Exclusive: VaHi Resident Leads Police to Man Matching Description of Suspect in Sexual Assault in Virginia-Highland; Sees Police Cuff Man, Put Him in Cruiser

by David on January 1, 2011

**Breaking News**
**Must Credit VHConnect.org**

Virginia-Highland resident “ARS” (initials used for this report) tells VHConnect.org that she called 911 to report seeing a man matching the description of the suspect in the sexual assault that occurred Dec 26 on Rosedale Road… and she followed the man and gave details to 911 until police arrived!

The VaHi resident then saw police cuff the man and put him in a police cruiser.

Here’s what what we know:

“On Thursday evening Dec 30, around 7:30, I saw a man in front of Pura Vida restaurant on N. Highland (see Google Map), ARS told VHConnect.org. “He looked a lot like the sketch of the man involved in the Rosedale rape.”

ARS said she was immediately concerned.

“When I first saw the man, my thoughts were, ‘Oh my God, pull over, I need to pull this sketch up on my phone. I think that is the rapist.’ It hit me so strangely as he looked right at me.”

ARS said she called 911. And decided to follow the man up and down N. Highland until the police could arrive.

“As I followed him, I was not scared, I was determined to get as much information about him as I could,” she said. “I was on the phone with 911 as I walked up, and described what he was wearing and where he was walking. I just wanted to give them as much detail as I could.”

She got a very detailed description.

“I would describe him as a black man, older, probably late 40′s early 50′s, short or thinning hair, average height 5-8 to 5-9, medium build,” ARS said. “He wore a light brown overcoat/jacket, a black button down shirt, dark brown or black pants with the right pant leg rolled to the knee. Dark shoes with no socks. Carrying a white or cream color “puffed jacket” under his arm. I could not smell him from the distance I kept. His behavior was slightly aloof, slow moving, slightly out of it, not 100%. He asked people for money as they walked by.”

Was ARS nervous about following the man?

“I was more nervous about losing him. I just felt like, ‘this is the guy and I want the cops to get him!’ I really do not know what compelled me to make this happen. I did not have a thought like, ‘Why am I following a possible rapist around, who am I, McGruff?’ I was feeling empowered, like, ‘I”m not gonna let you get away with this!’”

ARS said the call lasted 13 minutes as she followed the man.

“While I was on the phone with dispatch, the woman asked if I had already called about him. I said no. She said that another person had just called stating they saw a man fitting a description of a man in the sketch, on the corner of North Avenue and N. Highland. That’s a block from where I saw him.”

Then the police arrived and ARS watched the entire scene unfold.

“The blue lights flashed and the police popped out of the car. The initial reaction from the man was to turn his back and start walking away, but the police stopped him. The man dropped the white jacket on the sidewalk and the police put the cuffs on him and put him in the car.”

ARS does not know if this was the suspect but she has continued to stay in touch with police.

“I spoke with the detective yesterday morning and she did not have any information for me as of yet, but said she would inform me of any developments.”

We contacted APD for comment for this story and will update this report with comments and any new information.

Update 1/4/2011, 2:00 PM: Detective Reith tells VHConnect.org: “At this time we do not have a suspect, but have received some very good leads from both citizens and other Law Enforcement officials.

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What do YOU think? Post your reader comments below. Or head over to the discussion forum topic on this story for more in-depth discussion with other neighbors.

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