Neighbors who live and work near downtown Silver Spring say they are concerned about their safety after two recent incidents of violent crime. Montgomery County police said they are stepping up patrols in the area after a fatal stabbing and violent assault.
The most recent crime happened on Tuesday shortly before noon, when police said two men got in a fight near the 900 block of Ellsworth Drive.
Authorities said 18-year-old Dakari Thomas, who was found with cuts on his hands and arms, told them he got in a fight with 19-year-old Getro Banamina.
Detectives said Thomas stabbed Banamina in the chest, and he later died at a hospital. Thomas was arrested and faces murder charges.
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Although police said the fatal stabbing was isolated, people in the neighborhood are worried.
“Having young kids — and my parents also live in the area — it’s really concerning. It’s not clear to me that it’s something that’s really easy to fix,” resident Julia Skapik said.
In surveillance video from Nov. 3, two men can be seen walking up to a woman near downtown Silver Spring. One man places a knife to her throat, searches her pockets and steals property. Then both assailants walk away, leaving the woman shaken with fear.
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“I think it’s a little bit odd to think about there being a lot of crime in this area because it’s not really known for that,” Martin Williams, who lives near downtown, said.
Police are asking anyone with information or who recognizes the two men in the second incident to give them a call.
According to police statistics, authorities were dispatched 1,547 times between Nov. 1, 2021 and today, compared to 1,368 times for the same time period last year. That includes 32 assaults and 106 theft/larceny and theft from auto reports.