Nine accused gang members are charged in a string of beatings and robberies in DC. The attacks happened in some of the city's most popular neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Adams Morgan, and Foggy Bottom. News4's Pat Collins spoke to one victim who says he's now living in fear.
Eight men and one woman were indicted last week in connection with a series of beatings, robberies and other crimes in the Chinatown, U Street, Foggy Bottom and Adams Morgan areas of northwest Washington since at least the beginning of the year.
Calling themselves the Show Out Crew, the suspects – ages 18, 19 and 20 – targeted victims who appeared vulnerable to attack, police said, and also committed flash mob robberies at drug stores, convenience stores and gas stations – overwhelming and intimidating employees while stealing items.
“This violent gang of thugs roved around the city targeting victims for robbery and other crimes,” Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. “The indictment should send a message that we will investigate and pursue gangs and other criminals that terrorize our city until they are caught and they are held accountable for their criminal activities.”
Police described them as particularly violent, continuing to beat their victims after completing robberies, News4’s Pat Collins reported.
“Victims of these attacks were left with broken jaws, broken teeth and severe injuries, hospitalized sometimes for days with numerous surgeries,” Lanier said.
Among the crimes of which the crew is accused, police believe they are responsible for three crimes that took place in about a half hour the morning of June 5. About 3:20 a.m., a man was beaten and kicked in the 600 block of H Street NW as he waited for a Chinatown bus to New York.
“They split my head open, and my head was bleeding for like a week afterwards, too, and I was knocked unconscious,” the victim said.
He told Collins they took his money, credit cards, cell phone and backpack. They then pushed his body underneath a bus stop seat to conceal, he said.
About 3:45 a.m. that day, a Hispanic man was attacked near Second and K streets in Northwest and racial epithets were used. Then about five minutes later, a homeless man’s backpack was stolen near Second and K streets in Northeast, and his attackers attempted to take his shoes.
The latter two include bias enhancements under D.C.’s hate crimes law for using racial slurs and for targeting a homeless person.
“Some of these attacks included unprovoked beatings on homeless individuals, in some cases as they slept,” Lanier said.
The crew also is suspected of a flash mob robbery of a gas station at North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue at 4 a.m. June 7 and of breaking a window and spraying graffiti in an unoccupied house on U Street where they allegedly sought shelter after an altercation with a group of men June 12.
Metro Transit Police assisted D.C. police, as the crimes included the theft of a woman’s iPhone as she left a train at the Woodley Park Metro Station June 10 and the beating of a man at Metro Center June 21, authorities said.
On June 19, they allegedly threatened to shoot a former crew member if he talked to police.
The indictment described 19-year-old Bernard “McLovin” Trowell as the leader of the crew and 18-year-old Deandre M. Williams and 20-year-old Quayshawn L. Leggett as having senior positions. Also indicted were Angel Collier, 18; James D. Matheny, 18; Travis L. Morris, 20; Brandon J. Steele, 18; Wayne E. Wheeler, 20, and Ricardo J. Williams, 20.
Charges include participating in a criminal street gang for the purpose of committing violent felonies and misdemeanors, including conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice and destruction of property. Six defendants were arraigned Thursday. Three are awaiting court appearances.