and detectives assigned to the Special Victims Unit were able to identify a suspect matching the description provided by the victim. Police were able to secure DNA analysis results from the state lab, confirming Vasquez-Lopez’s involvement in the incident. Tactical Unit officers took Vasquez-Lopez into custody at his residence in the late evening hours of February 24, 2016.
The Arlington County Police Department is investigating Vasquez-Lopez’s possible involvement in a series of assaults along the bike trail last summer and additional charges may be pending. Anyone who has information regarding this incident or concerning Vasquez-Lopez is asked to call Detective Bercovicz at 703.228.4235 or email [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).