Intruders tied up and attempted to sexually assault an elderly Foggy Bottom resident in her F Streer home during a burglary early Wednesday morning, Metropolitan Police said.
The 77-year-old victim, whose name is not being released because she was the victim of a sex crime, said the attack occurred while she was sleeping in her University-owned townhouse on the 2100 block of F Street.
Around 4 a.m., two young males entered her home through the back alley, pulled down the shades in the bedroom and woke her, she said.
“I told them `you better get out of my house,’ ” the victim said. “They pushed me back down on the bed and yanked the telephone out of the wall.”
The burglars used clothsline cords and belts they found in her house to tie her wrists, she said.
“While one went through my drawers stealing jewelry, the other was in charge of keeping me down,” she said.
The victim said one of the intruders attempted to sexually assault her. They ransacked her home, took jewelry and a small amount of cash and left the house. She remained tied and in pain for almost 10 hours, she said.
“I kept saying to God, `please help me and get me through it,’ ” she said.
The victim was discovered when her son-in-law was in the neighborhood and noticed the shades down, and entered the house around 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Police have released a sketch of the first suspect who was described as a dark-complexioned black male in his 20s, 5-foot-4, wearing black clothing. The second was described as a light-complexioned black male in his 20s, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11, wearing light colored clothing, police said.
The crime, a half a block from the Smith Center, gained the attention of students and parents attending the final session of Colonial Inauguration. But some students said they were not frightened by the incident.
“It’s the risk anyone takes living in the city,” said freshman Mike Daniels of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Angela Di Sista, a freshman from Kingston, Mass., said the University’s safety advice has prepared students for living in Washington, D.C.
“They say `use common sense’ and don’t go places by yourself,” she said.
The victim’s daughter said her mother is part of the “old Washington,” when the Foggy Bottom community was a true neighborhood before GW’s expansion. The victim has lived in the community for 50 years and has been active in the West End Citizens Association, she said.
“I think its a sad reflection on life that most of us will eventually be a victim of violent crime,” the daughter said.
Only three days after being attacked, the victim said she suffers no major physical damage, and wants to help others victimized by violence.
“I’m physically on the road to recovery,” she said. “But it takes time to adjust to the emotional stress.”
She said she is interested in using this experience to create a support group for victims of violent crime.
“It’s good to share with people who’ve had similar experiences,” she said.
She said initially, crime victims are happy they are alive and only later are beset by the emotional pain.
“As time goes on, you don’t have as much support around you,” she said. “That’s when it sets in.”
The daughter said her mother’s strength has gotten her through this ordeal.
“My mother is proud of her strength,” the daughter said. “She has never hurt a sole in her life – truly a wonderful, giving human being.”