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Reader Reports Violent Mugging Friday Night

by Prince Of Petworth January 14, 2013 at 11:00 am 82 Comments


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Dear PoPville,

I was walking from work Friday evening around 8pm down Irving St. past 11th St and came across a man face down on the sidewalk. He was bleeding from the mouth and ear. There were 2 people around him who witnessed the end of the assault. According to them, 3 black men in their 20s had assaulted the man from behind and took off running toward 14th laughing. The victim was dazed and when he stood up it was apparent that they had done a bit of damage to his face; he had difficulty speaking. He couldn’t recall whether they stole anything from him; he just remembered walking and then suddenly being on the ground in pain. The police responded immediately and took the eyewitnesses with them to drive around the neighborhood. It turns out they stole his wallet and phone. So sad that this happens on a pretty busy intersection.

  • Anonymous

    No, DC doesn’t need anymore cops… Thanks Phil.

    • v

      a lack of cops is not our problem. we have a generation of lead poisoned youth that had a horrible education and bad parents. we need jurors willing to convict and judges with less leniency.

      also, we need programs in our youth services and jails that can actually help to rehabilitate.

      but cops, we got.

      • Yep, DC has more cops/capita than pretty much any other major US city, and that’s just counting MPD and not the fed police here.

        Adding more cops won’t really make an impact at this point.

        • Anonymous

          Are you serious? Having cops walking the beat would absolutely have an impact on this type of assault.

          Also, MPD has more cops per capita because it has the largest special operations detail in the counrty. Notice that when you see a federal motorcade, it has at least two MPD cars with it… Lots of MPD officers are tied up doing duties that are not related to “local” law enforcement, that’s why we need the 100 news cops the Mayor has proposed for beat duty.

          • Anonymous

            “The police responded immediately and took the eyewitnesses with them to drive around the neighborhood.”

            sounds like they did a good job to me.
            how many do you think we need?

          • Yes I am serious. The police responded immediately and drove witnesses around. That doesn’t sound like a manpower problem to me.

            Walking the beat and deployment could make a difference. That’s policy and procedure though obviously. And as someone else noted below, focusing on training and quality could produce more results than strictly adding more cops.

          • Anonymous

            Cops DON’T WALK THE BEAT!!! It would make a big difference!

      • Anonymous

        This is the part where “running off laughing” adds extra impact to make you think this robbery was any more “brazen” than your regular robbery/beating. It’s an unprofessional reporting tactic used by people like Nancy Grace on Fox News to add sensationalism and characterization to perpetrators and to pepper the story. It wasn’t an item of importance, but it makes it look like the perpetrators were even worse than anyone else who committed the same crime. Lets avoid cheap shots of this kind and stick to the meaningful details of a story please.

        • The victim’s neighbor

          If “running off laughing” doesn’t work you up, how about a weekend in the hospital with a good dose of surgery? I’ll let the victim give you the details if he cares to do so.

          The attackers were probably intoxicated. Pretty brazen stuff.

          • Anonymous

            Studies show that when beatings occur, perpetrators running off “while laughing” causes a longer hospital stay. See how it’s pretty useless? I do. Not to be insensitive to the victim, it’s a horrible crime, but “laughing” is not an identifiable characteristic in helping the case to be resolved. It’s superfluous to reporting facts.

          • It’s superfluous to describing the perps, but it implies a malicious intent that’s anything but superfluous.

        • petwurf

          ummm, “running off laughing” is a pretty telling and meaningful detail, from where I’m sittin’.

        • Anonymous

          Huh? What is the point of NOT reporting that they ran off laughing — why are you trying to whitewash their actions? More to the point, why would your knee-jerk reaction be to find some way to “side” with these worthless thugs?

        • InTheGaP

          I got mugged at 13th and T a few years ago, by 3 pretty well-dressed young guys, who beat on me lightly, took my stuff, and ran away laughing. I’ve thought about it a lot since, and I think it does matter. It didn’t seem to match my previous concept of muggings, with angry urban youth lashing out against the gentry. It seemed more like thrill seeking behavior . . . and/or easy money. I’m no psychologist, but I would guess the strategy to curb the violence would be different depending on what is driving the attackers. Like if it were noted that they were gay bashing or yelling racial slurs, the laughter may give an indication of state of mind and motivation.

        • I think the “cheap shot” you should be referring to is the one the attackers gave the victim, not whether they were described as laughing.

    • Anonymous

      I heard a statistic recently that 10% of MPD cops are responsible for 90% of the arrests. I don’t know if this is true, but it would indicate that we don’t need more, we need better.

      • And now we’ve all heard it and none of us know if it’s true either! Thanks for that!

        • Query

          What percentage of the cops are responsible for what percentage of the crime?

      • Kevin

        You “heard” that, did you? On the internet, no doubt.

        Useful post. Thanks.

        • Anonymous

          Since the original commenter seemed to be looking for corroboration of this statistic, it is your response that contributed nothing. Less than nothing, actually, since it is just a an excuse to throw an insult.

    • 16th Street Heights

      Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is an idiot. Ray Charles can see this, if he were alive.

  • Anonymous

    I’m all for turning DC into a NYC-style police state. That’s about the only thing that will stop this sort of senseless violence.

    • anon

      Keep the property values coming up and reduce the concentrated crime zones (columbia street between 13th and 14th), and you’ll notice an immediate return on your investment.

      • Anonymous

        The first part is easy. The second part? Not so much. Any attempts to reduce these concentrations of poverty are stopped by cries of classism and racism.

      • If only it were that easy. Criminals have cars – many crimes in DC are perpetrated by non-DC residents. The idea that riding property values bring safety all on their own has been debunked repeatedly, yet continues to be a staple argument for some.

        • Right– Capitol Hill is a great example of what you’re describing.

          • Sadly, the Maslin case and other recent violent crimes on Capitol Hill were what I was thinking of.

        • Sorry – “rising” property values – not “riding.”

        • Anonymous

          Sure, criminals have cars, and may drive in from far away, but the farther you have to go to get home, the riskier it is to commit a crime–which is why there’s a lot less crime west of Rock Creek. It’s not that criminals couldn’t drive there; it’s that they’d risk getting stopped by police as they tried to leave. At least in NE, often when you see a crime committed by folks from Maryland or Virginia, you’ll see that at least one member of the party lived close by. The more DC gentrifies, the more crime will fall in the gentrified core.

          • Anonymous

            Such a sad outlook.

          • Such a sad reality. FTFY

          • Anonymous

            The worse an economy gets, the more crime proliferates… I don’t think that you could create a real crime study based on criminal commute patterns. Criminals also don’t generally determine a zone of operations, they think from the perspective of where they can gain the most money, location is generally secondary to that. Other crimes happen in all areas of DC, to insinuate it’s a territorial thing would completely ignore the ideal that criminals commit crimes further away from where they live because there’s less opportunity for them to encounter their victims or possible identifiers later on after the crime.

          • Like I said above – these myths have been debunked, but must offer some sort of comfort.

          • Anonymous

            If it were easy for criminals to just drive in and commit crimes anywhere where there were affluent targets, then the highest crime rate in the region would be in Chevy Chase and Georgetown. Instead, crime tends to fall off the farther you get from poor neighborhoods. How do you explain that? Do criminal cars get really terrible gas mileage, so that it is not cost-effective to cross Rock Creek?

          • Anonymous

            I totally agree with this. The muggers aren’t driving in, parking, and then driving home. If this were the case, they would drive to nicer areas of town where there is less police presence and a larger potential bounty on the victims.

            The average mugger is a kid between 16-25 who lives nearby and strikes when the opportunity arises and can blend in with the other residents. A group of minority teenagers looks suspicious in Dupont or Kalorama, but isn’t out of the ordinary in Columbia Heights or Petworth.

            Crime maps will back up my theory. Crime always clusters in low-income neighborhoods, and the assailants are generally within walking distance of where they live.

            This type of crime will increase in many gentrifying neighborhoods in DC until all of the potential criminals are priced out. No amount of police presence will stop this type of crime because the criminals can simply move to whatever block the cops are patrolling.

          • Many of the crimes on Capitol Hill & Adams Morgan are committed by visitors from PG County. If you want to believe that gentrification (which will never be as complete as many hope for) will solve the crime problem in your neighborhood or in DC as a whole, good luck.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t say that crime will be eliminated as the city gentrifies. That would be really silly. I said that gentrification would reduce crime in the gentrified core. You’re arguing vehemently against me, but you haven’t explained why crime is lower in Chevy Chase than it is in Shaw, Truxton Circle, Trinidad, etc. Are you really arguing that crime won’t fall in gentrified neighborhoods? And if so, how do you explain the fact that the richest places have lower crime than poorer places right now. Do criminal maps not come with Georgetown printed on them?

  • walker

    I saw the cop cars and police lights up after this happened. I wondered what was going on.

    So sad that this happened.

    I always cross to the other side of the street whenever I will be crossing in front of the entrance to a dark alley or whenever I see people approaching me that might mug me. So far the strategy has worked. Close to 10 years in DC and never been mugged.

    • J

      What will you do if they learn how to cross the street?

      Oh wait, maybe you’ve been lucky, not strategic.

      • Anonymous

        it’s actually wise to do that.

      • walker

        Muggers aren’t typically chasing people down the road (I’m a fast runner at any rate). The approach of these animals is to catch people off-guard or to knock them to the ground as you pass them by. I always keep a close eye on them as I pass them to make sure they’re not following me either.

        • Rhody

          And out of curiosity how do you identify a probable mugger? More specifically to your point of “I always keep a close eye on them as I pass them” – who is ‘them’?

          • Anonymous

            People hanging out looking like they’re ready to rob someone. I live on 11th St and I know all my neighborhood bums. The kids and strangers who look like they’re about to attack someone are easier to pick out – especially high school kids hanging out on 11th St. They’re usually up to no good.

          • Anonymous

            Do you have no street smarts?
            Here’s what you do, for each block, find the oldest person and ask them. They will tell you. And they will be right.

          • caballero

            Anybody with a self-preservation instinct knows who “them” are. Let’s not make this a PC showdown.

          • Anon

            Exactly. “Them” is who makes you feel nervous. It’s about street smarts. You have to have some level of instinct. It doesn’t pay to be PC all the time. Sometimes you have to cover your a$$ first.

  • Mike

    So this is why there was a spotlight at the corner of 11th & Irving on Saturday night. I figured it must be another mugging.

    I got mugged at 11th and Clifton about 2 months ago. Luckily I wasn’t physically harmed.

    It’s sad to hear they’re gettin more brazen with their attacks. 8pm is not a time I would expect to feel unsafe.

    Not sure what the solution is, but more police presence in that area couldn’t hurt.

  • PeachyKeen

    What is wrong with people?!?!
    It’s such a shame. I hope the gentleman is OK.
    Lawd.
    I shudder to think about what the crime alerts will look like this weekend and next Monday. Stay safe everyone.

    • Anonymous

      I shudder to think what will happen when the weather gets warmer…come to think of it, maybe this is connected to the unusually warm weather we’ve been having…these guys get more active in warmer weather…stabby etc…

  • This is why I’m moving to Silver Spring again.

    • v

      America, home of the brave.

      • Two kids and a wife new to DC. I’ll take safety over convenience.

        • V

          Clearly. Fear is a powerful thing.

          • anon

            It’s called being driven by common sense. Not that downtown Silver Spring is the safest place in the world, but I find it to be a spectacularly great balance of safety, diversity, walkability, green space, urbanity, schools and price.

            -Another Silver Springer very much not driven by fear, but not having to look over your shoulder because it’s 8pm is a pretty big plus

          • So is stupidity. Clearly.

          • v

            what was stupid theheights?

    • Anonymous

      My mother was mugged in downtown Silver Spring on Christmas Eve.

      • Anonymous

        But as a general rule we’re talking about petty crime (shoplifting to an upper extreme of someone pulling a knife and demanding money) v. violent crime (beating someone to a pulp to an upper extreme of multi-homicide shooting). Obviously one needs street smarts in downtown Silver Spring, too, but the stakes are nowhere near as high.

  • Anonymous

    More cops is not the solution. The cops can only make the arrest and take them to jail. What we need are stricter punishments and the abolishment of parole. Until our legal system gets an overhaul these crimes will continue.

  • v

    I hope this guy heals quickly. what a scary terrible thing to do to another human.
    the pain and fear that someone experiences when a crime like this happens never really goes away, but i hope the perps are caught and convicted.

  • Capital X

    People with smartphones should download tracking apps so in cases like this where your phone is stolen it’ll be a little easier to find the assailants as long as your phone is still on.

    • +1

      I agree. Anyone who has a smartphone or travels with their laptop should get software like Prey. It’s not flawless but every little bit helps. Plus Prey is free.

      http://preyproject.com/

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, every friday night the DC Twitter feed has crap like this. Group of kids, all in black, out for a night of fun, beating the crap out of honest taxpayers. We need a community alert system – just seen, large group of unruly boys/men, all in black, out for a night of masked holdups and beatings. Let’s hunt the hunters.

  • Anonymous

    We need more police and longer sentences. The people perpetrating these crimes need to be locked up and have the key thrown away.

    The sentences in DC are stunningly low.

  • concerned

    it is true that 10% of the cops make 90% of the arrests. there are A LOT of lazy, worthless MPD officers who don’t give a crap about doing a good job. city statutes are FAR too lenient, esp. concerning juveniles. until people start complaining a lot to the city council about these worthless statutes, crime will continue. people get arrested and they literally say to the cops, oh i’ll be out by tomorrow you can’t do nothing to me. which, in turn, is prob why some MPD officers don’t bother in the first place. the problem is the council and its ridiculous kid-glove approach to crime in this city. DC is the only place in this country where you can commit first degree murder at 17yo, be prosecuted as a juvenile, and be back on the streets in a year or so. it’s sick! in NY you’re considered an adult for criminal purposes once you turn 17, not 18. we need that here but our council would rather feel sorry for the 17 who beat the crap out of someone instead of the person that got the crap beat out of them. this city has it’s priorites seriously messed up.

    • Thanks for your misinformation. I’ve seen kids charged as adults for murder in DC. When have you seen kids charged as juveniles for murder here in DC? Example please.

  • Meg

    But, you guys – the murder rate is down!

    • V

      So are interest rates.

  • moon

    Does anyone know if the public will be allowed to use the pool at the new Dunbar High School?

  • Anonymous

    The victim is my neighbor. He was released from the hospital on Sunday after reconstructive surgery of the right side of his face. I hope the attackers all get brain cancer at a young age.

  • MtP

    Yes more cops will help, no question. Also, as mentioned would better training/shifting focus of cops to more beat walking and community policing efforts. But the DC Youth Correctional system could also focus more on rehabilitation to reduce repeat offenders. We could focus on more job and college training in the high schools, more things to keep kids busy, etc. Lots of things need to happen to really fix this

    • Anonymous

      they should give out free video game systems so these guys just stay at home and play video games. I bet that would reduce crime somewhat

  • Anonima

    Would something like this– http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/group-bangladeshi-youngsters-form-buddy-system-protect-elders-late-night-article-1.181437 –work for areas that have repeated episodes of these kinds of attacks? Something akin to a campus buddy system program? It seems the larger the group walking, the greater the deterrence, so perhaps after a certain hour of night people can congregate by the metro and walk each other home?

  • A very similar attack occured around the same time at 10th and Irving ST NE. My neighbor was jumped by 5 young guys and beat up pretty bad.

  • anonymous

    Things will improve when DC starts looking like America: 70% white, 13% Hispanic, 12% black, etc. After all, this mantar “looiking like America”) has so often been cited by our presidents as the ideal for the Cabinet, Supreme Court, and Congress.

    • this is going to be a fun read later tonight

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. But the OPs point, though non-PC, stands: if DC “looked like America,” we’d have a lot less of this thuggery. Sad but true.

        • By what basis do you deem that true?
          It’s not true into experience. I’ve found white people to be extremely violent.

  • Saw the big mobile spotlight thing out on 11st Saturday night. I guess I know what’s for now. Really sad and disheartening as a person who loves the neighborhood.

  • Anon

    I hope the victim get well soon and don’t let this incident stop you from having a life.

    Separately I think people need to fight back. Of course you will have to judge the situation because I understand that people can have guns in U.S. and when you believe the attacker have one then don’t fight back. But when the opportunity presents itself, please fight back. You may get beaten badly but you ought to fight back. Use anything you could find when you get floored. And if you couldn’t fight back on the spot, carry on and return the next day. I personally would drive down the neighborhood and hunt these assholes the next day. I don’t give a crap if that’s going to get my butt in jail or worse, get deported because I’m a foreigner in U.S. and by common standards, you’re not supposed to mess around in someone’s else house.

    In my country, people don’t have much patients from thuggish young kids. We give them a lesson right there on the street. I sometimes wonder why things can be so f**** procedural in this country. Is it because of gun ownership? Is it because of legal consequences that you might face by fighting back?

    • Anon

      Did you ever fight in school when growing up? I’m not saying kids should fight with their fist when growing up but I was involved in several fights from elementary up to high school. Nothing that I was proud of though. It’s just happens in developing country. But that experience taught me a lesson or two about being on the street, what is stupid and what is you know, necessary . And ridiculously with kids are still fighting in schools up to these days, we have no problem with bullying like in America. None that would make it on 7 pm news or the front cover newspapers/magazines. Standing up for real can make a difference.

  • reality

    Gentrify them out, plz n’ thanks.

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