Dear PoP – Assault last night at 14th and Fairmont NW

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“Dear PoP,

Last night around 6:45pm a young woman (friend of mine) was assaulted at 14th and Fairmont NW in Columbia Heights. A young man came up behind her as she was approaching her apartment building, hit her multiple times and demanded she give him her blackberry. She sustained serious injuries including a fractured jaw. On the bright side, police were actually able to catch her attacker just hours later. Just wanted to remind readers to be alert and careful no matter what time of day.”

72 Comment

  • Fry him.

  • Thanks for posting, PoP. While it’s not clear if this person was on her phone, I hope this reminds readers to be aware of their surroundings and stay off the phone while walking alone.

    • On the flip side, some think its safer to be on the phone so somebody knows where you are. Obviously this doesn’t work if you are just playing solitaire or reading emails.

      • I think that used to be more of the case back in the earlier days of cell phones. Now criminals know that they’re likely to cost $500 and up.

        • I’m with you on this one, Kev. Criminals also tend to target people who are less aware of their surroundings, which generally includes those involved in a conversation. If the concern is someone knowing where you are, it’s pretty easy to enable GPS tracking on your phone.

          • (Which, of course, is not to say that I never talk on my phone while walking through my neighborhood! I do it all of the time and what happened to this woman is horrible, regardless of what she was doing. It’s just something to keep in mind!)

  • Was she walking from the metro? Was she using the blackberry when she was assaulted?

    And please guys no comments about how she has a right to do as she pleases, blah, blah…I just want more details. I’m sure this is not the first time this ass has preyed on people and sometimes these snatch and grabbers work with a partner.

  • This unchecked aggression will not stand.

  • I notified PoP of the incident after speaking with my friend when she was released from the hospital. She was coming home from Dunkin Donuts right at the intersection and had her phone out texting, not talking. Did not see the guy until he came up behind her.

    • Just for your information, the suspect was arrested only minutes, not hours, after the assault. He was also arrested for beating up an old lady just minutes before the assault on your friend.

  • I am NOT blaming the victim here, but I wonder to myself all the time when I see people texting-and-walking how often they trip on curbs, step out into traffic, walk into trees, etc. I’ve seen it happen one several occasions.

    This is just one more reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, especially if (as in this case) the neighborhood isn’t great. I used to live one block from here and it’s still sketchy. Of course, this could have easily happened in a ‘nice’ neighborhood.

    I wish a speedy recovery for your friend, OP.

    • I’ve seen people almost get hit by cars because they were talking on their phone and not paying attention to the street they were crossing. It’s always important to be aware of your sorroundings.

  • So many of these young punks in DC are simply out of control, but at least now, rather than just randomly kicking the &^# out of innocent women, they are taking some booty too.

    What can we taxpaying citizens do to stop these kids from terrorizing us day after day. I am literally scared to leave my house most times of day and night.

  • This was a scene of a triple shooting last March and a multiple shooting in the summer of 2008. Not cool! There is a good preschool one block away and I hit that donut shop with the kids at least once a month.

  • Mulitple cab drivers on different occasions recently told me they pretty much expect all the kids, up in Peeworth at least, to be packing heat. One said “you better get a shotgun in the house, those boys will _______” (you fill in the blank)

    I wonder what percentage of the kids in this town actually do own firearms?

    • I wonder this too, especially when I see these rowdy kids on the metro, in Chinatown… oh just about everywhere. Wondering this definitely makes me think again about saying anything to them about their behavior.

  • Wow. Punching a woman repeatedly in the face for her cellular phone is pretty badass I must say.

    I get sooooooo pissed off when reading about incidents such as this.

  • these posts make me angry.. glad he got caught, now hoping that the police and the judiciary teach him a good lesson.

    • You’re kidding, right? If he’s a juvenile, he probably already has a rap sheet and will be back on the street in 72 hours. If he’s declared an adult, he’ll be back in 72 days. You can thank Phil Mendelson.

      • What did Phil do?

        • Mendelson heads the Councils Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary and for various reasons can be considered a criminals best friend. I won’t bore myself by repeating the many reasons this is true but I can refer you to this article:

          Of course he was just voted back into office for another four years so complaining is moot for now. And there is of course plenty of blame to go around the mayors office and the council for crime in DC. Essentially you need to get used to crime or get out of DC as I did, there’s no real hope for change on the issue. Its just not a priority for the city leadership and is a third rail sort of issue as a crackdown on violence would put a lot of black people in jail which is a great way to lose an election. Look at the bright side, limitless supplies of underage hookers and crack.

    • And don’t for get to pray for the poor kid.That works just as well.

  • I wonder if you call a local police precinct if they’d have a cop stay on the phone with you while you were walking through some of these known violent crew zones.

    We need a safe routes home program in some of these hot spot areas. Perhaps some police cadets can help out with this. (or some angels).

  • Columbia Heights still sucks. DUH! But the target ZOMG!! we have the target. With CH as wack as it is no wonder H street is making real progress.

  • Karma is real… and the person who committed this crime (and all those like him) are prisoners of their own greed and ignorance. The real crime is that people like this are allowed to see their own lives through to a natural end.

  • Does anyone have details on what happen to the perp? Charged? etc…

  • What I am about to say has been said by PG but people with these phones need to pay attention . The need to always text someone or be on the phone constantly is just a sign of insecurity . Some of them would have a panic attack if there phone was taken from them for just one day
    . what were you doing say five years ago when they didn’t exist, waited till ya got home to make a email or a phone call . People stop living in a phone

  • Glad they at least caught the guy. One less punk off the streets for now…

  • story on TBD on iphone robberies:

    i was suprprised to learn that someone caught doing this was actualy sentenced to 6 years! so hopefully the guy who assaulted your friend will pay for his crime.

  • I don’t know what the right answers is, but the blocks b/w 14/Harvard and 14/ Euclid are going to have worse problems than the surrounding area for a LONG time to come.

    Only 2-3 of the 10-12 buildings/developments along that strip of 14th are NOT public/subsidized housing. Moreover, those 2-3 buildings only came online in the last ~2 yrs vs. almost all of those other buildings being in the neighborhood for the last 25+ yrs.

    Again, I don’t know if the answer is education/social services/police/community activism/mixed income development or whatever…but I’ll tell you one thing:

    Gentrification/urban renewal/influx of new residents with higher socio-economic status is NOT a sufficient solution.

    • “Gentrification/urban renewal/influx of new residents with higher socio-economic status is NOT a sufficient solution.”

      Is their another “solution”? I don’t see any government program getting ahead of the problem. In America you make your own choices, we don’t have a cast system. These kids are partially victims of their upbringing but at some point you are responsible for you own life.


        • I’m a simple man can you speak to me in plain English?

          more yuppies is not sufficient to fix the problem of cultural poverty that is rampant in America, is that what you are saying? I agree but what else is being done to change the problem of concentrated poverty?

  • Not to minimize what happened, but I now of two muggings in the last week on 12th NW between V and W, a pretty busy area. One was at 6pm, the other at 10pm. Both people were walking dogs, one on his cell, the other not.

    The truth is that there is crime in DC, and people have to remain alert and try not to walk solo if possible.

    • Shaq-

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but who is full of shit — you or the DC crime reports? Or did neither of your two victims bother to report their muggings? I ask only because there is no record of ANY muggings this year on 12th NW between V and W — and only one mugging on that street in the last 12 months.

      • skeptical: a lot of street crimes in DC go unreported. Some officers discourage reports because it means paperwork for them, but a lot more go unreported because the victim may be an immigrant, doesn’t feel like waiting however long it may take for the police to show up “just to take a report”, have been drinking/using drugs, or just plain scared of the police. I’ve had more than one MPD officer tell me they estimate only about 50% of violent crime goes reported here.

        • Maybe, but here we have a guy saying that two people were mugged on a certain street and he knows all the details — dog walkers, at a certain time, one on a cell phone — but neither was reported? How many “dog walkers” do you know who are scared immigrants, drug users, or “just plain scared on the police”? You may have a point from a general sociological standpoint, but here? Sorry, I smell BS.

          • The police are either overworked and underpaid, or simply do not care about the levels of crime that are occurring.

            Last Saturday around noon I was walking near the intersection of V and Florida and I witnessed a woman frantically chasing after (and yelling at) 3 african american youth (teens). She told me afterward that they had just brazenly taken her (small) laptop off the table as she sat at a coffee shop on U Street.

            Myself and other pedestrians walking nearby (around noon) saw what was happening. She was keeping up with the muggers, and managed to wrest her laptop back from them, and they were all so tired from sprinting that the teens were moving pretty slowly, walking about a half a block away.

            She immediately stopped and called the police on her cell. I stood there with her, listening as she answered their inane questions: “what did they try to take?” “how much is the laptop worth?” She told them that the kids were still half a block away and that they should send someone if there was a squad car in the neighborhood. They were clearly uninterested. I was incredulous but the woman was not surprised at the police’s lack of interest. I was yelling “HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH?!” WHO THE F CARES HOW MUCH ITS WORTH?!”

            FYI: this woman was African American. I have no doubt that black folks are unfortunately accustomed to such treatment from the police. The woman accepted that the cops just didn’t care too much. If this had happened to me, I would be filing every kind of complaint possible with the commanders and higher ups. Not to mention running after those kids and giving them a beat-down they would never forget.

  • jeez, thats my block. and yes I am guilty of walking and texting. between this and the shotgun robbery on euclid last weekend, its terrifying. I know we have crime but this seems unusual even by CH standards for those blocks. Especially since its not even warm out yet. God help us when summer gets here. I wish DC had year round schools. mendelson is complete pussy. then again so is Graham. Who cares about arrests when we all know that they are back on the street in a day. How come we can’t sue the parents of minor children for their total lack of accountability?

  • hope victim is OK. real surprise is that this doesn’t happen more often

  • Time to move some of the public housing out of Columbia heights.

    • Time to eliminate large public housing projects altogether.

      If you want people to behave anti-socially, then you put all the anti-social people together in a room. If you want people to act more reasonably, you mix the anti-social people in with the normal people, and you allow the normal people to enforce reasonable standards of behavior.

      In DC, we have the worst of both worlds: projects and no way to enforce reasonable standards of behavior.

    • Projects will never leave. They contain too many voters.

  • So sorry for the injury and I hope your friend gets better physically and mentally quickly.

    I wonder what, if anything, will become of public housing in CH? Not sure if the perp. was from the housing projects near there, but many of the crimes are regrettably from people who live or regularly hang out there. I really am all for diversity and it is a big reason I moved to CH 9 years ago before DCUSA or the condos. But there has to be some respect for human beings to expect it back from the community. Subsidized housing should not be a given right. Commit a crime and the unit should be vacated. If I had my way I’d knock down the existing 100% low income block complexes, rebuild with middle/high rises on 14th with huge, deep retail spaces and then construct townhouses along the side streets with 30% low income and 70% fair market. This would produce at least as many overall units for lower income, a mixing of income levels to better reflect society instead of today’s 100% low income, more tax revenue, jobs and real high density near metro.

    • how do you know if the perp is from public housing? You want diversity so long as everyone is approved of by you FO

  • CHGirl-I got a DC text alert about last week. Three BM with masks and one with a shotgun heading towards 14th after a robbery on the 1300 block of Euclid. Sometime around 10 or 10:30pm.
    I couldnt find ANY follow up. Emailed CM Graham and some officer emailed me back with just ” a arrest will likely be made” or something noncommittal. Shotgun robberies don’t make the news I guess.

  • The shotgun robbery occurred Sunday night on the 1300 block of Euclid. Three BM with a shotgun robbed and hit the victim in the head with the gun. We emailed PoP about it earlier, actually, but with the investigation pending, we were asked to refrain from giving details. Once we get the go ahead, we will ask PoP to post again. We are trying to get the word out and ask our neighbors to help make our streets safer!

  • Same perps. assaulted another woman while she exited Carlos Rosario Public Charter School (11th and Harvard). The group ran off and immediately assaulted the woman in this story. Glad at least one of them was caught…

  • From the dist 3 listerv:

    On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at approximately 6:30 pm, there was a Robbery Force and Violence in the 1300 block of Fairmont Street NW. Members of the Crime Suppression Team (CST) conducted a canvass of the area and based on the lookout information provided by the victim were able to quickly stop 4 suspects matching the description of the assailants in the 2600 block of 11th Street, NW. Subsequently, the victim positively identified two of the suspects involved in the attack. The other two persons voluntarily offered to speak with detectives about the case but were not implicated in the offense. Sadly, the complainant suffered a broken jaw and was treated and released from a local hospital.

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