Crime and Courts

Panhandler Attacks Couple in Their 70s With Victim's Cane

NBC Universal, Inc.

An aggressive panhandler assaulted a couple in their 70s, beating them with a victim’s cane.

The couple says they were leaving a Giant in Northwest D.C. about 10 p.m. Wednesday when Alexander Adams asked them for money. The man handed over a dollar, but the panhandler shouted it wasn’t enough and attacked them.

“He exploded with an insane rage,” the man said. “He grabbed my cane and pushed me away and started whipping us and beating us with my own cane.”

Police said the cane broke in two and the man’s wife was found on the sidewalk in a pool of blood.

“I couldn’t defend myself,” the man said. “He was whipping that cane as though he was on some super stimulant.”

Police said just hours earlier Adams assaulted a woman, took her phone and walked onto the Key Bridge, where he was arrested. The 33-year-old was held at the second district police station for a few hours before being released with a citation.

“He goes off his meds,” Adams’ father said. “He goes off his meds, and it’s just nutty.”

He said Adams is bipolar and recently spent about a year in the D.C. jail after assaulting him at their Georgetown home, breaking his hip.

“He came out; got him into a halfway house called the Hancock House,” Adams’ father said. “He was on the road to doing things correctly – ‘Dad, I’m going to look for a job’ and, you know, do this – and then he said, ‘Dad, I slipped yesterday.’”

Tom Adams said he has been trying to help his son for years, paying for treatment. He said he saw his son about a week ago and did not know about the recent assaults.

Alexander Adams is also accused of spitting on two women immediately after the attack outside the Giant. He is being held without bond and was ordered to undergo a mental health exam.

The couple who were attacked suffered head injuries and are expected to be in the hospital recovering into next week.

Contact Us