FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (7News) — A police sketch led to the arrest of a Fairfax County man linked to several sexual battery cases involving minors, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) said Monday.
On Sept. 7, at around 6:30 p.m., a girl was on the walking path near the 5800 block of Wood Poppy Court in Burke when an unknown man approached her, grabbed her wrist, and groped her chest, FCPD said. The girl was able to run away and call the police.
A composite sketch of the suspect was completed last Thursday. Officers and detectives from multiple units took part in a large canvass of the area, looking for more leads in the case.
During the canvass, other incidents involving the suspect were reported to police, including an assault against a minor and another instance of sexual battery against a minor, officials said.
Officers then saw a man matching the description of the suspect walking on the pathways. He was identified as Ghafari Abdulahad, 65, of Burke, Virginia.
Authorities interviewed him and discovered he frequents the walking paths in the area of Burke Commons Road and Roberts Parkway. Detectives charged Abdulahad with the Sept. 7 sexual battery of a minor. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on no bond.
Detectives continue to investigate Abdulahad’s connection to other reported cases in the area.
A map of the general area where the assaults allegedly happened can be seen below:
7News spoke with families who live where the first incident occurred.
Mom Stephanie Moore said she was horrified when police came door-to-door in her neighborhood saying there’d been an incident involving a man grabbing and groping a young girl.
"Slightly even more terrifying for parents, in general, of daughters," Moore said.
Neighbor Jeremy Holoway called the incident "horrific," saying he and his wife use the nearby trail, often.
"We walk in the back trails, my wife goes back there every now and then at night after work just to clear her head, that sort of thing," Holoway said. "I’ve been back there to go jogging."
"We’re just glad the police were able to work as promptly and find the guy," neighbor Ramsy Perez said.
If you have been a victim of a crime involving this man or have information, please reach out to detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE.
Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for a cash reward. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.