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Catholic University Student Violently Assaulted Monday

by Prince Of Petworth — August 30, 2012 at 11:00 am 55 Comments

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A reader sends the following report from the CUA Department of Public Safety:

On Monday, August 27, 2012, at 11:12 p.m., a Catholic University student was robbed and assaulted in the 700 block of Lawrence Street, N.E. After the victim exited her vehicle, the suspect approached the victim from behind, grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against the vehicle. When the victim fell to the ground, the suspect continued the assault, and snatched her cell phone and car keys. The suspect entered the victim’s vehicle, removed cash and her debit card.

The suspect was last seen running towards the Brookland/CUA Metro station. The Metropolitan Police Department and Emergency Medical Services were notified.

The suspect was described as a black male; 5’7”; average build; mid-twenties; wearing a black sweatshirt; jean shorts; Timberland boots and gloves.

The CUA Department of Public Safety reminds students, faculty, staff, and visitors to follow these safety precautions:

* Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
* Notice persons approaching you or walking behind you.
* Trust your instincts. If a situation does not feel right, take protective action.
* Avoid alleys, short cuts and vacant lots. Stick to well lit, busy streets.
* Walk in groups or with a companion as often as possible.

  • Matt B

    Such a shame – luckily it seems as if the only crime was assault/robbery, and it did not escalate into something more horrifying for that young woman.

    (Not that the situation is not horrifying on its own, but you know what I’m saying)

    When I went there from 2005-2007, I must’ve known over 25 students who had been mugged; CUA students are viewed as an ATM for some of the less savoury residents of Brookland/Eckington/Brentwood.

    What a shame, such a nice neighborhood otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    As they said in Clerks, “Bunch of savages in this town!”

  • bree [capitolromance]

    my sister is a sophomore at CUA – this woman was her friend and it happened in the driveway of the girl’s house. SO scary and sad. I reminded my sister that she should always travel with others/not alone … even back to your own place.

  • TG

    Just as the trial of Neil Godleski gets underway. My heart goes out to this young woman. The thing that is of concern about the surge in crime is that it seems lately we are seeing more and more violent episodes in the robbery arena. I can assure you this young woman would have complied with a demand to turn over her belongings but instead she was viciously assaulted. Same with Thomas Maslin. Did they need to almost beat him to death to rob him? It is almost like there is a sick joy in what is happening for the perpetrators. I also believe there are racial undertones to these events that the city ignores and that many pols in this city knowingly stoke with their rhetoric.

    • Anony

      Agreed. Some of the rhetoric coming from long-term residents and/or pols is absolutely sickening. And, it does nothing but divide people along already fragile racial lines.

    • Anonymous

      I would say it could have racial overtones; however, there are still extremely violent robberies as well as murders happening to black people across the river. Before gentrification there were way more robberies and murders happening to black people by black people. Would you dare say that the reason is racial? If the crimes against blacks ceased and the criminals only attacked white people then I could definitely agree with you. However these savage criminals are not discriminating in their attacks.

      • Farnsworth

        If those victims are poor on top of being black then they really don’t matter.

        • Anonymous

          It certainly seems that way.

        • TG

          Nobody said that.

          • Anonymous

            no individual perhaps. but if you watch the news, there is without a doubt a smaller likelihood that a black victim will get the same coverage.

            the reasons are complicated, but come on, we all know that to be true, don’t we?

          • TG

            To anon. I just thought you were remarking that my comment insinuated that I felt the CUA girl was worth more than her counterpart in a minority community. I agree with your overall point regarding media coverage, etc.

          • kam

            Nobody said she was white but that seems to be a given.

      • TG

        I can’t disagree with you and I can’t tell you for a fact that this or any other assault is racially motivated. I don’t think any life is worth more or less than any other. What I am saying is that there seems to be a growing tension that (particularly with the youth) coincides perhaps un-relatedly, with increasingly violent robberies and assaults.

      • pl

        it doesn’t matter if it is racially motivated or not.
        what matters is that a person was attacked. the motive is irrelevant to me.

        • kam

          Thank you.

        • Anonymous

          it might not matter to you if it was racially motivated, but it obviously matters to the society you live in because we have laws about hate crimes.

          • kam

            You guys are jumping to conclusions. How do we know this was racially motivated? You think if a black girl was in that position/circumstance, it would not have happened? If so, you are lying to yourself. Don’t think these youngins won’t up a pistol in a black woman or mans face to get what they want.

          • Anonymous

            Plus, in this specific instance, at least, it’s difficult to just assume the victim was white….I’m not up on the enrollment stats, but I’m guessing there ARE black students at CUA.

    • kam

      Soooo how do we know what color the victim was? Did I miss something? We know the assailant was black but this says nothing about the victim. Somebody clue me in. I guess the only people that go to CUA are white girls.

      • Matt B

        c’mon, it’s CUA, not Georgetown.

        There’s a better than 66% chance that she’s white, and if you count the “unreported” folks, it’s at least an 84% chance. Also, I know from my own experience that many of the hispanic folks there are white Cuban.


        Would you say the same thing if we were talking about Howard?

        “Soooo how do we know what color the victim was? Did I miss something? We know the assailant was black but this says nothing about the victim. Somebody clue me in. I guess the only people that go to Howard are black girls”

      • Matt B

        It’s CUA, not Georgetown or JMU. 6% black.

        Would you say the same thing if this was a Howard student?

        “Soooo how do we know what color the victim was? Did I miss something? We know the assailant was black but this says nothing about the victim. Somebody clue me in. I guess the only people that go to Howard are black girls.”

        Sometimes, it’s OK to assume that the person going to a school that’s 84% white (close to 90% since a lot of the Hispanics are white Cuban) is most likely white.

        • Matt B

          Double post, thought it had gotten deleted, first time commenting, my bad

        • kam

          No I hear you but people are so quick to make it a race thing when it very well may not be. Dude was looking for a target and she got caught slipping, it happens all of the time. Maybe she just happened to be white, it could have been anybody that he thought he could easily take advantage of. As it has been said before, a lot of stuff that happens in the city does not get coverage, it isn’t just white people getting robbed and beat up, believe me, it just so happens to make the news and blogs when it is though.

          And to be honest with you when I am driving, out and about it seems like a lot of the white folks I see don’t have a care in the world and that is part of the reason shit happens.

          Be aware people. I would be that we will see a lot more of this stuff over the next few weeks with a fresh crop of potential victims (students, interns…) coming to DC that aren’t well versed in city living. It happens every year, I remember dudes from Howard getting robbed by them Gresham and Hobart boys all day long. It is a have and have not thing or a you got it and I want it thing.

          But yes, I know the racial stuff exist but that wasn’t my point.

          • Matt B

            Ah, word – I highly doubt it was a hate crime either, I thought you were trying to be the PC police.

            I totally agree that the color of the victim’s skin has nothing to do with her getting robbed – I think people mix up “looks like someone who won’t fight back and/or isn’t aware of their surroundings” with “hey look at those two [homosexual slur redacted] walkin over there arm in arm” like what happened to that poor dude in Swampoodle/’NoMa’.

          • anonymous

            I’ve heard of the gangs on Hobart and Harvard, but never Gresham. Is there such a group now?

          • kam

            Pretty much. But I will say with the gay thing, it might be a little different. I could see them actually being a target because a lot of the youth are just that foul and close minded. But the funny thing is that the whole flamboyant young gay dude fad is rampant out here. You ever been out Gallery Place on a weekend night; those dudes do the most, wigs and everything…

          • kam

            Not sure what goes on there now but I am talking about back in the day around 1991.

          • Anonymous

            There are a couple gay gangs who give Chinatown hell on weekends. They are called the Check It gang.

          • kam

            Sorry, I meant 95. Those guys that used to stay in Drew Hall had to walk deep because they were getting rocked. There was actually a huge riot back in the day, not sure if anyone here knows about that. Crazy. HU male freshman vs. DC hoods.

          • anonymous

            It seems like things have quieted down, mostly. Although about 2 years ago there was a HU guy shot at a party by a neighborhood creep. Something about not wanting to pay the cover charge for a house party and…

      • Anonymous

        Very high probability of whiteness.

  • That’s sad to hear. I hope the woman is alright. The perp was probably from Edgewood Terrace.

  • Anonymous

    What matters is the pervasive thug mentality in some of our young men and the fact that we have so many of them are extremely violent and our elected officials have set policies and laws that treat them very very very softly. It’s almost as if you can get away with murder in this city (plead guilty to 2nd and out in less than 15). Certainly jawbreaking and head slamming seem to be becoming the norm, not to mention masked armed robberies and armed carjackings. Other places in this country don’t have these types of daily and weekly occurrences. I blame the elected officials, DYRS leaders, and the US Attorney’s office (not to mention inequality between the haves and have nots in America).

    • Anonymous

      “Other places in this country don’t have these types of daily and weekly occurrences”, Are you sure about that?

      • kam

        Exactly, people act like DC is the only place where this happens. You guys are something else. I BET ANYTHING that you would not want to trade the violence here for the violence in Chicago, hell, just the southside. If there were blogs for other cities like this that you all tuned into everyday, you tune would quickly change. Shit happens all day, every day, all around the country. Stop acting like DC is any different, it isn’t. DC doesn’t have 20 shootings in one night, time and time again. DC doesn’t have kids in the 100s mobbing the street and causing chaos…Get real people.

        • Homicide rates in 2010: 21.9 in DC, 15.2 in Chicago. Get your facts straight. Sure the overall count of crimes is higher in Chicago but that’s because it’s a much bigger city (~4x the size). And it’s pretty understandable that DC residents would be most upset about crime here, because that’s the crime that affects them, even if sometimes that means comparing to other places to get a sense of how normal it is. Bottom line: the crime levels here are astronomical, higher than even Chicago, and I think it’s fair to ask for some better policies to deal with it.

          • kam

            2 things, we are talking about violence, not homocides. And you said it yourself, Chicago is a much bigger city so those numbers don’t really matter. You are tripping if you would trade for the kind of violence Chicago, Flint, Oakland, Memphis, Detroit. You sound like someone that just looks at numbers to prove their point but has no clue how it really goes down. Trust and believe, nobody here wants the issues those cities have.

          • kam

            Do you see DC on this list anywhere? I sure don’t.


          • Anonymous

            Jeff is clueless if he thinks DC is more violent than Chicago right now. Absolutely clueless. But keep referring to your 2010 stats if it gives you any peace of mind.

          • If you want to look at 2011 numbers for all types of violent crime, guess what, DC has more of each than Chicago:
            17.5 vs. 15.9 murders
            608 vs. 517 robberies
            477 vs. 459 aggravated assaults
            (all numbers are per 100,000 residents. sources: DC: http://1.usa.gov/Mzo3jQ Chicago: http://1.usa.gov/Oc6F7c)

            Those other 10 cities on the list you linked to, Kam, do have higher violent crime rates than DC. I’d be even more pissed about local crime if I lived there. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that crime is bad in DC, and more could be done to make it better.

        • It is obviously true that places with higher crime rates exist; however, that doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better about the crime that happens here. When my roommate got hit in the head with a brick during a six-on-one fight over by Meridian Hill Park a couple years ago (no, he was not one of the six), my first thought wasn’t, “Oh hell, at least I’m not in Flint.”

          • kam

            My point is not to say DC isn’t bad but people are acting like it is the worst, most violent city in America. My point is this kind of stuff happens all the time, all over.

    • What keeps you, dear PoP reader, from turning to strong-arm robbery for fun and profit? I guarantee you that “I might go to prison” wasn’t your top reason.

      If we’re primarily relying on the threat of crazy-long prison sentences to curb crime, we’re fighting a losing game. We already have crazy-long prison sentences, we’ve already increased our prison population 500% since 1972, and there’s no evidence it’s helping.

      Start addressing the extreme socio-economic inequality, the extreme differences between how a kid in SE grows up compared to how a kid in NW grows up, and you have a much better start at solving this problem.

      • TG

        I’d settle for not being able to commit murder while in the custody of DYRS.

      • Anonymous

        actually, the fear of prison is a pretty strong deterrent for me.

        • Anonymous Coward

          Because you have more to lose.

  • Arghh, this is terrible. I feel for the victim, and hope her injuries heal quickly. What a cruel welcome to the CU students returning for the start of the school year, and a reminder that even Brookland is not safe. Maybe the addition of all the new housing units on Monroe street will help, with all the new eyes on the street.

  • at my alma mater? really? hmmm. shade.

    • Anonymous


  • Anon A Moss

    Whether the victim was white or not, even with percentages of assumed “whiteness” inherent at CUA, we once again have a black male suspected of committing said crime. Care to discuss the pattern in nearly every single robbery/violent assault in this City? Pull up the @DCPoliceDept Twitter feed, and do the math. How many “LOF B/M…..” do you see? I honestly can’t say I’ve seen more than a handful of H/M and don’t believe I’ve ever seen a W/M on that feed.

    So if you don’t want to discuss the victims, how about the perps? I would propose these raw stats as presenting a pattern, a disturbing one, and sadly once again, one that cuts across racial lines.

    As far as Chicago goes, what percentage of that crime is specifically black on black, gang-based crime? From what I’ve seen and read, the majority of it, and it’s not even close. Furthermore, who gives a SHIT about Chicago crime stats, as a DC resident? A dude roaming the former Cabrini Green can’t jack me up, on 7th and Independence, SE, in WASHINGTON, DC.

    And apparently it’s wrong to walk around your City, without being completely jaded, and cynical about DC, but instead you should steel yourself 24/7/365 against potential attacks from unabashed and hyper-aggressive predatory THUGS.

    Does anyone see how f*cked up and backwards that mentality is? Perhaps these assholes should STOP ROBBING AND BEATING PEOPLE, just because their sense of self-worth is somewhere beneath completely and utterly worthless.

    Call me crazy for wanting to live in a city/community/society/nation that adheres to the Social Contract theory, and helps uproot and drive out any and all that don’t agree to those terms.

    • Anonymous

      we all know that most perps in this town are black males. how does that conversation make a better city? you got solutions?

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. People spew the same exact diatribes on this blog as if it will change anything. What will preaching to the choir accomplish?

    • kam

      I’m kinda done with this one. Feel free to live care free and sing kumbaya while checking your ipad and listening to music on your headphones while walking down X st at 10p. I, on the other hand will continue to be weary of people around me during the day in downtown, next to a police station. Good luck with that.

  • I just read on the Washington Post that this occurred at 11 AM (i.e., an hour before NOON), not 11 PM. Which was it? If this was at 11 AM, I find that somehow even more alarming. Not that attacking people at 11 PM is cool, but 11 AM, damn…

  • mom

    Read all the notes too


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