Update on Assault/Death Outside DC9 – MPD Press Release and Post Article

There have been lots of twists and turns in the incident at DC9 that resulted in a death (Friday morning 2:35am). It seems all the facts have not been determined. The medical examiner has not yet issued their report. According to MPD, that an assault occurred seems beyond dispute, that a man died is beyond dispute. Five employees of DC9 remain under arrest. All other details remain to be seen. Friday night at 8:45pm MPD released the following report:

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announced today that five people have been arrested in connection with a death that occurred earlier this morning.

On Friday, October 15, 2010, at approximately 2:35 a.m. members of the Third District were dispatched for an assault in the 2000 block of 9th Street NW. Upon their arrival, they discovered a male victim on the ground. Personnel from DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded and transported the victim to Howard University Hospital where life saving efforts were unsuccessful. The victim was pronounced dead at approximately 3:15 a.m. The decedent’s remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Ali Ahmed Mohammed of the 11000 block of Norlee Drive in Silver Spring, Md.

Investigation revealed that the decedent had been involved in a confrontation with employees of DC9 that lead to a struggle that rendered the decedent unconscious and unresponsive.

The suspects were placed under arrest and have been transported to the Homicide Branch.

The defendants are identified as 20-year-old Darryl Carter, Jr. of Northeast, DC; 22-year-old Reginald Phillips of Northwest, DC; 28-year-old Evan Preller of Northwest, DC, 46-year-old William Spieler of Northwest, DC; and 25-year-old Arthur Zaloca of Silver Spring, Md. All five defendants were booked on Murder Two charges.

The Washington Post reports:

“Because the D.C. medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of Mohammed’s death, authorities are likely to reduce the charges against the five men to aggravated assault before they make their initial appearances in D.C. Superior Court on Saturday, according to law enforcement sources.

The sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said that even if the charges are reduced, they could be changed again, back to murder, depending on the findings of the medical examiner.”

65 Comment

  • This is a great tragedy.

  • Chief Lanier’ outrage is disingenuous. This incident happened in large part because no one in town expects her force to do a damn thing in a case like this. Vigilante justice is a pretty rational choice when the other alternative is no justice.

    • really? vigilante justice OK? tit for tat on everything? what kind of society are you looking for? the Post story has the person killed calling them to stop according to witness reports – they had the guy and could not wait for the police? in my view a broken window does not deserve death.

      • The case against vigilante justice has to be supported by a functioning justice system. How long have you lived in this city? Have you ever know the DC justice system EVER to catch, convict and imprison a person who committed a crime against you, your friends or your family members?

        You put a brick through a window, you deserve to get your ass kicked. Sometimes ass-kickings go badly. You should think about that before you put a brick through somebody’s window.

        If more people had to think about that before they stole your bike, groped your girlfriend, punched out a gay guy, turned tricks in your driveway (popular in my neighborhood), or tried to mug you, it would be a far more pleasant city.

        • No, if you put a brick through a window you deserve to be arrested and go to trial. Then if convicted you deserve to go to jail/do probation/get sued by the business to pay it back. Those are the penalties that our society uses–the legislators we elected put that into law.

          Maybe the police aren’t showing up fast enough or you think the penalties for property damage should be stricter, but that shouldn’t be solved by vigilantes. Holding someone who’s doing harm to your property and its patrons til the cops get there makes sense. But there’s a way to do it that leads to the guy who threw the brick going to jail instead of the morgue. A jury’s going to decide which way the DC9 staff did it. If we used
          Irving Streete’s reasoning, instead, then Mr. Mohammed’s family would just be able to beat the crap out of them now. I mean, under that line of thought, “You [beat a guy and then he dies], you deserve to get your ass kicked. Sometimes ass-kickings go badly. You should think about that before you [beat a guy and then he dies].”

          • FYI in DC when arrested you must be formally charged and presented to a judge within 24 hours. My guess is that due to the timing of the arrests the Medical Examiner was unable to complete lab work in time, and as budgets have been cut the ME could not work overtime and stay until lab results arrived. With no lab results there is no possibility of a murder charge, that is simply the law. Thus, the US Attorney’s Office was unable to charge them with murder, and charged them with assault as the bar is lower for such a charge and does not require lab results. I’d bet that at present there are officers posted near the suspects homes and keeping tabs on them, and their names have been provided to airline, train, and bus companies to prevent flight. All five suspects have formal roots in the community as they were formally employed, they’re not just anonymous gangbangers who can melt away.

            So, wait until Monday when the ME can open the lab results and see what happens. If charges remain as assault then you can get your collective undies in a bunch. My gut says they’ll be upgraded to second degree murder for at least some of the accused, and they’ll all start rolling on each other.

            And as for the gratuitous racial angle presented above, I believe the majority of suspects were black, as was the victim. If you want to think about race, then black-on-black violence is a more productive route as the vast majority of black murders are committed by other blacks. Most hate crime victims in the US are white, albeit by a slim margin. Think of it, how many murder victims in DC have been white in your memory? Five? Ten? Depends on how long you’ve lived.

            Relevant references for last para:

          • See part about a functioning justice system.

        • If you really feel that way maybe you should move to Pakistan or the Congo we’re trying to have a civilization here.

          • that was meant for irving street not sb

          • conspiracyminded,

            We lost civilized and urbane living in our nation’s capital after 1968.

            The pendulum needs to swing back.

            For far too long the rights of the accused crowd has taken us too far.

            There needs to be more of an expectation of civilized comportment and behavior than such a high reliance of our judicial system to bringing public safety.

            People act when they think they can get away with it. Swift punishment is not expected.

            We’ve lost deterrence much more by the idealism of the rights of the accused crowd than by the frustration of a few lines written here by Irving Streete whom I’d much rather have as a neighbor and friend than you and the criminals you stand with and whose actions you defend.

            How much longer must we tolerate being the victims of urban crime here in our nation’s capital. Bleeding hearts cannot govern and have failed us for far too long.

        • Irving Streete, you are a despicable redneck. What the fuck do you mean “This incident happened in large part because no one in town expects her force to do a damn thing in a case like this. Vigilante justice is a pretty rational choice when the other alternative is no justice.”

          so, you’re saying it’s ok that they beat this guy to death because he broke a window, and they didn’t think the police would do anything?

          So what, he broke a fucking window!! I’m sick of hearing about how these guys have been maligned in the media, and are treated unfairly. They stomped a guy in the head until he died! I don’t care if they were “nice” guys or someone threw a brick threw their window, they lost control and got into stomping a guys head in, when they were not even physically threatened.

          • So what, he broke a fucking window!!

            So what, he stole a bike!!

            So what, he robbed a woman!!

            So what, he beat and robbed a woman!!

            So what, he raped a woman!!

            So what, he raped and killed a woman!!

            So at what point do you–when caught–richly deserve an ass-kicking? If the answer is, yes, at any point, you’re a potential murder. People are fragile.

    • I’d agree with the Chief were her cops out there actually preventing crime and mayhem instead of showing up after the fact with police tape. I say he deserved to have his ass whipped. An ass whipping is a decent deterrent. Getting killed, well, somebody went overboard.

      Sad that students, a business owner, etc. will go to prison, but the scumbags, teenager gangbangers & dealers in this town run loose. Thanks, Chief Lanier…

  • What I think — what I know — is that if someone puts a brick through my window, or cuts the chain on my kid’s bike or snatches my wife’s purse, if I don’t catch them and hurt them, they will never, ever, be punished.

    Until that equation changes, I am pretty happy with people meting out street justice. Beats the hell out of street injustice.

    • With that attitude The wheels of justice will not be there when you are on the wrong side of the coin. Besides Justice does work, I was a victim of a crime and the perp got away before the police arrived . One week later I spotted the perp and was able to contact PoPo and while the perp was in handcuffs and the arresting PoPo’s were not looking I took the moment to stick my tongue out and point and laugh at the perp and he just gave me a stupid look and then looked down in defeat. That was my justice
      Ps I also gave testimony to the grand jury to seal his fate PERIOD

  • Irving, I think you should move to Somalia or Darfur. The “justice” system there would probably fit your needs much better than the system here in the u.s.a.

    You sound like a sociopath and you should think long and hard about what the city would look like if everyone thought like you do.

    • What the city would look like if everybody punched people who stole from them or smashed their window?

      This is not a frightening thought.

      For the record, I am not in favor of random violence or violence based on sect, religion, warlord allegiance, oil wealth greed, race or social status. Not on looking dangerous or guilty or making the “furtive movements” that cops use to assign justice.

      • The city would look like a city run by Taliban.

        You are a moron for justifying the murder of that man.

        We are a civilized society where we have rules and laws. If someone doesnt obey the laws we punish them. If the laws or law makers fail to take actions we change them. This is what a democracy is supposed to do. Not send a mob after a criminal and kill them. That is not justice.

        If you can even vaguely try to justify the murder of that man, you really are sick. Movies like Spiderman and Kickass have really influenced you. Perhaps you should stop watching those movies and stop reading such comics if you cannot distinguish between fiction and reality.

        People like you sicken me.

      • Obviously, Irving Streete isn’t reasoning. And isn’t thinking. He’s responding emotionally. Because if he were thinking, he’d know that his idea is ridiculous. What’s the limit, Irving? A fucker ran a red light. beat him. Some woman cut me off. Beat her. A guy cursed me out. Smack his ass. Someone knocked off my side view mirror–booya, I popped him. And why use fists? Obviously, someone smaller or weaker can’t just punch someone. Smaller, weaker people should use weapons. And I think the system you are proposing is exactly the system you have in neighborhoods where thugs run the block, steal and deal with impunity, etc. If you think the system is broke, work to fix it. Or punch someone and don’t even worry about it, right, since you won’t get prosecuted. And why don’t you keep your vigilante eye on this case and go beat her if she doesn’t get convicted.
        (I believe you asked for one example, right?)

  • I think the reality of full scale anarchy in the streets of DC is laughable considering that a majority of these internet rebel rousers couldn’t beat up a crippled hamster much less a hardened street thug.

  • The charges were reduced to aggravated assault today. All five men have been released.

    Difficult to prosecute a ‘homicide’ if the ME won’t rule it as such. Lanier should be fired for playing judge and jury for the media not 12 hours after the incident…and talking out her ass yesterday about ‘vigilante justice’ and that poor man being ‘kicked to death’ before she even had an autopsy.

    That aside from the fact that there was no ambulance and the ‘critically injured’ guy was taken away handcuffed in an MPD car before he died. We have your back, DC9.

    • I think your statements are kind of moronic. Lanier did her job properly.

      Those 5 should be run out of town. I’ll enjoy waving to them from congressional cemetery.

    • Actually, police are now saying he was taken in an ambulance to Howard.


      Still, there are a lot of things that don’t add up. Police said he had dried blood on his face when they found him. If so, how long before that did he get hit for the blood to have dried? Damon, the witness who works at DC9, says he and the owner called 911. From that, it’s easy to establish a timeline. They can figure out when the calls came in and when the victim must have been hit for the blood to be dry at the time the police arrived. Simple logic.

      Frankly, I don’t want to believe that normal people are capable of this kind of thing. I imagine if anyone gets a conviction, it’ll be only one or two of the 5. And that’s a big “if” IMHO.

    • I agree that everyone should reserve judgment for the coroner’s report, trial, etc. What would make me more comfortable is if we did this with every crime incident in the city, not just when the alleged perpetrators were working for an establishment frequented by white, middle class folks.

  • I have long been dismayed by the pervasive racism displayed in comments on this blog, but have never commented upon it (it is a blog after all and that tends to bring out both extreme and sometimes wacky positions). I am truly shocked, however, that people would applaud a brutal beating in response to a property crime. Whether this turns out to be a homicide case — and in response to dcdiva, the charges have been reduced pending a ruling from the medical examiner, not because the me refuses to rule it a homicide — or not (and at the moment it looks like it), such savage violence should never be condoned let alone applauded.

    • I’m surprised people would applaud the DC justice system for doing absolutely nothing to perpetrators of violent crimes. As the original poster said, vigilante justice occurs only when faith is lost in the justice system, and it has been lost in the DC justice system where criminals are pampered and put back on the streets.

      I am in no way in favor of vigilante justice, but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of when it is likely to occur. I’d love to punch out the punks I’ve never even interacted with (maybe I should have looked them in the eye and said “hi” on the street) who cat call my wife and slash my tires, but I know it isn’t worth it in the long run. You can’t expect all of society, however, to remain cool headed when law abiding citizens are always somewhat under siege with regard to the criminals.

      • Also, I doubt race has much to do with this. I don’t know many white people with the last name Zalcoa and I’ll buy you a drink if there is really a white guy in Northeast named Reginald Phillips.

      • Seriously, I don’t think these guys took after the brick-thrower because they didn’t believe the DC justice system would take appropriate action. My hunch is that he broke their window, and they were pissed off.

        Let’s give the alleged assailants the benefit of the doubt until all the evidence is in, but turning this death into political street theater doesn’t serve any higher purpose here.

      • I think the DC justice system worked very well in this case: a person was savagely beaten to death, and police had 5 suspects arrested and charged within a few hours. This is exemplary work by the cops and the district attorney.

  • Everyone needs to take a deep breath and wait until the investigation is completed (especially Chief Lanier, who is WAY too often commenting on crimes the minute they are reported, until waiting until the facts are clear). Then you can decide whether the 5 accused people are reckless, inhumane dicks who killed someone, or whether they chased down a drug-crazed vandal who died of an overdose while he was being restrained. There are way too many conflicting stories going around from purported witnesses for any of us to know for certain what happened.

    (And please don’t point to the blood on the street as proof these 5 people pummeled this guy to death. It proves that only that someone was bleeding, and it was probably the deceased. He may have previously been in an altercation, or he might have taken a single punch to the nose. I broke my nose in a car accident once and the inside of the car looked like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been filmed there.)

    • for all we know the blood could have come from one of the 5 dc9 employees when the window shattered.. or from being hit with a brick.

  • For the record, I may be despicable but I am most certainly not a redneck.

    I have also lived in the city for 30 years without a violent incident — save me and my family being mugged or assaulted. No arrests in those cases, no convictions.

    I’ve come close to a brawl a couple of times, but here’s the thing: if you actually make an issue of somebody trying to fuck with you, there’s a good chance they’ll back off. Yeah, they’ll threaten to put a cap in your ass or whatever, and escalating a confrontation is not something to do lightly. But most of the things that make life here challenging are crimes of opportunity and by unilaterally surrendering, you create the opportunity.

    I’m sorry the idiot died. I would have felt bad if he’d been hauled off to prison, been raped, beaten or murdered, or hung himself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think people should be arrested. And I think he earned his ass kicking with his own actions.

    You complain about the vermin in the city but in tolerating it — oh, yeah, in turning it over to the Police — you’re just spreading bait.

    I’m larger, older and a little less sensitive after living here since before a lot of posters were born. I don’t expect anyone to be as (occasionally–I’m fully aware of the risks) confrontational as I am.

    But screw it. The cops are useless, and passive yuppie whiners make my life more dangerous because they make me look like a mark.

    This ain’t your liberal arts college ethics class. This is life. It’s not theory, it’s practice.

    Don’t do anything stupid, but if you get a chance, fight back, for chrissake. Otherwise, you’re just feeding the rates.


    • You are not the only person who has been in DC for a long time. And lord knows I’ve thrown back when I’ve needed too in this town.

      But if the police accounts are true (I’m still reserving judgment) there is no justification for any mob action here.

      I’m sorry if you’ve been picked on, but comparing people to rats and justifying anarchy and mob rule is dangerous. That’s not passive yuppie whining, it’s existing in a society.

    • Agree–you are just despicable.

    • I have your back, irving. Like i said–these employees and a business owner are likely going to prison, but the thugs and others (including teens protected by Phil Mendelsohnn’s weenie-ness) run amok. Sad this guy (who’s a Muslim so why the heck was he trying to get into a bar and then toss a brick? They aren’t supposed to drink) died, but maybe more miscreants need to get hurt by regular working people, rather than the other way around?

    • Those useless cops managed to arrest the 5 people that killed that guy…

  • Are you for real irving? You have no respect for human life. Let him rest in peace and be happy all your family is still with you.

  • If someone put a brick through my window, and I caught them, I’d beat their ass something terrible. If I got arrested, I’d understand why.

    • Amen. And of course, you wouldn’t mean to kill them and would take your medicine if you did! Just like he didn’t intend to die by tossing the brick through your window. I think people here (PoP and DC) may need to understand passion a little better and how it fuels our city. Actually our world. I just threw up a bit with that hand holding shit.

  • I understand these guys were pissed and they likely never thought what they were doing was going to result in a death, but the reason you don’t do this shit is because not only is it wrong and completely out of proportion to the “wrong” that was done, is because now YOU are up shit’s creek and frankly that level of stupid deserves to be punished. What they did killed someone and justice if you actually believe it, needs to be done. The law is not just there to protect you from those that would do harm to you, it can also be seen as a way to protect you from you own stupid/bad actions by giving you a way out.

    A man is dead for a earlier confrontation and vandalism. Seriously how stupid is this whole thing. Sure the guy did something wrong but did he deserve to die for it? I don’t think so. These guys had the option to hold the brick thrower and wait for the cops but instead they chose to beat him up. And he died. I don’t know what punishment would given to the brick thrower and so I can see why they would have thought the justice they could mete out would leave a bigger impression, but this regret is something they will live with for the rest of their lives and they may all ultimately spend time in jail as well.

    No matter how bad the justice system may be, it would have been preferable and this is not a hindsight is 20/20 deal, the outcome was not unforeseeable. These guys now get to experience the DC judicial system first hand I bet they are hoping it is as lax as they perceived it. I have no sympathy for them at all, they deserve the punishment the system they had no faith in is going to give them. This type of justice not a sign of a civilized society and it has not place no matter how angry. It provides a visceral feeling of satisfaction that is ultimately empty and damaging to everyone.

    All of the individuals involved from the brick thrower to they guys that killed him have little sense of proportion and apparently not impulse control or anger management skills, so we see what happens when all of this collides.

  • I have a feeling the Medical Examiner’s report [particularly the toxicology report] will bring a lot of things to light that may change how folks view this incident.

    • How about a toxicololgy report on the five people who chased the guy down? I think that might bring some things to light that may change how folks view this incident.

    • That’s what I’m wondering: what happens when everyone suddenly realizes that maybe the ass-kicking was not the cause of death.

      Also: you know, a brick thrown hard enough to break a window could quite easily kill someone. The response, from a bunch of 20-something ‘bouncers’, was hardly surprising, but the response from the 46 year old bar owner was.

      They should have detained the brick-thrower until the MPD arrived. I wonder if that’s what we find out.

      • Their ages are not accuratedly stated in the news. I’m sure if you check their facebooks that the owner is not the only one who will find who isn’t in his 20s. I wonder what else is documented incorrectly.

  • Wait, i thought he was put in the back of a squad car for 45 minutes? Now MPD says he was unconcious when they arrived, CPR administered and transferred to Howard via EMS? Street vigilante arguments aside, isn’t anyone else confused by the details not matching up? Somebody is lying obviously.

  • Agree with you Hilltop.
    Sheriff Lanier made alot of wild accusations Friday and now has to cover MPD ass.
    The two versions of the story are completely different.

  • how about we let this go on trial and let the jury come to a verdict.

  • Alex c, so if one of your kind, whatever you might be, gets drunk And toss a brick he / she also deserves an ass kicking to a point where he/ she could die? You seem to suggest that he was a non working, not regular person. Stop generalizing just because he doesn’t look like you.

  • This string of comments saddens me. It seems that a 27 year-old can be killed. Last alive after being restrained or beaten by DC9 employees, and we argue about the Chief of Police. A man is dead, a man with a family.

    I can’t imagine losing a child, a brother. To learn that possible he was killed over a broken window is sick. If that’s the case the whole venue and the people associated with it should burn.

  • Cocaine is a helluva drug..

  • “transported the victim to Howard University Hospital where life saving efforts were unsuccessful”

    Anyone else notice a trend here?

  • More importantly, I don’t like the indented reply columns.

  • I love how a murder just isn’t a murder when it’s done by the owner of a favorite bar.

    And you wonder why long-time residents laugh when you talk about justice?

    We’ll all remember this the next time you idiotic hipsters are braying for a juvenile shooter to be electrocuted by a car battery attached to his balls.

    • Take your favorite bar. Imagine someone said a handful of staff members there brutally beat a random stranger to death. Wouldn’t you have any questions?

      It’s human nature to wish the best for those we view as part of our social circle, even on those on the periphery. If that’s hypocrisy, then it’s a hypocrisy shared by every human being on this planet.

      Finally, no one on this blog has said a murderer should walk. That’s your own editorial comment, putting words in others’ mouths. Some people are just waiting for all the facts to surface. Patience, donkey.

      • Don’t like bars. That’s “stuff hipsters like” – along with an orgasmic approval of stomping people’s faces to mush when they commit petty property crimes, apparently.

        Let’s get all the facts in. Perhaps this dude is just sleeping really soundly.

      • Tres.

        Have you really read this blog?

        There ARE people on here trying to justify stomping this man to death and saying that vigilante justice is necessary to restore the “civilized and “urbane living” we “lost in 1968” (the year of the Fair Housing Act for those of you keeping track). I’m quoting from Anonymous here.

        Are any of you dbags really willing to claim that isn’t thinly veiled RACISM?

        Seriously, you people make me sick.

        • I’m sorry, who said the parties responsible for the kid’s death should walk?

          Babydoll, if a lil ol blog like this gets you so worked up, you might want to take up a quiet hobby. Think about it this way — about 10% of the people who post here are nuts. Get over it. If you want everyone to walk in lock step with your own personal ideals, then you should consider starting some kind of fanatical cult a la L Ron Hubbard. Otherwise, you’re going to have to tolerate some dissent, some crazy dissent, and not let it burn you up inside.

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