Dear PoPville – Assault, Robbery and Hate Crime Monday Night

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Dear PoPville,

A Hate Crime Robbery, Force & Violence that occurred Monday evening in Columbia Heights / Park View. There are no suspects, and no witnesses have come forward.

My partner was assaulted twice in succession at 9:15 PM Monday, on Georgia Ave near Irving Street. The first assailants used homophobic language and violently assaulted and robbed him, dragged him down the sidewalk, and shattered his jaw in two places. Immediately afterward, another person or persons took advantage of the situation and robbed him further.

He is currently in ICU at a local hospital.

If anyone has any information regarding the assaults and/or his stolen iPad, iPhone, ID, and credit/debit cards, they should contact the police.

72 Comment

  • This is awful – I wish your partner (and you) a quick physical and emotional recovery.

  • What a shame. Hopefully these thugs get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But knowing the thugs who run this city, they won’t. These hoodrats are allowed to get away with everything here…

  • To the wannabe-thugs in this city who think it makes them big men to swarm on 1 person : your crew is a sad joke and your future is the punchline.

  • This happened two blocks from my house, near a very busy, well-lit intersection – at a time when traffic is fairly heavy on that section of Georgia Ave./Irving. St. Someone has to have seen the attack taking place. Assuming witnesses exist, it is shameful that no one has come forward to report what they saw. Beyond that, the fact that a hate crime has taken place in our neighborhood is absolutely vile, and something that as neighbors we simply cannot tolerate. I hope the police catch these thugs very soon and that they are punished to the full extent of the law.

    • Another neighbor here and I 100% echo everything you’ve said. I desperately hope someone comes forward as a witness.

      I wish the victim and his partner a full and speedy recovery. It’s absolutely terrible that you have to go through this, but know you have the support of all of us.

  • orderedchaos

    Sending positive thoughts your way that you find the strength you need in each other and recover fully & quickly. And hoping the animals who committed this crime are brought to justice.

  • This is so terrible. I’m so sorry. I wish your partner a speedy recovery (physically and mentally) and I hope these criminals are caught SOON.

  • This is not acceptable. Tell CM Graham, tell Cathy Lanier, tell everyone that this community does not tolerate behavior like that.

  • Positive thoughts and good wishes being sent to both of you for a speedy recovery of body and soul. Know that there are many people in this city standing behind you and with you. Let this be a reminder to us all to step up our game, bring in more good and push out the evil vibes drifting though this city.

    God Bless

  • This is horrible. I hope your partner recovers soon and the perpetrators are caught quickly.

  • I’m very sorry to hear about this. I hope your partner heals quickly and that both of you can put this behind you as soon as possible.

  • This is incredibly unfortunate! Somebody has to have seen something- Georgia and Irving is not an isolated area. I hope these savages are caught and prosecuted.

    Sending good vibes to you and your partner.

  • This is heartbreaking… I’ve lived on this corner for three years and this is the worst incident I’ve heard of in my time in this neighborhood. I wish I was home on Monday night to do something about it. Best wishes for a speedy recovery

  • OP – I am so sorry to hear this. I am sending positive thoughts to you and your partner, and I wish him a healthy recovery soon. I hope any and all witnesses come forward and the attackers brought to justice.

  • This is so awful to hear. So much injustice. I wish your partner a full and speedy recover and the hope that you know that many people are thinking of you.

    I feel like this is vigil/march-worthy. This is so wrong and we have to let the community know this.

  • Holy shit, that’ around the block from my place. Do we have a description of the assailants? And the other posters here are right–that is a very busy block, so someone had to have seen it happen. I hope he will be ok.

    • Ill go out on a limb here; maybe we can recycle past POP Crim blog posts. I was only able to read back to January though, so this is a snapshot.

      “B/M with dreads, approx 6’1, 165 lbs, wearing green pants and walking east bound on Irving street from the IHOP in the company of a B/F light complexion, heavy build”


      “Black male, 20′s years of age, round nose, round face, 5’07″-5’08″, 160 lbs, medium – dark complexion, short curly style hair, dark clothes and armed with a black in color semi automatic handgun.”


      “black male, medium build, 24-25 years old, wearing a black leather jacket, checkered scarf, black hat and dark pants”


      “Approx 5′ 10” black male medium complexion with ‘freckle marks’ on his face dreads/braids slim build early 20′s maybe younger
      Approx 5′ 5″ black male dark complexion short hair heavier build early 20′s maybe younger””


      “a black male, 31-35 years old, approx. 5’10″, 165-175 lbs, med brown complexion, wearing a black jacket with white trim and a black knit hat”

  • I hate this city.

  • Just adding to the list of well wishers…

    What a fucked up world we live in.

  • So awful. So disgusting the things that happen in such a large swath of the city.

  • This is a horrible story, and I hope your partner recovers both physically and emotionally from this incident. Let this serve as a reminder to everyone that violent crime is still very prevalent in DC, and it’s necessary to take extra precautions.

  • The world can be so cruel. Wishing partner, and you, a full recovery. People are thinking about you…

  • Oh that is horrible! I hope your partner heals quickly.
    And I hope they string up the criminals by their testicles.

    • That’s pretty generous of you to assume they even have testicles! Real men have balls. These boys are anything but real men.

  • Awful. Just awful. I hope the perps burn in hell.

  • Here is wishing your partner a full recovery. So sorry to hear this. It is truly awful.

  • Terrible. Has this been publicized at all? I get the DCPD twitter feed, and didn’t see anything along these lines. Haven’t heard about it in other news sources either. Since it sounds like an initial hate crime, plus the added injury of being further robbed once the victim was hurt, you’d think it would get more attention from DCPD and the media.

  • Truly horrible. However, I have a question about the nature and intent of the crime.

    What makes a crime in DC a hate crime? Was the victim targeted because of his/her sexual orientation. Or were the perpatrators going to rob and assault anyone, randomly, in this area…..but in this case noticed a homosexual couple holding hands or expressing some sort of outward behavior that would easily allow an onlooker to conclude the two individuals were in fact homosexuals. Or even, was the homophobic language used in a de-sexualized, more general sense, to simply demean the victim.

    My point being….If the victim was targeted randomly, is this any different than a perpatrator attacking a solitary woman and calling her a “bitch or whore?”

    This is an important distinction because hate crimes can carry with them greater penalties, given the pre-meditated intent to harm a specific group.

    I wasn’t there, and I feel terrible for the victim. But I couldn’t tell from the description of the events if the victim was targeted because of his/her sexuality or if this victim was randomly attacked and also happened to be gay.

    Hope this isnt miscontrued as insensitive and that the victim heals quickly and the perpatrators are caught and justly punished.

    • “My point being….If the victim was targeted randomly, is this any different than a perpetrator attacking a solitary woman and calling her a ‘bitch’ or ‘whore’?”

      Maybe it’s just me, but to me that kinda sounds like a hate crime too, albeit one based on gender.

    • This is the MPD’s info on hate crimes (,a,1237,q,547599,mpdcNav_GID,1553.asp), which should answer your question. Given that the perpetrators used homophobic slurs while carrying out their attack, it seems that it has been accurately characterized as a hate crime. By the way, by DC standards calling a woman a “bitch or a whore” would also qualify as a hate crime.

      • Hate to proverbially beat a dead horse here, but the link states the following:

        “A hate crime is a crime that is committed against a person because of prejudice or bias. Victims of hate crimes are singled out simply because of their perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical handicap, matriculation, or political affiliation. ”

        Based on the nature of the crime, the location, and the time, I could see how a defense lawyer could easily poke holes in a hate crime indictment. However repugnant, perpatrators of crimes are entitled to a certain degree of free speech.

        My point is, given the facts of this case, as presented, it would be just as easy to argue that the intent of this crime was to rob a vulnerable individual as it is to argue that the victim was attacked because of his/her sexual orientation.

        As this is a community blog, I feel it important and relevant to have this conversation although the health of the victim and his/her well being clearly come first.

        • “However repugnant, perpatrators of crimes are entitled to a certain degree of free speech.”

          Calling someone f***** while beating them is a hate crime, just like calling someone n***** while beating them is a hate crime.

          • According to the law, that’s not necessarily the case. Characterization as a hate crime depends on more than simply the words/slurs used by the perpetrators.

            I think this is Mike’s point. It’s a good point to make, although this thread is a bit of a dicey place to make it (Mike, however, does a pretty good job of acknowledging that concern, too).

        • Determining whether or not this actually constitutes a hate crime is ultimately up to the prosecutor and jury to decide should the perpatrators be apprehended. However, the OP’s characterization of this as a hate crime still appears appropriate under the standards cited to above for the purposes of this posting. I’m not sure why you’re having a hard time accepting that.

          Also, I absolutely disagree with you regarding this point–“However repugnant, perpatrators of crimes are entitled to a certain degree of free speech.” Hate crime laws exist to address the concept of speech as a crime, which is why the examples of hate crimes listed on the site include “Cross burnings, Vandalism, Telephone harassment, Painting swastikas and other hate symbols, Use of racial slurs, Cemetery desecration, and Verbal abuse” all of which have historically been addressed in numerous free speech court cases as potentially protected speech. Hate crime laws criminalize these acts with respect to protected classes and make what might otherwise be a legal exercise of free speech an illegal act. Your point is ill-conceived and ill-made if you’re truly trying to argue the legal nuances of free speech in this context.

    • IMO, wilding thugs who savagely beat and rob someone at random deserve no less punishment and condemnation than those who target or appear to target someone based on their race, sexual orientation, etc.

      If a hate crime is extra bad because it terrorizes a population, random thuggery is (in a sense) a hate crime against all decent people just trying to live their lives and do right.

  • Allison

    So very sorry; wishing a speedy recovery and a lifetime of happiness.

    • Seconded, only to add the complete recovery of all the victim’s personal items after they catch the people who did this.

  • Assuming they catch the jerks responsible for this travesty, $5 says this will not be prosecuted as a hate crime. DC is good at that. Just look at the rash if beatings/murders of transvestites last year. I don’t think any were prosecuted as a hate crime. The citizens of DC should really put the pressure on elected officials to make this case an example.

  • His jaw surgery is this evening. Healing thoughts, everyone!

    • For my neighbors – speedy healing and good thoughts go out to you. We wish you a speedy recovery of your health, emotional well-being and personal property.

    • My husband and I were viciously attacked by a neighbor for being gay. My heart breaks for your partner. Big hugs to both of you.

  • It’s very common lately in this area that someone is accosted. I live right here. Been witness to three. Pulled a man into my car before mugging. Given descriptions to the police on three occasions. Had a friend robbed on her porch (on Irving at Georgia right across the street from the 24 bodega).
    Watched helplessly as someone was beat down in the “new” park.” All in the past three months. The police made an arrest as PoP reported about a month ago. I have a feeling it’s the SAME group of people each time. It’s very unfortunate your friend was there at the same time these guys were there. Hope for a quick painless recovery. And, I know something will come of it this time!!!!

  • Hoping for a speedy recovery and totally sickened that this happened.

  • gotryit

    Really? I’m not against gun ownership by law abiding people, but I find it hard to believe that it would have helped here.

    At what point would this person have pulled out a gun? When he walked by a group of suspicious looking people? When they used homophobic slurs? Too early.

    If he tried to pull it once they started hitting him then there’s a good chance that they would have taken the gun from him.

    And if he shot them while they were already running off, that wouldn’t be self defense, and he’d probably go to jail.

    While I’d love to go Clint Eastwood on some punk and put a bullet in their kneecap, this just seems like a really slim opportunity.

  • Woah, I live very close to there. As a Parkview resident, I am so sorry that happened to you and your partner in our neighborhood; it is not representative of everyone in the area. My prayers for you and your partner.

  • See MPD press release below or link online

    MPD seeks information in a robbery with injuries

    (Washington, DC) – Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District are investigating the assault and robbery of a male that occurred in the 3100 block of Georgia Avenue, on Monday, March 12, 2012. At approximately 9:40 pm, the victim was assaulted by several suspects and sustained severe injuries.

    If you witnessed this incident or have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099. Additionally information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any robbery committed in the District of Columbia.

  • like so many people have said — wishing your partner a strong physical and emotional recovery.

  • my boyfriend and I find this very disturbing. It is only a block from our house. It is completely brazen attack someone on two busy roads and even more disturbing that no one has come forward for the victim. I would expect to read about this on the Pleasant Plains list-serv; I had to post something. also bothersome that this attack has not been posted on the DC PD twitter feed.

  • Watch NBC4 at 11 tonight. I gave an interview about the attack.

    Thank you for all of the support! We both appreciate it very much.

    (And it was a hate crime, witnesses and my partner heard the words.)

  • There are guys who hang out in the alley between Kenyon and Irving on the 600 block that fit the descriptions of some of the old suspects for muggings in the area. I always wonder if they are the ones responsible for these things.

  • So the assailants essentially got away with $2,000 in merchandise plus whatever they could get from the cards in one robbery? Very sorry that your partner was attacked for who they were and the valuables they had.

  • what a horrific experience for you and your partner to have to live through. i am so sorry. who are these people who are capable of doing this to other human beings?

  • I hate to say this, but when the weather gets warm, crime ALWAYS upticks in DC. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • This is so messed up! God speed the healing process and I hope somebody comes forward or the criminals incriminate themselves to someone with a conscience and a backbone.

  • What an incredibly sick culture we have in DC. Mayor Gray should be ashamed of the people he represents. We need to find a way to address this plague that makes our otherwise fine city practically uninhabitable for civil people.

  • I couldn’t find anything about it on NBC4, but did find this link for the Blade….

    • A police source said the second incident occurred about 9:30 p.m. Monday, March 12, at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Irving Street, N.W., when the victim, a 29-year-old gay man, got out of a cab about two blocks from his home. The source said accounts from witnesses indicate two or three male suspects attacked the victim while calling him anti-gay names as he began to walk home.

      Rodney Shaffer, the victim’s partner, said the victim, who asked that his name not be disclosed, told him he remembers being dragged along the street by the attackers, who did not attempt to rob him. Shaffer said the victim called him for help on his cell phone after the attackers walked away. Seconds later, Shaffer said, another group of attackers took the victim’s cell phone, iPad and wallet, leaving the victim lying on the street in a semi-conscious state.

      Shaffer said the victim was scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a broken jaw. He said the attackers’ blows to his head and face that caused the jaw to break were so severe that the victim had to be sedated with a breathing tube inserted to prevent swelling of tissue caused by the injury from preventing him from breathing.

      According to Shaffer, a detective said police were in the process of obtaining a video recording that they hoped has captured the attack through cameras installed in various locations near the site of the incident. Police planned to release posters seeking witnesses of the incident, Shaffer said

  • My heart hurts for both of you.

  • I am just now reading and hearing about this horrific crime against another human being based on his being gay and white. As a native black Washingtonian over 50, I’m appalled these type of crimes against other human beings are continuing to happen. My prayers go out to the victim and to his partner. I hope the ‘savages’ that did this are captured and sentence to the fullness of the law. Here is the link on NBC4.

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