- Associated Press - Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nine gang members robbed and beat homeless people and others they considered vulnerable in attacks that occurred in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, according to an indictment returned Thursday.

The eight men and one woman face charges including robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy. They indictment said they are members of a street crew called “Show Out,” which authorities say required prospective members to fight or commit other crimes in order to belong.

The indictment said the beatings, some of which are displayed online, occurred this year in popular northwest neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Adams Morgan, Foggy Bottom and the U Street corridor.

“The sheer number of crimes they committed, sometimes in a single day, is disturbing in and of itself,” Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference.

Among the victims was a man attacked last June at a bus stop and robbed of his money and a backpack.

Authorities say some of the defendants also robbed a woman leaving a Metro train, punched a Hispanic man while using racial epithets and attacked a homeless man while stealing his backpack of clothes.

Police say they also committed so-called “flash mob robberies” of convenience stores and gas stations. Those robberies occur when a large group of people converge simultaneously on a store, overwhelming the clerk or cashier, and steal items.


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