Northeast DC

‘Look after your kids': 13-year-old charged in Northeast DC carjacking

The carjacking victim -- a father -- said he's conflicted about punishment for the young suspect

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A 13-year-old boy is facing charges for his role in a carjacking in Northeast D.C.

The crime took place Tuesday in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue. Police said they arrested one of the suspects, the 13-year-old, not long after.

The victim of the crime is Wasif Chaudhry, a Maryland husband and father of two. He said he's still in disbelief, especially after learning one of the suspects is so young.

“Throwing away his life for nothing,” Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry said he had no idea when he left home in his Hyundai Elantra that his day would end with the car being taken away as evidence within hours.

“It took me a while to realize what was happening,” he said.

Chaudhry was making a quick stop for work just after 6 p.m. when things took a dangerous turn. At first, he thought it was a joke.

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“They’re like, ‘Get out of the car before we shoot you and kill you,’” he said. “When I saw their faces, it’s little kids and at first I’m like ‘Wait, what are you talking about?’”

Chaudhry handed over the keys as a witness called police. The thieves took off in his car, but they didn't get far. Officers stopped them about 2 miles away, on First Street near Randolph Street Northwest. One of the suspects ran away, and the 13-year-old was placed under arrest.

Police took Chaudhry to the area to identify the carjacker.

"They had the hoodie on but no face mask, right?” Chaudhry said. “But then seeing them later on, one of them later on made me realize they were actually younger than I thought they were.”

As the teen waits to learn his fate, Chaudhry said he’s conflicted.

“What am I supposed to do? I have kids at home, right? One is barely, she’ll be 5 months old in two days. One is going to be 3 years in August,” Chaudhry said. “What about my kids? But then, you know, he’s someone’s kid too, right?

Chaudhry said he’s grateful he was able to make it home safely, and that he hopes the teen suspect gets the help he needs and gets access to a rehabilitation program.

He had this message for parents in the DMV: “Life is precious. Please look after your kids. I mean, sometimes they need help, they just don’t know how to say it.”

Police will not release the name of that 13-year-old suspect because he is a minor, but News4 does know he is being charged with unarmed carjacking.

If you know anything that can help with this investigation, call the Metropolitan Police Department.

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