We’re shaken to read about this violent attack late last month in Bloomingdale. Please stay safe, DC. If you experience sexual harassment or assault, consider reaching out to the DCRCC – Powering A Culture of Consent hotline to access support at (202) 333-7273.
The story, as reported by NBC Washington:
A woman walking down a street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of D.C. was pushed down a lower-level stairway before Christmas by a man who threatened to kill her and tried to rip off her shirt.
The victim of the violent attack on the 100 block of Seaton Place NW told News4 she wants her neighbors to be aware of the dangerous man at large.
“I want people to know that there is an attacker out there,” she said, asking that her name be withheld.
About to start her Christmas vacation, the Bloomingdale resident of several years was walking east from the Shaw-Howard University Metro station after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22 when a man called out to her.
“I heard somebody give a catcall. I didn’t even turn around and look at it,” she said.
Suddenly, just a block from her front door, a man grabbed her from behind. He dragged her off the sidewalk and tried to force her beneath the front porch of a house.
“I started to scream and yell, hoping somebody in the house would hear me, at which point he put me in a chokehold and said he had a gun and that he would kill me,” the victim said.
Fearing for her life, she complied with the attacker’s demands.
“What do you want? You have my purse, you have my coat. What do you want from me?” she recalled.
“And he said, ‘I want you.’ And he reached for my shirt, to unbutton or rip off my shirt,” she said.
Just then, another woman walked past.
“I started to yell and fight again, and he was fighting with me, I think until he realized there was a person right there that I was yelling to,” she said.
The woman who came to her aid also started to scream, and called police.
The suspect ran away with the Bloomingdale resident’s credit cards, cash and the keys to her home.
“Two patrolmen were there within minutes, before the lady who passed by was even off of her cellphone,” the victim said. “They attempted to pursue him.”
The Bloomingdale resident — who told the neighborhood blog PoPville she escaped with scrapes and bruises — never got the name of the good Samaritan but said she would like to thank her.
“If she hears this, I would certainly like to give her a huge thank-you,” she said. “She potentially saved my life.”
Police described the suspect as a black man with a dark complexion and average to thin build, who stands about 6-foot. He was last seen wearing black pants, black boots and a hood. He is wanted for robbery and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
Anyone with information that may help police is asked to call 202-727-9099. Information also can be provided by sending a text message to 50411.
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Share your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.
If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.
If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).