Alexandria police are investigating an abduction attempt that occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in the 2000 block of King Street next to the grounds of the George Washington Masonic Memorial.
A 23-year-old female au pair was walking from King Street-Old Town Metro station when a suspect grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and attempted to pull her over a wall and onto the Masonic Memorial grounds.
The victim was able to fight off the suspect, who fled the scene on foot southbound on Callahan Drive toward Duke Street, according to police.
The suspect is described as a 5-foot-5 black male who was seen wearing a ball cap, a black-and-white striped shirt and tan shorts, police said. He may be a smoker.
According to a community listserv post from the family hosting the au pair, the attack occurred in an area around a broken streetlight that creates a dark stretch of sidewalk. Police told the family they believe the attacker chose the location because of the cover created by the outage.
Alexandria City Council discussed the issue of broken streetlights at its meeting last week. Rich Baier, director of the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, said the repair of streetlight outages are the responsibility of Dominion Virginia Power and not the city.
“We have no ability to push Dominion in any real way to expedite repairs, expect at schools and an area of crime,” Baier told council. “[The city doesn’t] own, operate or repair streetlights unless they’re in some parking lots and city private property.”
Mayor Bill Euille said the city recently had a meeting with Dominion about improving reporting of streetlight outages.
“There’s so much technology and social media we can be using to get to the root causes that we’re not using right now,” Euille said. “We’re looking at those various vehicles so we can get there.”
Dominion directs residents to a page on its website to report streetlight outages. Baier said the city would get more information about reporting streetlight outages on the city’s Call.Click.Connect. portal.
Anyone with information about the attempted abduction or who might have been in the area is asked to call Detective Amy Santiago at 703-746-6289. Witnesses can remain anonymous.