Man sought in sex assault

February 27, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Investigators on Friday were looking for a man who on Monday identified himself as a police officer, forced a woman into his vehicle and sexually assaulted her, Sgt. Paul Kifer said Friday afternoon in a news release.

Police were not releasing details of the assault, Kifer said Friday in a telephone interview. The woman, whose name is not being released, was examined at Washington County Hospital after the attack, he said.

At 4 a.m. Monday, the victim was driving south on North Potomac Street when a dark blue SUV driven by a man pulled up next to her vehicle at a traffic light, investigators said.

The man told her he was a police officer and that she needed to pull over. He directed her to follow him and he pulled into the central parking lot across from the parking deck in the first block of North Potomac Street.


The man approached her vehicle, told her she was under arrest and forced her into his SUV, Kifer said in a news release. The man then drove her to a more secluded part of the parking lot and sexually assaulted her, Kifer said. She got out of the vehicle after the assault and walked to her vehicle.

The man left the area, driving east on East Washington Street, police said.

Kifer described the man as black, in his 40s, about 6 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds. The man was wearing gray sweat pants and a black sweat jacket, police said.

Police described the man's vehicle as a dark blue SUV with a white registration plate. Kifer said investigators had identified a partial tag number from the registration plate: "746."

Kifer said a legitimate police officer - even a plainclothes one - will identify himself or herself with a badge. Police vehicles, even those that are unmarked, are usually equipped with emergency lights. People should also see a radio and gun if the person is a legitimate officer, Kifer said Friday.

If someone is being pulled over and something doesn't seem right, the person may continue driving at a normal speed, obeying all traffic laws, until they reach a populated area and then pull over. They should explain to the officer they were uncomfortable. The driver also may call the police department and ask if it can be confirmed that an officer is trying to stop them, Kifer said.

Anyone with information about the sexual assault may call police at 301-790-3700, ext. 234, or e-mail

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