Unfortunately I must again inform the community of an incident that occurred on the trail yesterday morning. At about 8:15 AM a male victim was robbed on the trail alongside 300 R St. NE. The victim was walking on the trail and was approached by the suspect who asked for the time of day. The victim then retrieved his I-phone to the give the time and tried to walk away. However, the suspect brandished a handgun and robbed the victim of hi phone and wallet. There were no injuries.
The suspect was an 18-21 year old black male, 5’8″-5’9″ in height, weighing about 165 lbs. The suspect was also reportedly wearing glasses with dark frames. The tactic used by this suspect is very common, i.e. asking for time. Also be aware that walking alone and with your ear-buds in can make you an inviting target – it’s something we see on the Metro, for example, all too often.
I want to again ask everyone to be very cautious, to be aware of your surroundings, and to be wary of anything or anyone that is suspicious. Please call it in to 911. We do have officers giving the trail special attention 24 hours a day, so we are close by.
I also want to review the events of the last few months, and the strides the community has made in securing the trail. Unfortunately, I have seen some news outlets reporting information that is not entirely accurate.
Between May 5th and June 9th there were five incidents of concern on the trail. All were similar in time of occurrence, suspect description and methods. There was a taser brandished in one assault, but no one was ever tasered on the trail that I am aware of. MPD officers did recover a taser during the investigation of the incidents. In the last event on June 9th, MPD effected an arrest. There were no incidents after that until July 9th, when a robbery occurred at 11 PM on the trail. Now, on July 15th, we’ve had a robbery at 8:15 AM.
I do think we were successful in breaking the cycle of crimes that were occurring in May and June. We are now seeing some new developments and I ask for the community’s support as we investigate and address these. Being informed and aware is half the battle. With the additional steps taken, such as citizen patrols, and with continued diligence, I believe the community and MPD can provide a safe environment on the MBT.
Sergeant Jon Dorrough
Metropolitan Police Department