Official news release from the City of Falls Church Office of Communications.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Susan Finarelli and Clare Casey, Public Information Officers  •  703-248-5210 (TTY 711)  •  571-402-9102 cell
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Website Website
Email Email


City of Falls Church Police Arrest Man for Assault on W&OD Trail

Monday, May 11, 2020 -- City of Falls Church Police arrested Lamar Dontae McCarthy, 23 years old of Stafford, VA, and charged him with assault.

On Saturday, May 9, police reported to Grove Ave. and the W&OD Trail for a report of a suspect who had pursued a woman on the trail.

The woman stated she saw a man in a red hooded sweatshirt suddenly stop his vehicle and sprint after her. She changed direction several times to evade the man, but he continued to chase her. She ran to her home and called police.

The woman gave a description of the man and his vehicle. Police located and pulled over the vehicle, and the driver confirmed the incident on the trail and was arrested. Officers confirmed that this was the same suspect in two previous cases in the City of Falls Church. McCarthy is being held in the Arlington County Adult Detention Center.

“I admire the bravery of this woman who did everything right," said Chief Mary Gavin. "She was aware of her surroundings, she acted quickly to evade a dangerous assault, and she found a safe place to call the police immediately. I am also proud of the quick-acting officers who found the suspect in his vehicle and made the arrest.”

Anyone having a similar experience or additional information is asked to call the City of Falls Church Police at 703-241-5050 (TTY 711) or

City of Falls Church Police received a report about a man following a woman in a suspicious manner on Monday, May 4, at about 3:10 p.m. He followed the woman on the W&OD trail then continued to follow her into a neighborhood. The woman was not harmed.
The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20’s wearing a red “hoodie” sweatshirt and red sweat pants.
Police are investigating 2 other similar incidents that happened on April 18 at about 1:00 p.m. and April 21 at about 1:00 p.m.
At no time during any of these incidents did the suspicious person make verbal or physical contact with the complainants, but did continue following them off the trail and into neighborhoods.
Anyone having a similar experience or additional information is asked to call the City of Falls Church Police at 703-241-5050 (TTY 711) or
Police advise men and women to be aware of their surroundings. Best practices include: 
  • Go walking or jogging with another member of your household.
  • Don’t use headphones so you can be better aware of your surroundings.
  • Always walk in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid the use of short cuts.
  • After dark, keep away from large bushes or doorways where someone could be lurking.
  • Always stay near the curb.
  • If someone in a vehicle stops and asks for directions, answer from a distance. Do not approach the vehicle.
  • If followed, go immediately to an area with lights and people. If needed, turn around and walk in the opposite direction, your follower will also have to reverse directions.
  • Do not display cash openly, especially when leaving an ATM.
Copyright © 2020, City of Falls Church All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
300 Park Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046