Serial rapist arrest update: Neighbors shocked, media clamours for details

The media frenzy has already started. The modest apartment in the Abbington Crossing apartment complex off Rio Road that Nathan Antonio "Tony" Washington shares with his wife and three children has become ground zero for news outlets across the state. Reporters from local stations say their national affiliates are on the way to the brick duplex at 986 Old Brook Road.

A neighbor who asked that his name not be used describes Washington as a family man who frequently took his children to the complex's pool and to the playground to play kickball. "It's a shock," says the neighbor.

Washington worked at the meat department at Harris Teeter in Barracks Road. Earlier this morning employees in that department had not heard of his arrest. The anonymous neighbor, who moved into the apartment two doors down from Washington three months ago, says Washington always greeted him with a smile and gave him tips on meat sales.

Washington's job at Harris Teeter was not his only employment. His second job may come as a surprise to those who have followed sensational headlines about the rapes over the last three years: he delivers the Daily Progress, usually returning home around six in the morning.

Today, Washington's family are away from home. According to an NBC reporter– the first station on the scene at the apartment– his wife arrived home and then immediately left again with the children, asking reporters to leave her alone.

Victims' descriptions had put the serial rapist at 5'6" to 6'3" tall with eyes "unnaturally white" and "slightly bulging." Washington, 40, is just "a little over 6' and well built," says his neighbor. Asked whether there's anything unusual about his eyes, the neighbor says, "not noticeably."

Around the corner in the complex, resident Lawrence Keys didn't know Washington. The arrest, which reportedly occurred just after 4am today, makes him "kind of nervous and shocked. You wouldn't think it would happen in your neighborhood," he says.

Indeed, there's nothing to suggest anything out of the ordinary at the house where a purple and pink girl's bicycle with training wheels leans against the stairs. A neighbor looking at the bike ponders what a devastating shock to Washington's wife and children the arrest must be. "Could you just imagine?" he asks.

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1 comment

Media, remember this word: alleged.