Hyattsville Man Charged on 2 Sexual Assaults
Hyattsville man arrested in connection with January rape.
A Hyattsville man was arrested on Saturday and charged in connection with two sexual assaults, one in Mount Rainier, the other in Hyattsville. Police are now investigating to see if the suspect could be connected with a string of four other rapes and sexual assaults in the area.
24-year old Edwin Xavier Rivas was arrested without incident in the 3100 block of Hamilton Street in Hyattsville. Rivas, a resident of the 6100 block of 39th Place in Hyattsville, was arrested by officers with Prince George's County Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit. He was charged in connection to a rape which occurred on Jan. 28 in Mount Rainier.
According to the Mount Rainier Police Chief's blog, police responded to the 3300 block of Buchannan Street at about 2:40 p.m. for a report of a sexual assault. The victim told police how a man armed with a knife approached her from behind before raping her.
Rivas also stands charged with a Feb. 23 assault in the 2700 Block of Jamestown Road in Hyattsville, according to police.
In that incident, described as an attempted kidnapping in the Hyattsville City Police Department's crime report for the week of Feb. 19, a woman was attacked just after midnight and dragged into the woods. But the attacker fled when the woman yelled out towards passerby.
According to the Maryland National Capital Park Police, at least one victim has said that Rivas is not the man who sexually assaulted her. Speaking to The Washington Post, Capt. Stanley Johnson, public information officer with the park police, said the woman told police that Rivas' photo did not match her recollection of her attacker.
However, Johnson did tell the Washington Post that park police consider Rivas a suspect in two rapes which occurred on the Northwest Branch trail on March 27 and April 20.
The areas along the Northwest Branch Trail, including Hyattsville, Mount Rainier and Chillum communities, have been on edge since reports began to emerge of a series of rapes and sexual assaults on the trail since January. The victims described their attackers in terms which bore some striking similarities, however police have previously said that there was no hard evidence connecting any of the sexual assaults.
In the March 27 incident, a woman was walking on the trail when she was approached by a man wielding a knife who forced her into the woods and sexually assaulted her. Police described the suspect in that incident as standing between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 7 inches tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds. He was wearing a black jacket with a full length zipper and two lower pockets. He was also wearing black pants, a white shirt with short sleeves and a black hat.
Police said the suspect in that incident spoke Spanish with an El Salvadorian accent.
In the April 20 incident, a woman was walking on the trail near the Chillum Community Park at about 5 p.m. when she was approached from behind by an attacker bearing a handgun. The woman was forced into the woods and raped before the attacker fled.
The suspect in that incident is described as a Hispanic man in his mid 20s, standing between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 7 inches, weighing between 170 to 190 pounds. The suspect had a medium to stocky build and wore a slight moustache. He had hazel eyes, dark evenly cut hair. At the time of the incident he was wearing a white t-shirt bearing an unfamiliar black design, blue jeans and black low-cut tennis shoes.