CRIME

Manassas rape: Woman sexually assaulted at gunpoint

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Police say a Herndon woman was pulled behind a Manassas townhouse at gunpoint and raped late Thursday.

The victim, 31, alleges she was walking in the area of Maplewood Drive and Peakwood Court around 11:15 p.m. when she was approached by a man. He pulled out a handgun, forced her behind the townhouse on Vermont Place and raped her. The suspect took off on foot.

The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Joshua Brown didn’t need to read the rape notice taped to his apartment door. He had a front row seat to the aftermath. He says the woman, who was visiting her boyfriend at the Maplewood Park apartments, had parked on the street because the parking pass had expired.

When she opened her car door, a man put a gun to her head and demanded money. He then forced her behind the apartments and raped her.

Derrick Belfield tried comforting his neighbor, the victim's boyfriend.

“I know she was scared to death. I’m a grown man able to defend myself. I would have been pretty shaken up, too,” he says.

Both men stood on the very staircase where Belfield heard the victim frantically climb and cry out Thursday night.

“I open the door, I hear the young lady. She was all hysterical and screaming and what not,” say Belfield.

Belfield ran to the parking lot to look for the attacker.

The playground, where the assault took place, is surrounded by townhomes, yet no one heard anything. But it’s just one of the concerns for investigators.

“We’ve had other sexual assaults, not in that area, but other sexual assaults where the victim and attacker know one another, so to have a stranger rape is concerning,” says Officer Jonathan Perok of the Prince William County Police.

The suspect is described as a 5'9 black man with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black puffy jacket, dark gray jeans and a black and white bandana.

Anyone with information should call police. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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