D.C. police are still looking for the man who abducted a woman in Friendship Heights last Tuesday before forcing the victim to withdraw money from an ATM and raping her in a back alley.
It is a chilling crime, parts of which were recorded by three FOX 5 surveillance cameras outside of our building.
The footage that was aired by FOX 5 and shared with other television stations in town.
But when a FOX 5 reporter saw a man fitting the suspect’s description in Tenleytown on Friday, a police officer he approached knew nothing about it.
Our video begins with the woman walking south on Wisconsin Avenue passing the front of our building between Harrison and Garrison Streets in Northwest D.C.
The suspect keeps his distance initially and walks with a distinctive gait -- a peculiar left to right stride.
From all of our cameras, we know he followed the woman up Garrison Street where he abducted her at knifepoint before forcing her across Wisconsin Avenue to a Wells Fargo ATM.
That is where the man forced her to withdraw money before taking her to an alley behind the Rodman’s parking lot where he raped her.
But last Friday afternoon when FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald saw a man in Tenleytown matching the suspect’s description, the officer he approached knew nothing about the rape or the video of the man.
"I went up to one of the officers and I leaned in the window and I said, ‘Hey I just saw a guy across the street that to me looks like he has the same walk in that video of the sexual assault last week,’ and he didn't know what I was talking about,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald pointed the man out and watched as the officer went to speak with him.
But a few minutes later, the officer was back at his post.
"When I got the impression that he still didn't really understand the incident I was talking about, I asked him, ‘Did you see this video?’ And he said, ‘What video?’ And I pulled out my iPhone and I pulled up your story and I showed it to him,” said Fitzgerald.
Law enforcement sources say investigators now know who the man is Fitzgerald pointed out and have identified him. They have not said if he is a suspect.
When FOX 5 asked police why a patrol officer in the neighborhood wouldn't know about a crime like that, we were given this statement from police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump:
“I can't speak about this individual officer specifically. However, we share information agency-wide during each shift about crimes that have occurred. Additionally, a daily summary of crimes is produced and shared agency-wide and through our community listservs. In an agency of more than 4,000 members, there may be circumstances in which an individual may not be aware of a crime occurring.”
So far, police have not released any additional video, and at this time, investigators have been unable to connect the crime to any other recent sex assaults in the area.
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