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JUST IN: Maryland man arrested in case of woman pushed out of SUV

The woman who was injured after being pushed out of an SUV near Ballston (via GoFundMe)

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) An arrest has been made in the case of a woman who was pushed out of a moving SUV near Ballston.

Maryna Kapovska, 25, suffered severe injuries in the May 15 incident, which happened on Wilson Blvd just west of N. Glebe Road. She has been undergoing rehabilitation, including for a traumatic brain injury, according to a GoFundMe page that has raised $50,000 to cover Kapovska’s expenses.

Arlington County police announced this afternoon (Wednesday) that a man has been arrested in the case, following a “thorough investigation,” though there’s still no word on an exact motive.

Willie Clements, a 59-year-old Maryland resident, is now facing several felony charges after being taken into custody on Friday by Arlington County Police Department tactical officers. Police say the victim entered his black SUV while waiting for a rideshare driver in D.C. around 3 a.m.

Clements “was not employed as a rideshare driver and was not operating in a for-hire status,” according to police.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is announcing the arrest of a suspect following an aggravated malicious wounding investigation in the Bluemont neighborhood. Willie James Clements, 59, of Upper Marlboro, MD is charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Grand Larceny and Hit and Run. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 3:06 a.m. on May 15, police were dispatched to the area of Wilson Boulevard at N. Vermont Street for the report of trouble unknown. The reporting party stated she was driving in the area when she observed a black SUV swerving and traveling at a high rate of speed. The passenger door to the vehicle then opened and the victim was pushed out onto the roadway. Responding officers located the female victim in the roadway and medics transported her to an area hospital with serious injuries.

The investigation revealed that earlier in the morning, the victim requested a rideshare service from the 800 block of Florida Ave NW, Washington D.C. to her residence in Arlington. While waiting for her driver to arrive, the suspect approached, the victim entered his vehicle and he drove away. The suspect was not employed as a rideshare driver and was not operating in a for-hire status.

Arlington County Police Department detectives conducted a thorough investigation including witness interviews and the review of crime scene and other evidence. The review resulted in additional information that led detectives to identify Willie James Clements as a suspect. Officers assigned to the department’s TAC Unit took the suspect into custody without incident on the afternoon of September 2.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow that the crime scene was “less than a mile” from where the victim lived. She was unable to say why the victim might have entered the suspect’s vehicle.

“This remains an active criminal investigation and to ensure the integrity of the prosecution, no additional details are available at this time,” Savage said.

Kapovska is originally from Ukraine and was quoted in news stories in February just before the Russian invasion.

“Our dad is defending our homeland while our mom had to flee the war to Germany,” her sister noted on the GoFundMe page.

Prior to the March incident, the 25-year-old attended a Ukrainian Orthodox church in Montgomery County weekly, sang in the choir, and posted regularly on Instagram to show support for her homeland, said a Montgomery County Media story.

As her rehabilitation continues — it’s expected to take 6-12 months, according to the GoFundMe page — she returned to Instagram two weeks ago after a long hiatus.

“Happy days,” Kapovska wrote in a post, with a photo from prior to her injuries. “Life divided into before and after. This is before, looking forward to after.”

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