Props to the Cops – “Possession of a Prohibited Weapon and Wearing a Mask While Committing a Crime”

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

The First District Vice Unit has been deployed in PSA 104 for the last few weeks due to robberies. Tonight, shortly after 7:30 pm, vice officers working in plainclothes observed several suspicious persons in the area of 9th and H Streets NE. The subjects approach a couple, at which time one of the suspects separated himself from the others and pulled a mask over his face. As he approached the couple, the officers exited their vehicle and the suspect looked in the direction of the officers and immediately removed his mask. The officers continued toward him, he ran and was observed tossing a weapon in a trash can. The suspect was apprehended and the weapon was recovered. The weapon was found to be a imitation pistol and the juvenile suspect was charged with Possession of a Prohibited Weapon and Wearing a Mask While Committing a Crime. The offense that this suspect was charged with is a misdemeanor; however, I believe that the officers preventing at least one robbery from occurring.

29 Comment

  • First of all, great job to the MPD on this! I’m curious though why this wouldn’t qualifiy for attempted robbery. Seems like there was enough evidence to show that this was what they stopped the suspect from doing. Then again it’s been a while since i took criminal law….

  • halfsmoke

    So jamming a gun (real or not) in someone’s face is a misdemeanor? BS.

  • Why are children in this city so prone to violence and crime? What can be done to change this horrible aspect of our otherwise nearly fine town?

    • Continued gentrification. Not a lot of stickup kids in The Palisades

      • It’s not about race. It never has been. It’s about economics.

        • That was exactly my point. People waste a lot of time and emotional energy arguing about how to address this type of crime through the lens of specific groups of people, new laws, and (especially) as though it were a racial issue. It’s not.

          All you really have to do is recognize the clear inverse correlation (not causation) between median area income/housing costs and violent crime. And given that the former is increasing in the H Street area via the streetcar system and the rise in gentrification-related amenities, I’m saying that it won’t be too many years before crime like this is a distant memory in this area.

          If this District wants to speed the process along, the best things that it could do would be to eliminate density restrictions for development, reform the ANC-centric business and alcohol regulatory scheme, and relax rent-control restrictions. The crime problem will quickly take care of itself.

          • That’s a pretty optimistic view. H St. & the Palisades have noting in common. They neither developed the same way nor do they feature the same type of homes & businesses. H St. will always have a higher baseline of crime because of the businesses that are located there. It has set itself up as a a restaurant/bar destination, so it’s immaterial that the houses nearby become more expensive. If you want to see H St.’s future, check out Adams Morgan – a relatively expensive neighborhood beset by crime on weekends perpetrated by visitors.

        • orderedchaos

          Gentrification isn’t about race either.
          The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.

      • Some people just don’t get it. I guess, move them out so that you don’t have to deal with it and everything is good in the world. Just because you don’t have to deal with it does not mean the issues do not exist or have been solved. What a simple minded way to look at things.

        • Sure, if it was a 1:1 swap of housing, then it might not matter. But I can tell you that we are spending more $$ around town fixing up our house and eating out than the prior owners probably did.

          Maybe the increased $ that the gentrifiers bring in will create some additional jobs that give some of these kids something to do rather than rob people.

          • I’ve always thought that there was a huge potential symmetry of interests here. DC’s politicians always talk a big game about increasing job opportunities for low- and middle-income residents, but its not like any large factories are going to be opening in the District any time soon.

            Bars, restaurants, dry-cleaners, etc. and their related supply-chain firms, on the other hand, employ a great deal of people.

          • I understand your point but I dont know how true it is. Why do you think the 30+ folks love Marion Barry so much. He employed MANY of the DC youth back in the day but clearly there were/are still many challenges…jobs help but it isn’t a simple singular solution.

            Also, JB how does just moving them even attempt solve the actual problem? It doesn’t whatsoever. Often times in DC, crime is commited by people not from that particular neighborhood or area. Just because you are forced out doesn’t mean you can’t go back and catch people slipping…

    • They do not have good role models. What can be done? You can volunteer your time at DCPS schools to work with these children. I started this year. The kids I tutor haven’t missed a day which I come to visit them. They crave the individual attention. It requires a little legwork on your end, like a TB test. While the effects on crime and violence aren’t immediate, they should be long lasting.

      • halfsmoke

        That’s great, and more of us should do this type of thing.
        But we still need tougher laws.

        • Yeah, tougher laws. That’s the ticket. We all know the death penalty is such a great crime deterrent. People like this wear jail time like a badge of honor.

  • tonyr

    Good thinking by the perp – since he threw the gun into a trash can, he can’t be charged with littering.

  • a misdemeanor? you mean a wrist slap?

    that should be a felony and that kid should be locked up.

  • And this is where your tax dollars go, to house and feed these creatures who thank you by,again, robbing you.

    • I don’t think you could be more wrong. It’s actually the converse. Most other Western nations that invest the proper amount of taxpayer money into social programs, drug treatment, education and family services do not have nearly the amount of youth crime that we do.

  • well he’s a juvenile, so he probably spent a total of 30 minutes in jail. he’ll get sent to some dyrs house, where he can learn how to become a better criminal.

    i feel bad for the cops. it’s like an exercise in futility for them…particularly when juveniles are involved. what will it take for someone on the council to step up, grow a pair, and figure out a way to reform the dc justice system?

  • excellent excellent excellent work here!!!

    This definitely qualifies as attempted robbery, but maybe its too hard to get that charge to stick?

    • Christ – yep sounds like attempted robbery or assault to me.
      I wish the cops would arrest them on the most serious crime they can justify and then let the prosecutor’s office water it down.
      I’m sure the cops are just tired and exhausted from catching the same perps day after day b/c the prosecutor’s office won’t lock up the offenders for longer than 8 hours.

      note: my legal education comes from the Dick Wolfe School of Law (insert law and order music).

    • I’m not sure how many people you’ve actually arrested, but I’m guessing it’s 0. From the description posted, it doesn’t meet the elements of attempted robbery. Did the suspect announce a robbery? Or was he caught before (presumably) attempting the robbery.

      It sounds like a robbery was about to be attempted. So, it sounds like the officers made the right call.

  • OK people no felony crime was committed – no felony no jail. Course I am not a lawyer and I can’t say I am all that familiar with the exact wording of the law. Maybe a lawyer can offer some thoughts on this.

    But based on that write up there is nothing that says that he approached the couple pointed the “gun” and demanded money. If he had done that, that would more likely have been a felony. Yes it seems they could make the case for attempted armed robbery but if he didn’t say “give me your money” and wasn’t successful it may not qualify under the law as attempt – as the law is written. Intent does not equal attempt. What we may see as something that someone should go to jail for is not always something that rises to that level based on how the law is written, whatever evidence exists, and what can be proved in a court.

    • I think there’s a misconception among a lot of people with regard to felony/misdemeanor. The difference is in the amount of possible jail time. In layman’s terms, misdemeanors can carry a jail term of 12 months or less, while felonies are any offense that can carry a jail term of one year or greater.

  • msmaryedith

    Yikes. I live one block from there.

  • Props to cops
    Thumbs down to DC’s lenient juvenile prosecution laws

  • The law that allows someone to get away with a misdemeanor because it was a fake gun needs to be changed. A fake gun implies the same level of violence to the victim –it’s not like you can tell the difference in the moment. And it is kids that are taking advantage of the lenient system.

    Phil Mendolsons watered down criminal code and normal people not willing to sit on juries is the problem.

    • Don’t forget the softy judges that are appointed to the bench by the DC Judicial Nominiating Committee peopled by Holmes Norton. Apparentlly, the majority of nominees are former public defenders who have an obviously skewed view on sentencing.

Comments are closed.