Nine gang members indicted on charges of attacking vulnerable people

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Nine gang members attacked and robbed the homeless and other vulnerable people in a spree of crimes centered around busy corridors of the District — including Chinatown, U Street and Adams Morgan — authorities said Thursday as they announced indictments of the gang.

Eight men and one woman face charges including robbery, assault and conspiracy from eight separate incidents that occurred in June, though officials said the members of the “Show Out” gang have been active since at least January.

According to the indictment, filed in D.C. Superior Court, the gang members canvassed the areas looking for easy targets — such as those traveling alone, the homeless, and those who appeared vulnerable or were distracted by cell phones. They would then assault and rob victims.

On one night alone, police said gang members attacked three men, including a homeless man whose backpack they stole, a man they beat unconscious, and another man at whom they yelled racial epithets and continued beating even after he offered up his wallet, the indictment states.

The gang also is accused of engaging in “flash mob” style robberies at area drug stores, convenience stores and gas stations.

“This violent gang of thugs roved around the city targeting victims for robbery and other crimes,” said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier in a statement.

Among those indicted was the gang’s “the self-styled president” Bernard Trowell, 19, who went by the nickname “McLovin.” Others indicted are District residents Deandre M. Williams, 18; Quayshawn L. Leggett, 20; Angel Collier, 18; James D. Matheny, 18; Travis L. Morris, 20; Brandon J. Steele, 18; Wayne E. Wheeler, 20; and Ricardo J. Williams, 20.

Mr. Trowell was arrested in July. Court records indicate that his jail calls were being monitored as prosecutors were ordered at a hearing Thursday to turn the calls over to defense attorneys.

The case is set for a trial in February.

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