There’s been the first real break in the serial rapist case. The Hook broke the story that jibes with the information I’ve been getting over the past couple of hours. A suspect was arrested this morning. He’s married, lives in Woodbrook, and works at Harris Teeter. With a decade of consistent, solid DNA evidence in the case, it should be a snap to determine whether he’s the guy. There will be a joint city/county press conference at 4pm to provide details.
12:55pm Update: CBS 19 reports that the suspect is 40-year-old Nathan Antonio Washington of Old Brook Road. He’s been charged only in the August 2004 attack.
1:20pm Update: Regular commenter “Stormy” writes to point out that while CBS 19 names Washington in their story, they stop short of actually saying that he’s the suspect in the serial rapes. That was my inference as a reader, because it would be pretty random to name some unrelated guy in such an article. Anyhow, we’ll all have to hold onto our collective hat until 4pm to find out whether Washington’s arrest on the August 2004 rape charges is one and the same as the arrest of the serial rapist.
5:15pm Update: Well, the press conference was every bit as frustrating as police warned it would be. There’s basically no new information. They arrested Tony Washington shortly after midnight, and they’ve charged him with two of the rapes. Previously about all that police could say was that there was a DNA match on all of the rapes, but at the press conference they refused to even confirm that, saying only that Washington is a suspect in the other cases. This is going to leave media outlets torn: do they report that the serial rapist has been caught, or do they toe the cautious line drawn by law enforcement? NBC 29’s 2001 legendary gaffe — accusing some poor guy of possessing cocaine and then refusing to run a correction — surely stands out as a stark warning of what not to do.