UPDATE #2: One victim has two encounters; citizens help identify alleged Trolley Trail assault suspect
BY REBECCA BENNETT — Updated August 3 at 11:50 p.m. The Riverdale Park Police Department (RPPD) said an arrest warrant has been issued for 23-year-old Joshua Charles Price of Perry Lane in Landover in connection to multiple assaults on the Trolley Trail. The attacks happened in May and June of this year along the trail in Riverdale Park and the City of Hyattsville.
Court records show Price was arrested on July 27 — just a few days ago — for allegedly exposing himself, police said, to a woman walking along the trail at 7:30 a.m. The victim in this incident, charging documents show, was the same victim from a June 8 attack. According to court records, the victim immediately noticed the man who had previously assaulted her, he moved into the wood line, only to reappear farther down the trail exposing himself. Fearing for her life, the woman ran toward the Riverdale Town Center and attempted to notify police, they said.
According to Riverdale Park Police Lt. Andrew Powell, the latest incident also occurred on the Trolley Trail in Riverdale Park near the same location as the previous attacks. Court records show the July 27 indecent exposure occurred near Oliver Street.
“The community was instrumental in obtaining leads that ultimately led to determining the suspects identification,” Powell said.
Around the same time, court documents show two local residents on the trail saw a man on the trail they believed matched the description of the groper. They watched the man get into a blue Chevy Cavalier that was parked on Cleveland Avenue, according to court documents, took down the license plate and contacted the Hyattsville City Police Department.
Arrest records show he was also detained July 27 for a Nov. 2014 charge of driving on a suspended license, for which it appears Price failed to appear in court several times. Price was released at 2:52 a.m. on July 29 after posting $4,500 bail on both charges, according to county records.
“When it first happened, we didn’t have a lot of leads, ” Powell said in reference to the joint investigation between police in Riverdale Park and the City of Hyattsville. Connecting the dots, police went back and talked to the victims of previous attacks this week, he said.
Those attacks, according to police, happened on May 26, June 4 and June 8 in the afternoon or early evening along the paved trail that connects the Arts District Shoppes with the Riverdale Park Town Center. In two of the attacks, women were walking with their young children in strollers/baby carriers when the suspect pretended to look for something before grabbing them and running away. In the third incident, the suspect tried to touch a female jogger on the trail.
“It was a short amount of time that we put this all together. We put together a strong case against the defendant,” Powell said.
Now facing additional charges, authorities put out an arrest warrant for Price.
The suspect has convictions and citations for various criminal and traffic violations. Court records show that on the morning prior to the June 8 attack, Price was stopped by police in Cottage City for speeding and failing to obey a traffic control device. He was also cited for driving on a suspended license.
Price had previously been in jail for more than 5 months awaiting trial for an April 2010 armed robbery. Court records show his bond was set at $50,000 after he was indicted on 14 charges of robbery, theft, the use of a handgun in a violent crime, and assault. He plead guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and theft of under $1,000, according to court records. Price was given a 10-year suspended sentence, save 175 days of time served, put on probation for 5 years and ordered to pay $870 to Dollar Tree. He was released from jail in Oct. 2010, according to county records.
Price is scheduled to appear on the indecent exposure and Nov. 2014 suspended license charges on Aug. 28 in Hyattsville District Court.
Police advise that anyone who comes into contact with Price should contact Lt. Powell at 443.790.5365.
The Hyattsville Life & Times is following this story and will have more information as soon as possible.