October 10, 2018 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief Barry M. Barnard
Prince William County Police
Dear Prince William County Community,
I want to take this opportunity to address a traumatic incident that occurred in our community yesterday morning. As many of you have heard by now, a man abducted and sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl while she was walking to school. A brave woman attempted to intervene to save this girl and was violently assaulted. This was undoubtedly an unspeakable and horrific incident that targeted our most vulnerable members of our society, our children. Although incidents of this extent are rare, our resolve must stay strong as we support one another to heal and look for ways to strengthen safety in our community. I am pleased with the quick actions of our detectives, forensic investigators, patrol officers, and telecommunicators who worked tirelessly to coordinate and apprehend this suspect within hours of the incident. Many of our staff have children around the same age of the victim and the nature of what occurred motivated our Department to work even harder to make an arrest in this case. It's important to recognize the heroic and valiant actions of both victims in this case. The adult woman who initially witnessed the incident and knew something was wrong not only disregarded her own safety to help our child victim, but also contacted police quickly and provided officers with information that aided in identifying this man. Her actions are worthy of the highest praise from our Department and community as a whole. The actions of the 11-year-old girl, who has experienced an unimaginable event, is just as commendable. This young girl knew she was in danger and attempted to get help. She too provided information that helped identify her attacker. This incident brought together our strong-willed community in a concerted effort to locate this violent man who frightened our community and thankfully, we succeeded. Every day, we strive to ensure that every Prince William County resident is not only safe but feels safe. Our community is safer when we work together and look out for one another. When we work together, we can and will make a difference.
Barry M. Barnard
Chief of Police