- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
Capitol Hill attack comes amid jump in violent crime
Question of the Day
A savage attack in a Capitol Hill neighborhood over the weekend that left a 29-year-old man in a coma has residents on alert over the increasing frequency of violent crime in an area of the city popular with young professionals.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of robberies in the area has increased by 64 percent over the previous year. While it’s unclear whether Thomas “T.C.” Maslin, who was reportedly struck in the back of the head with a blunt object, was robbed during the Saturday attack, residents in the area say they have noticed an uptick in robberies.
“There’s a sense of more brazenness and more incidents with guns,” said Ivan Frishberg, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member from the neighborhood where the attack took place. “We had a pretty significant spike in crime last year. The spike was driven by a couple of groups of young people who were specifically targeting people for a smartphone or a purse.”
After that uptick in December and January, police deployed extra resources to the area, and the number of robberies decreased, Metropolitan Police Department Cmdr. Daniel Hickson said. Since July, the frequency of robberies has crept back up, with 14 incidents reported that month. Those incidents were typically snatch-and-grab robberies that were more opportunistic than violent, he said.
“If this is a robbery, it’s obviously a very violent robbery,” Cmdr. Hickson said. “But there is nothing else in this area that is even remotely similar to this.”
According to police reports, investigators are still trying to locate Mr. Maslin’s cellphone to determine if it was possibly stolen when he was attacked. Reports also indicate that his credit card was used Saturday evening, well after he was found unconscious in front of a home in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue Southeast around 8:30 a.m. Initially the passer-by who discovered him thought he might have suffered a seizure, but doctors found he had severe head trauma.
“We’re used to some underlying level of street crime here, but very, very rarely do we see consequences like this that are so severe,” Mr. Frishberg said.
Mr. Maslin, the husband of Brent Elementary School teacher Abby Maslin, has been unconscious and undergone brain surgery since the attack, the school’s principal Peter Young said in a statement on the school’s website. Friends had last seen him at the Tune Inn Restaurant and Bar, where they had stopped to get some food after attending a Washington Nationals game on Friday night, according to police reports.
Mr. Maslin’s friends left around 12:30 a.m., but he stayed behind to finish his food.
Police are now seeking help in determining Mr. Maslin’s whereabouts from 12:30 a.m. until the time he was found.
Within the boundaries of the police service area that encompasses most of Capitol Hill, 42 robberies committed without the use of a gun and 14 robberies during which a gun was used were reported this year as of Sunday. Last year, there were 28 robberies without guns and eight robberies with guns during the same period. Robberies make up the majority of the neighborhood’s violent crime, with no homicides reported there this year and only seven assaults.
Across the District, reports of robberies and assaults — particularly those involving the use of a handgun — are up this year compared with last year, according to preliminary data from the Metropolitan Police Department. Though homicides are significantly down, overall violent crime is up by 9 percent this year.
In July, well-known D.C. political strategist and Fox News contributor David Mercer also suffered a brain injury during an attack about seven blocks north of the site where Mr. Maslin was found. In that case, which police consider an assault rather than a robbery, the victim suffered a severe cut to the back of his head during an altercation outside a 7-Eleven on Maryland Avenue Northeast after his cellphone was taken by someone inside the store when he put it down to make a purchase.
Cmdr. Hickson said three people of interest have been identified in that case, but that no arrests have been made.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Virginia leads national trend in decline of death penalty
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Snow, ice leave thousands without power in D.C. area
- D.C. police officer linked to prostitution ring
- Wal-Mart greets first customers in D.C.
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow