The Metropolitan Police Department, with the cooperation of the U.S. Capitol Police, has established a special task force to investigste five rapes that occurred on Capitol Hill during the past month.
Police believe that two men, acting separately, are responsible for the five rapes. The first incident occurred on Aug. 17 about 8:30 p.m. when a man forced his way into a car as a woman was preparing to enter it.The man forced her to drive to a parking lot where he raped her, at the same time ordering her not to look at him.
On Aug. 31, a White House employee leaving Capitol Hill was stopped in her car shortly after midnight by a man claiming to be a police detective. The man pulled a knife, forced his way into the car and raped the woman in a parking lot. After robbing her $7, the man took the woman to the second spot and raped her again. The man wade repeated threats against the woman.
According to police, the woman was reluctant to report the incident, which was ultimately reported by a friend of hers.
A third incident occured on Sept. 11 when a 30-year-old woman parking her car near her home after midnight was stopped by a man who asked her the time and the location of the Capitol, which was nearby. The man pulled a piece of jagged glass, forced the woman to drive to an isolated area, raped the woman in an alley and took $60 from her.
Police say they believe that the same man committed all three rapes.
In two other incidents, which occured on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 - both Saturday nights - police are seeking another man they believe raped two women.
On Sept. 10, a 23-year-old woman walking home from a bar at 4 a.m. left her friends to get her car keys, which she had left behind. A man, at first pleasant and then threating, pulled her into an alley and raped her.
Police said the woman continued toward home, extremely frightened and upset. A second man approached the woman and offered to walk with her. He pulled her into some weeds on the way and raped her.
On Sept. 17, a 26-year-old woman walking home alone at 1:30 a.m. was approached by a man who was at first pleasant and then threatening. He forced the woman into a parking lot, struck her with a gun and raped her in the back seat of a car.
Police believe that the same man was responsible for the first rape on Sept. 10 and the one on Sept. 17.
Police are distributing a composite picture of the first suspect as well as a description of his operting technique. The task force, employing police in disguise, will also observe cars with unaccompanied women un the area and in parking lots. A special warning has been issued by the Capitol East Community Crime Council to women in the Capitol Hill area warning them of the first suspect's mode of operation. A composite sketch of the second suspect is being prepared.
According to D.C. police, 258 rapes have been reported this year compared to 346 at the same time last year.
The seven police districts show a wide range in the number of reported rapes this year. In the first district, where the special task force comprising members of the D.C. police sex squad, first district detectives and U.S. Capitol police has been set up, 27 rapes have been reported this year. The first district includes the downtown area as well as the area around the Capitol.
In the second district, which includes Northwest Washington west of Rock Creek Park, seven rapes have been reported.
The third district, which extends from downtown up to Harvard Street NW, 44 rapes have been reported. In the fourth district, extending from Harvard Street to the District line, 37 rapes have been reported. The fifth district, Norteast Washington, has had 39 reported rapes. The sixth district, the northern part of the area east of the Anascostia River has had 17 reported rapes. And the seventh district, the southern half of the Anacostia, has had 30 reported rapes.