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Metro escalator inspections; Assailant bitten; Man charged with grand larceny; Repairs close bridge

Police seek assailant bitten during assault

Montgomery County police have released surveillance photos of a man they say dragged a woman into the woods in Aspen Hill and sexually assaulted her - until she halted the attack with a bite.

The suspect received a "severe laceration" during the assault last week, said Cpl. Dan Friz, a police spokesman.

The suspect remains at large. Police released photos Wednesday hoping someone will recognize him.

The case goes back to Oct. 26, just after 11 p.m., when officers were called to the area of Connecticut Avenue and Independence Street. The 30-year-old victim told police that she was able to get away after fending off the attacker by biting him on the penis.

Police described the suspect as a Hispanic male with a thin build, 20 to 25 years old, 5-foot-6, with short black hair and a clean-shaven face. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and black pants.

Time stamps on the surveillance images show they were captured about 20 minutes prior to the attack, Friz said.

Police ask anyone with information to call 240-773-5070. Those who want to remain anonymous, or be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000, should call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

- Dan Morse


Police charge man with grand larceny

A man who Fairfax County police say lead them on a strange chase Thursday afternoon, which included temporarily commandeering a police car and then being shot by a Fairfax officer, was identified Friday as Joseph L. Michel, 50. He was charged with grand larceny - but not of the police car.

Police said they encountered Michel sitting in a stolen Mercedes 500 SL in the Falls Church area about 4:35 p.m., and that he had a brief altercation with an officer, then ran off. A backup officer drove up and joined the foot chase, but Michel allegedly doubled back, hopped in the backup officer's car and drove off.

Officers pursued the stolen police car through the Falls Church neighborhoods, but the suspect allegedly wound his way back to the stolen Mercedes. Police said he abandoned the cruiser, jumped back in the Mercedes and drove off again.

On Graham Road near Oakland Avenue, one officer placed "stop sticks" across the road to try to puncture the Mercedes's tires and stop the pursuit. But police said Michel drove around the stop sticks and toward an officer, who apparently fired several times into the Mercedes and struck Michel.

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