Sex assault and robbery near Petworth Metro station concerns residents

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - According to police, a woman was walking at around 3 a.m. Sunday morning when a man grabbed her neck from behind, forced her to the ground, and sexually assaulted her. He then stole some of her belongings before fleeing.

The alleged attack and robbery happened only a block or two from the Petworth station, in an area that has seen many newcomers and changes in recent years.

One change involves the Raymond Recreation Center, which reopened after a major renovation earlier this year, and is very popular with kids who come to run and play.

Michele Hall runs a fitness class at the center and can't believe the attack reportedly happened right next door to it as well as the adjacent Pre-K through 8th grade school.

"It is a really unfortunate situation -- my heart goes out to her," she says.

Ashley McClure and Hans Moore live just a few doors down from the intersection where police say the sexual assault happened. They say they are not used to hearing about crimes this extreme around here.

"What's really shocking is that nobody heard anything," said Moore. "There's like 20 houses within earshot."