Photo of Alleged Petworth Basher Suspect Getting Arrested

A reader sends in a photo taken last night from the 4800 block of Illinois Ave, NW of the arrest of the alleged suspect in the Petworth homicide and assaults.

51 Comment

  • I hope he rots in jail!

    • I’m sure you mean after a fair run through our judicial system…

      • Thank you Arsk. The man is innocent until proven guilty.

        • gotryit

          Only in a court of law. We’re allowed to use common sense.

        • So is George Zimmerman, yet no one hesitates to convict him in their mind.

          • Yup, this guy is convicted in my mind, much like George Zimmerman.

            Innocent before proven guilty, in a court of law. In my mind, and any sane person, everyone knows we got the right guy here, it is just a process before we can legally send this guy away.

          • C3PO, please don’t bring up George Zimmerman’s name. Race relations between blacks and whites in D.C. and in this country are already in the toilet.

            There are some mean people in this world. I don’t know what made this young man alleged to commit these horrific acts. I still say, mental illness is a factor. There are millions of mentally ill people walking U.S. streets and not getting the help they need because our governments don’t gave a damn about mental health like they do breast cancer. Heck, no one seems to care about prostate cancer like they do breast cancer. Mental illness is a disease like AIDS, Cancer, etc.

          • 16th Street Heights person….
            Why is it that when a hispanic mans (or any race for that matter) attacks a black man it is a hate crime. But if a black man attacks ANYBODY then you jump to the conclusion that it must be mental illness. There couldn’t possibly be anther reason. I am so tired of this one sided argument.

          • Anonymous, the alleged suspect attacted both black and white individuals. How can this be a hate crime? Hispanic isn’t a race, Hispanics can be of any race. William Levy, the white Cuban American dancer on ABC ‘Dancing With The Stars’ ethincity is Latino, but his race is Caucasian. Both William Levy and Desi Arnez look more whiter than most white males. However, anyone of any race can commit a hate crime against another race. Why are you posting as Anonymous?

            Mental illness like bi-polar, personality disorder, and other types of depression is a very serious illness.

    • If he killed someone I hope he rots in a pine box after a quick execution.

  • cleanin’ up the streets! thats what i like to see

  • Pretty sure my wife and I walked right past that guy on Georgia Ave., sort of across the street from Flip It earlier this week. He had a little limp and looked like he wasn’t all there.

    • That describes about half of DC’s resident population.

      • Only through your eyes Denizen.
        Good job dc police. Thank goodness.

      • [email protected] of Tenallytown

    • I saw the hammer, he really scared me, loner, walking very odd, intense, wish I had informed someone, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Am haunted by the image of that freakin’ hammer!

      • If you are saying that you actually saw this man as you describe – behaving oddly & carrying a hammer – you need to talk to the police.

        • Victoria, I actually contacted MPD prior to them arresting this suspect. Their awesome police work and the smart lady who yelled loud seemed to have maybe solved it, albeit after the fact. I just wish I had alerted them the second I saw the hammer, since it was before all this tragedy went down. No excuse really, I should have called it in — who knew, I was too busy, distracted, etc. are all lame excuses for being a caring and responsible member of this community we all call home!!!

          • You couldn’t have known – it would have been a mental big leap to take as an observe from “weird guy with hammer” to murder. In a city you see a lot of things that could evolve into something else – don’t be hard on yourself.

          • Agree with Steph. it is not illegal to carry a hammer and if you did call the police, they may not have even responded and very likely would not have cause to detain him unless he was visibly mentally ill and appeared to be a danger to himself or others. Still, that is a big leap (assuming they even located him) and you have to count on the police arriving at the same conclusion and following through … two big ifs.

            In short, don’t blame yourself. You had no way of knowing and if you responded there is a very good chance nothing would have gone down differently.

          • Thanks Steph et al. Interestingly, in this case, the leap really wasn’t that far off for me. At the time, I knew that this was something very worthy of reporting, just knew it. But I didn’t. And that’s that. *&^%!

            Indeed, what would dispatch have done? L/O for guy in Petworth acting very very odd and aggressive, who happens to be packing a concealed hammer? Had that been out there, it may have helped. Seriously.

            Once a few minutes had passed, and my work day took over my interests, it just slipped my mind completely, until the homicide. Then it took hours to recall the details. Details I almost wish I don’t recall now.

            Part of the reason I likely shrugged it off, was that recently my friend told me that the new thing is to carry a hammer, since it’s not considered a weapon, since it’s a tool (?). So I just told myself, that must be what the tough crew members in Petworth do these days.

  • On Thursday afternoon my neighbor was attacked at 2nd and Ingraham while walking his dog at 3:30 pm. He was not seriously injured, but friends convinced him to alert the police yesterday. Our area was swarming with cops and detectives last night investigating the scene.

    He is okay, thank goodness–just ended up with a bump on the head and the guy ran away, but an item left at the scene and the description of the assault makes it seem likely it is this same guy. My neighbor is such a sweet and kind person–I have felt sick since I found this out. The idea that he could have been killed or seriously injured is just horrifying. I am wondering if there aren’t other near misses like this that the media hasn’t reported yet.

  • Please know that the system failed this now 19-year-old. There were so many times that his family attempted to get help for him and were turned away because he had not done anything “traumatic” in the laws eyes. Now, he has gone to far and know one will remember that he has been crying out for help since at least the 7th grade.

    • And he is not alone in America! There is no excuse for what we tolerate, on all freakin’ dimensions. When I saw the hammer, I could almost feel our collective failure. We need to solve this. It’s taking too long.

    • The family includes two NFL players. They had plenty of money to get him help.

      • You all talk like getting “help” would have actually done anything. Take a look at success rates for schizophrenia treatments — any kind of treatment. Not much difference between a treated schizophrenic and an untreated one.

        You all also assume that doing something crazy = being crazy. Have to rule out a bunch of other things first, look at behavior over months and years, etc.

    • clevelanddave

      Really, and what would you have the “system” do? There is a balance between personal freedom and compelling someone to go into some form of treatment. As another poster said, this was not for lack of resources on his part. The system (you mean government- which I suppose you would like to solve all your problems) didn’t faill him- perhaps his family did, or perhaps he is just a failure as a human being. “The system” gives people lots of opportunity to fail — as it should — until they start hurting others- in this case until Maxwell starts poping people in the head with his silver hammer (see Beatles, Abbey Road if you don’t get the reference)…

    • The D.C. Government closed and privatiazed the D.C. Department of Mental Health 2 years ago. The private providers have been over loaded and most of the provide providers haven’t been able to provide quality service to D.C. mental health consumers. The mental health system have been in receivership of the D.C. Court for years. Dixon vs. Mayor Barry, Kelly, Williams, Fenty, Gray. There are over 2,000 mental health out patient consumers in the District. However, there are thousands of mentally ill people walking the streets of the District and in the work place.

      • I want to clarify that the DC Dept of Mental Health HAD again HAD been in receivership for many years; but that ended this year. AND part of the plan under receivership was to have the services be out in the community.

        Second, it is true that there are many individuals walking the streets with mental health issues, with most of them doing nothing that is a danger to self or others. Do you want to institutionalize or lock up every mentally ill individual or do they have a right like all of us to live in the community.

        Note: we have had a number of attacks and shootings in the neighborhood where the person wasn’t mentally ill; are we going to say that system failed them too when it comes to mental illnes?

        • Honestly, if they’re so mentally ill that they can’t even get a roof over their head, then they would probably prefer to be institutionalized with someone caring for them. Believe me, I’ve talked to homeless people.

          • While I appreciate your sentiment (and that you have taken the time to talk to some homeless individuals), I just don’t think you appreciate the challenge presented by a mentally ill person. I have had several close family members with schizophrenia and none of them wanted to be treated. Almost all of them have been homeless at some point as well and even though they may have wanted shelter, the prospect of treatment in an institution or even an outpatient basis was not enough to motivate them to come in from the cold. Only after one of them became a danger to himself, were we able to involuntarily commit him and even then, it was for a short time only.

            All of these people who talk about the evils of commitment for mentally ill people, probably have never had the joy of dealing with sick family members who refuse to get treatment for years on end, can’t hold down jobs, bankrupt themselves, and disappear for weeks on end before located in some crash pad. If you are lucky, you find them alive.

    • No excuses for the violent attacker please…the system failed the VICTIMS in this situation. And I agree with everyone else who has mentioned that if this guy really needed help and his family knew he was crazy and capable of extreme violence then why didn’t his affluent older brothers help him out and get him treatment? The government isn’t responsible for everything. If families have the means they need to step in, not wait for taxpayers to do it for them.

    • How can you say that the system failed this man? Do you have some unique information about this individual? Or do you subscribe to the fallacy that anyone who commits a crime is a victim of society?

  • glad they caught him. very disturbing to know that his nfl brothers did not use their resources to get him the help he needed, instead leaving it up to their grandmother, how old was she? damn shame, what a horrific method he used. mentally ill is one thing, mentally ill and deadly violent is another thing that the family will be liable for despite their stature. fuck, he would have continued killing folk. there are some sick ass mutherfuckas floating around dc. sorry vernon and vontae, but what the fuck were you doing while your bro was busy killing and assaulting people?? busy tweeting and feeding your vanities….?

    • if i were a millionaire and my younger bro was as lost and dangerous as this dude, wouldn’t i protect my money by getting his crazy ass some help, not to mention caring about/for my bro and innocent victims. musta been plenty of red flags along the way that were swept under the family rug…

    • Another example of the no-snitch culture. There had to have been plenty of people who knew young Michael was a nut-case, and was wandering around Petworth with a hammer. If they had clued the police in they may after the first attack, they might have saved some of their neighbors from permanent brain damage.

      Instead: “I dint see nuffin.”

  • i knew Michael Davis, he was definitely mentally ill, as a child growing up he seemed normal, after a couple of small incidents in school he was put on some type of medication. i believe that made it worse, whatever they had him on for the last 4 or 5 years made him mentally ill, and when he finally got off of it, this happens. i have a lot of respect for his family, but i am glad he is off the streets. my whole family lives in this neighborhood.

  • As the wife of someone with a severe case of bipolar, I can tell you for certain that medication absolutely makes a difference. Yes, the wrong medication can screw with you and we’ve been through four. You still have to be a basically decent human being, though. Even when we were working on finding the right meds, my husband still knew to behave like a decent human being.

    That’s the thing – you can’t really use mental illness as an excuse. Get yourself treated. If the meds aren’t working and you are a risk to yourself or someone else, your family should check you into a facility until they get the medication right. We pay out of pocket for a lot of medication even on our middle class incomes, I’m certain the NFL salaries could cover it for him.

    • Done with the soapbox? Good. You have no idea what the situation is or how the family has handled it. Your experience with one (seemingly mild) bi-polar individual means exactly nothing.

    • I completely disagree with your assertion that whether one is “a decent human being” has anything to do with it. I don’t want to disrespect your experience with your husband; however, your husband is one person. Michael Davis is another one person. And you are another person, and I am another person. That makes four of us. Drawing generally-applicable conclusions from one’s experience with being one person, and knowing another person, or even knowing two more people, is not really how we establish how stuff works generally. More is known about how the brain regulates human behavior than one can learn from knowing you, me, your husband, or Michael Davis.

      In lieu of elaborating without any real knowledge of the matter, I’ll defer to somebody who actually understands the stuff. The following article is really worth reading.

      Again, I have never met Michael Davis, and I don’t know anything about him besides what i read in the past few days here, on the Washington Post website, and in a couple of other places. That doesn’t matter, though.

      My general point is this: the dude did something that I think we can all agree is horribly wrong, which most (hopefully all) of us would not do. However, I don’t think any of us, regardless of our own personal experience, know enough about the specifics of this case to have any real idea of the extent to which Michael acted voluntarily in doing what he did. One extreme: Maybe he knew exactly what he was doing and thought it would be fun to play whack-a-mole with real live people. Maybe he has a tumor in his brain that basically renders everything that he does involuntary. I suspect the reality is somewhere in the middle, and won’t even speculate which end it’s closer to. Knowing somebody else who has what the medical community classifies as a mental illness is not knowing how the brain works generally, and is not knowing Michael.

  • If this poor kid was as mentally ill as it seems he is, he should have been institutionalized, or whatever the PC term for it these days is. Whereas a few decades ago, the mentally ill people were put in safe homes where they could be taken care of, now they are doomed to wander the streets. The homeless problem is a direct consequence of ending institutionalization of the mentally ill. It’s a trade off, and I really wish they’d bring it back (provided it was safe, clean and effective) because there are some people that will just never get better.

  • First, there are many types of mental illness, some include the parts of the brain that are responsible for violence. It has nothing to do with being “decent” or not. Second, the real issue, problem, for this case is that if Michael is found guilty by reason of insanity for only the two assaults he has been charged with it won’t be long before he is back home again in Petworth.

  • Does anyone know for sure that Michael’s brothers did not help him? There seem to be a lot of assumptions here that they did nothing with their NFL salaries, but do we know that for sure before we go attacking them?
    Also, it seems clear the family has attempted to get help for this young man for years, with the “system” not being able to help. I realize the “system” is any easy target for blame, but we’ve known the “system” to fail repeatedly…and I’m sure many of us have experienced personal failures ourselves! The fact that this young man could not get help unless he did something traumatic…we should all be horrified by that. I’d call that a sure failure of the system, for sure. At the end of the day, the root cause of all this is the young man’s mental illness. Pile on top of that the multiple failures, and disaster ensues.



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