CRIME

Shaw sex assault suspect arrested

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A vicious sexual assault in a trendy Northwest D.C. neighborhood has put a community on the edge for days, but now police believe they have nabbed their suspect.

Those close to the investigation say it was a particularly brutal sex assault, and now police say the man responsible is behind bars.

The sound of construction, renovation and revitalization along the 1700 block of 7th Street NW echoes through the neighborhood and may have drawn out screaming coming from a nearby office Tuesday morning.

Investigators say a man gained access to an apartment building and entered an office around 9 a.m. A woman, described by those who know her as a mother of three in her forties, was working alone. Police say the man closed the door and committed what is characterized as a chillingly brutal sex assault.

“[It] makes you feel very uncomfortable to just be around, to know that it can happen so easily just at work,” says Rita White.

Rape warnings immediately went up throughout the neighborhood.

“Obviously watch out and be careful,” says Emma Atwood.

“It’s scary,” says Tim Hurson. “It is terrifying.

Investigators received a series of surveillance shots of the suspect. They tracked down and arrested Jahlani Brown, 21, Thursday night. He is charged with first-degree sexual assault. 

Some Shaw residents say they will not let this crime scare them away.

“It’s part of living in a city. It could happen anywhere, you know,” says Lauren Mansur. “It could happen in any part of the city.”

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