Attempted abduction investigation underway in Woodbridge

(WJLA) - Prince Williams County Police are looking for a man who tried to strangle and abduct a woman late Thursday night.

It happened on Potomac Mills Circle and Nazaren Way in Woodbridge at about 9:30 p.m on Thursday night, and on Friday, detectives continued to scour the scene for clues -- looking closely at the path the victim walked before the attack.

"It's scary to think that actually happened because there are bushes and everything around here," said Potomac Mills mall employee Lynn Randolph.

The suspect reportedly asked the 34-year-old Lorton woman for directions, then grabbed her by the throat, choking her. He then demanded her car keys and tried to force her into the back seat.

"It's the mall -- I mean, we are going to have the usual fights and things like that, but something like this it's out of the ordinary," said Officer Jonathan Perok with the Prince William County Police.

The female victim continued to fight, and she and the man fell to the ground in a desperate struggle. Finally, he released her and took off on foot.

"She's obviously very, very shaken up and a very distraught," said Officer Perok.

This is a common place for mall employees to park – they often head to their vehicles in the evening. Now, they remain on guard.

"It's scary -- I would definitely have to walk with someone, that is the only thing I could do," said mall employee Taylor Jones.

"It is scary out here because there really aren't any lights at night so it is scary closing," added Randolph.

The female victim suffered minor injuries, and according to police, the description of the suspect is as follows:{ }

Hispanic male, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5'5", 150lbs with a thin build and short black hair. Last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt, dark colored pants, and a black beanie style cap