Federal officials filed murder charges yesterday in the slaying of a bicyclist along a popular bike and jogging path in Alexandria, saying Mark Creasy was strangled by a man who later ran naked across the George Washington Memorial Parkway and bit a police officer.
Andre D. Suggs, 35, of Alexandria was charged with murder in the May 28 slaying on federal land on Daingerfield Island. Court documents said he killed Creasy, 48, of Alexandria, during a robbery, then threatened a witness and hopped on Creasy's bike to briefly chase the witness. When two other people approached, the court papers said, Suggs jumped off the bike and ran into a wooded area.
Less than an hour later, Alexandria police arrested a naked Suggs about a half-mile away when he crossed the parkway at Bashford Lane. A U.S. Park Police affidavit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, said Suggs bit one of the arresting officers and screamed, "AIDS! AIDS! I got AIDS!''
Just before his arrest, investigators said, Suggs had assaulted a second male bicyclist on the Mount Vernon trail and taken his bike. He is also accused of assaulting a third bicyclist, a woman who was hit in the head while riding on the Capital Crescent Trail near Georgetown, on May 21. Her bike was stolen as well.
Suggs appeared in federal court yesterday and is being held pending a bond and detention hearing Thursday. His attorney, Ivan Davis, declined to comment, and no one answered the door at Suggs's home on North Alfred Street.
Park Police Chief Dwight Pettiford praised his officers and Alexandria police for their quick work in making an arrest and said numerous people had phoned in tips about the case. He said Park Police have increased patrols in the area of the slaying on Daingerfield Island, a 109-acre strip of land that extends into the Potomac River between Reagan National Airport and Old Town Alexandria.
Creasy's death was the second homicide in recent years on the island, which is popular for biking, jogging, sailing, fishing and soccer. In September 2001, Joaquim Diaz, 19, was stabbed repeatedly near where Creasy's body was found. Two members of the violent Mara Salvatrucha street gang, or MS-13, were convicted in his death. Last year, a homeless woman, Roslyn Whitehead, was stabbed to death along the parkway about eight miles north of Daingerfield Island. Her slaying remains unsolved.
Pettiford said the area is safe and will remain so. "There is going to be a continuous law enforcement presence,'' he said.
The body of Creasy, an avid cyclist, was found about 4:30 p.m. near a National Park Service maintenance site between the parkway and the river. The Park Police affidavit, signed by Detective Todd C. Reid, said Creasy was shirtless, wearing shorts, a bicycle helmet and bicycle shoes. His neck was severely bruised, and he had what appeared to be a human bite mark on the left side of his torso.
A witness told police that he was walking his bike in the area when he heard three screams, the last of them noticeably softer. He came upon two men lying on a gravel road near an overturned bicycle. One man got up and told the witness "words to the effect of, 'You don't want me to do to you what I did to him,' '' the affidavit said.
Law enforcement sources said Suggs later disrobed in an apparent attempt to hide the clothes he wore during the attack.
The witness then fled on his bicycle and was followed by the man later identified as Suggs. When the two other people approached, the witness screamed, "That man is a criminal!"
Minutes later, a naked man assaulted another bicyclist along the Mount Vernon trail. After a brief struggle, the naked man grabbed the bike and rode away before abandoning it. The cyclist called 911, and Suggs was arrested about a quarter-mile away.
Suggs was later identified in a lineup by the witness who had come upon the slaying scene. He was also identified by the cyclist assaulted near Georgetown, Park Police said.
Staff writer Leef Smith contributed to this report.