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'I screamed as loud as I could' | Teen arrested in connection to assault in Arlington

Arlington County Police say a woman was running along Arlington Boulevard when the suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks.

ARLINGTON, Va. — A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to an assault on a woman who was running along Arlington Boulevard Trail.

Arlington County Police said around 3:05 p.m. on Nov. 29, a woman was running along the 2000 block of Arlington Boulevard, when a male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her buttocks and continued running.

In January, police said detectives identified a 17-year-old male suspect and obtained a petition for Assault and Battery charges. In accordance with Virginia Code, the identity of the juvenile suspect is not releasable.

Arlington County Police Department public information officer Ashley Savage said they received reports of similar assaults from six different victims between November and December, in the Clarendon, Courthouse and Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhoods.

"We are investigating this as a possible series and we are looking into the possibility of the suspect being involved in these cases," said Savage.

Wednesday night, WUSA9 spoke exclusively to a young woman named Chelsea, who said she was one of the victims.

She told WUSA9 she was walking her dog along North Troy Street between 14th St N and 13th St N around 10 p.m. on Nov. 28.

“As I was walking, I kind of had a moment where I felt like someone was right behind me, and my dog kind of stopped, and I stopped and turned and looked, and I saw a man a little ways down the street," said Chelsea.

She said she continued walking, "I was almost home. The police station was right there. I didn't really think anything of it and then maybe 30 seconds later I felt the bottom of my parka that I was wearing lift up and all of a sudden someone was grabbing my crotch."

Chelsea said at first she was confused but "as soon as I realized what was happening, I just screamed as loud as I could and when I started screaming, he let go. I went to turn around and he was already running down the street."

"I screamed again. I don't know my head was just like I need to be as loud as I possibly can right now and then, as he ran to the corner, I realized what happened and tried to fish my phone out of the pocket to call 911," she said.

Chelsea told WUSA9 police officers met her at the corner and took her report. But, what happened left her shaken up.

"For about 12 hours after I felt like I could just feel his hand still there," she said.

After what happened, she posted about it on social media to warn other women who might be walking in the area alone at night.

"Sharing my story invited a lot of community support and that's been very helpful," she said.

"I can't control the violation that happened to me, but getting the support the community gave to me was really really helpful in helping me feel like I'm starting to move past it," said Chelsea.

She told WUSA9 she wanted to share what happened to her to let other women who have been victims of assaults like this, know that they're not alone. 

"I just wanted other women who are out there who maybe this had happened to. to at least know someone else had experienced this and was trying to do something about it," said Chelsea.

She said she hopes her attacker gets the help they need. 

"I hope they come to understand the impact these kind of acts have on their victims and I hope they do get help that they clearly need," said Chelsea.

Based on the preliminary investigation, detectives believe there may be additional incidents that have not been reported to police. 

Anyone who may have experienced a similar incident is asked to contact Detective C. Mulrain at 703-228-4194 or cmulrain@arlingtonva.us

Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). 

WATCH NEXT: 11-year-old accused of assaulting a woman in Arlington, VA

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