DC Police: Attack on Gay Couple Connected to Crime Spree

Police released photos of several persons of interest

D.C. police are searching for more suspects after a string of robberies and assaults on Sunday ⁠— including the attack on a gay couple on U Street.

Carl Craven said he was with his boyfriend, Braden Brecht, on U Street NW near Nellie's Sports Bar about 1:45 a.m. Sunday when a man began beating Brecht, and others joined in.

"This is such a vivid image; I just saw like 10 guys just beating him," Craven recalled. "And so, instinctively I just jumped on top of him and tried to shield him and was shouting, 'Help, help, help!'"

Brecht, 21, was taken to a hospital by ambulance and treated in the emergency room.

The couple remembers hearing an anti-gay epithet assault their ears before the assault started.

Police arrested a 19-year-old man, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy in the attack. Police sources tell News4 that robbery charges against them have been dropped.

On Friday, police the incident was connected to a string of crimes in the city that morning.

Police are asking for the public's help to identify more suspects involved in the following offenses:

  • About 1:49 a.m. Sunday, police say suspects robbed and assaulted someone in the 2000 block of Vermont Avenue NW before running off. A 19-year-old man from Temple Hills, Maryland, was arrested and charged with robbery force and violence.
  • About 2:11 a.m., suspects assaulted and robbed a victim in the 1200 block of U Street NW. A 16-year-old boy from Fort Washington, Maryland, was arrested and charged with "theft two," police said.
  • Suspects tried to snatch someone's belongings about 2:40 a.m. in the 900 block of U Street NW. One suspect then took out a handgun and robbed the person. Police later arrested a 15-year-old boy from Fort Washington and charged him with armed robbery.
  • Another person was robbed about 3 a.m. in the 2000 block of 9th Street NW. A 16-year-old boy from Fort Washington was arrested and charged with robbery force and violence.
Police say anyone with information can call 202-727-9099 or text a tip to 50411.
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