Manassas Journal Messenger | Woman, child hurt in attack

A 6-year-old boy’s skull was fractured after he tried to stop a man raping and sodomizing his mother early Friday, Prince William police said. The 28-year-old woman’s skull was also fractured.

Police arrested Linwood Ray Branch, 38, and charged him with robbery, forcible sodomy, two counts aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of rape. He was arrested at 10 p.m. at the Exxon on the corner of Dale and Minnieville boulevards after police received a tip that he was on a pay phone at the gas station.

The woman, her husband, son and baby live on the bottom floor of a town house on Powder Horn Terrace in Woodbridge. Branch lives upstairs with a woman police believe is his wife.

When the victim’s husband was gone, Branch came downstairs into her apartment at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, beat her and sexually assaulted her, said Detective Dennis Mangan.

The woman lay on the floor until she was sure her attacker had left. The boy and his mother are at area hospitals in guarded condition, meaning they are being monitored and are in either critical or stable condition.

The infant was with relatives Friday, police said.

Several detectives were assigned to the search, Mangan said, and the suspect was entered in the National Crime Information Center, a national database administered by the FBI that is available to law enforcement agencies all over the country.

Neighbor Candelaria Ayala, 40, said everyone that lives in the Powder Horn Terrace town home moved there in August. Another neighbor Roberto Torres, 19, said the people in the victim’s apartment were living in a roommate-style arrangement. He said that is common in the area; sometimes more than two families share one three-level town house.

Torres said he and his mother regularly hear toilets flushing and showers running through the walls, but heard nothing early Friday.

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