Arlington General District Court Judge Eleanor Dobson dismissed a malicious wounding charge yesterday against Michael Charles Satcher but let stand two abduction counts against the man accused of attacking two joggers on a South Arlington bike path.
A grand jury will meet Sept. 17 to decide whether to indict Satcher, 22, on the abduction charges stemming from the Aug. 18 incidents. Satcher continues to be held in Arlington County jail in lieu of $40,000 bond.
No mention was made of Anne Elizabeth Borghesani during the preliminary hearing for Satcher. Borghesani, a Washington paralegal, was stabbed to death in March on another Arlington bike trail. Prosecutors say that Satcher remains a suspect in that case pending the results of DNA tests.
The victims of last month's assaults both testified yesterday that a man grabbed them from behind on the Washington & Old Dominion bike trail, then pulled them into the nearby brush.
Both women were wearing headphones as they jogged along the path and neither was able to positively identify Satcher as her attacker.
The victim in the first attack, who lives in Alexandria, described how her attacker put his arm around her and dragged her several feet from the path into the nearby bushes.
"I was running and then all of a sudden I felt an arm wrap around me," she said. "I felt myself being pulled off the trail toward the woods."
After the two struggled briefly, the assailant let her go and fled south along the bike path, she said. The victim said her attacker wore a red sweatshirt and red sweatpants.
The second victim, who lives in Arlington, described her assailant as wearing a white T-shirt with red lettering across the front, and red sweatpants.
Satcher's attorney, John C. Youngs, maintained that the T-shirt owned by Satcher was off-white, with no lettering and with a marked discoloration.
An Arlington County police officer who arrested Satcher about a mile away on the trail shortly after the second assault testified that Satcher was wearing no shirt when he was apprehended, but had in his hand a white T-shirt concealing an open knife.
Neither victim saw the knife allegedly used in the attacks, although both said that they were able to detect glimmers of something metallic in their peripheral vision.
The Arlington victim said that her assailant fled when she cried out for help and two joggers approached.
One of those joggers testified that she also saw a man wearing bright red sweatpants.
She said she saw the suspect from a distance of about 30 feet and was unable to make an identification.
An Arlington woman testified that she was organizing items in her car trunk in a parking space near the trail when a man bounded up the street from the bike path and almost ran into her.
She said she was able to identify Satcher for police shortly after Satcher's arrest after they had him put on a sweat shirt.
"When they put the shirt on him, I said, yes that does look like the man," the woman said.
About one mile from the site of the first two attacks, Arlington police Officer Jim Page said he saw Satcher jogging one to two feet behind a jogger, and that he radioed to other police officers that he saw a suspect matching the description in the attacks.
He said he stopped and questioned Satcher, then arrested him when the other officers arrived and it was found that he had a knife.