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Man with machete accused of sexually assaulting woman on Silver Spring trail

Jose Roberto Hernandez-Penal.jpg
Posted at 1:43 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 15:01:02-04

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — A Hyattsville man has been arrested and charged with first-degree rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery after an incident that occurred on the Northwest Branch Trail.

Detectives have released a photo of the suspect, Jose Roberto Hernandez-Penal, 20, and are urging anyone who may have been a victim to come forward.

Jose Roberto Hernandez-Penal mugshot .png

On Tuesday, May 16, officers responded to the Northwest Branch Trail in the 10700 block of Columbia Pike in Silver Spring for the report of a rape and an armed robbery.

Police say around 2:40 p.m., Hernandez-Penal approached two women on the trail, displayed a machete, stole their property and sexually assaulted one of the victims.

As Hernandez-Penal left the scene, he allegedly assaulted a man in the 1100 block of Devere Drive.

Officers established a perimeter and he was taken into police custody.

Detectives are urging anyone who believes themselves to be a victim to contact SVID at (240) 773-5050 or Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).