Two Sunday crimes that have alarmed many in the community — a seemingly unprovoked, vicious attack on a woman walking from Harris Teeter around 3 PM Sunday, by one among a group of four young men, resulting in substantial facial injury and the unrelated shooting of a man nearby — has prompted the First District Police to add more uniform and tactical officers to patrol the area around 12th/13th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE through to I Street SE as detectives investigate. MPD-1D is increasing its deployment around the area in question starting Tuesday night, it said.
A shooting around Potomac Gardens near sunset and the attack on the shopper in proverbial broad daylight, while many people, including police patrols, were out and about, have shaken some members of the community, including MPD-1D Commander David Kamperin, who stated on the listserv, that “these two random attacks are disturbing and this type of violence should shock the conscious within this safe community.”
“We have had some valuable information from witnesses and hopefully we will be able to identify the assailants shortly,” Kamperin added.
According to one person close to the crime involving the lone female, she was walking from Harris Teeter toward 13th Street SE. “She was right near Mangiolardo’s (the longtime Italian sub shop). She had a bag in each hand, and was walking past four teens, when one of them punched her in the face. There were no words exchanged, and no apparent provocation.” This person, who asked to not be identified, noted what was witnessed:
“One teen ran across the street to G [Street SE] by La Lomita. Two teens walked casually up the Penn toward 13th and G, turned left on 13th, then went into Potomac Gardens. The only description I can give is for one of the teens. He was a stocky, black male, about 16 years-old, stocky, 5’4″ 175 pounds, hair was in short twists, wearing blue jeans with a large cuff and a black jacket. He had on a tight black skull cap. I did not see which teen punched the victim, so I cannot say that this particular teen is the one. I just know that I have seen him around a lot, and I recognized him,” this person alleged.
The female victim is recovering but did not lose teeth, as some listserv reports suggested, at least according to one account, although the injuries sound worse.
“I spoke to a friend of hers tonight,” said one person. “She is still in the hospital, and is undergoing surgery tonight for a broken jaw (it was broken in 2 places). Imagine that from a single punch. When we first happened upon her, we thought her teeth had been knocked out, but that was not the case. Her jaw was just in pieces. I can’t imagine what pain she was in, poor girl,” this person said.
At the scene, passers-by were able to assist the young woman and help her with her injury and getting her insurance card from her purse. There was no apparent robbery motive involved.
Another person, who heard the woman scream from Frager’s, up the street, also was walking by when the second incident, a shooting, occurred at around 4:30 PM– 5PM Sunday in the 1200 block of I Street SE.
Lt. Christopher J. Micciche cautioned against “speculation as to where the perpetrators of these heinous crimes may reside,” on the MPD-1D listserv. “The rumors I have seen circulating via email thus far are not accurate, nor in accordance with the information we have at this point. Also, I would discourage any speculation that these incidents portend some pattern of crime increase, or a ‘crime wave’,” he stated. In fact, violent crime, property crime, and overall crime is down significantly-as compared with 2009- throughout the First District, as well as in PSA 106 and PSA 107, according to Micciche.
Police invite anyone who wishes to discuss these and other matters of interest to come to its PSA 106 Community Meeting on Thursday, December 2nd at 7 PM, Tyler Elementary, at the corner of 10th and G Street SE.