CRIME

Friendship Heights sexual assault victim robbed, attacked in alley

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A woman was robbed, dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted in Friendship Heights late Tuesday night, authorities say.

5100 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW

The assault happened at about 11 p.m. Tuesday on Wisconsin Avenue  while the victim was getting money from an ATM. She told police that she felt the suspect press something into her back and demanded her cash.

Once he had the money, authorities say that the man forced her into a nearby alley and sexually assaulted her. He then fled.

WTTG-TV captured video on their surveillance cameras, and in it, you can see a man follow a woman before they cross the street in the direction of the alley where the rape took place. WTTG’s cameras are pointed directly at the stretch of Wisconsin Avenue where it all happened.

"Are you serious? I mean that is terrible -- that is very surprising because this is a neighborhood where you have a lot of security," said District resident Alex Langton.

Police are saying that the man pressed what they believe was a knife to the woman’s back, ordered her to hand over money, and then continued to press the weapon into her back as he leaned into her and forced her away from Wisconsin Avenue.

"That is really shocking to me and scary," said D.C. resident Amy Martin.

This particular stretch of Wisconsin Avenue is busy throughout the day and night – a gym here has people coming and going well into the evening.

"In upper northwest Friendship Heights area you wouldn't think that, so maybe their guard is down," said Jim Darling.

Police are dissecting the video in hopes of getting clues on the suspect. Meanwhile, some who live in the area say that until a suspect is off the streets, they will rethink walking down a street they considered safe just a few days ago.

"I can't stand it," D.C. resident Michelle Shableski said. "It makes me feel like I can't go outside behind my house."

This is the second time in the past six months that a woman was attacked -- seemingly at random -- along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor. In July, a man forced a woman into a secluded spot near Tenleytown, raped her and robbed her.

Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-9099.

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