16th & U Robbery Suspect Was Free Pending Carjacking Trial

by Borderstan.com November 24, 2009 at 11:29 am 2,668 20 Comments

The robbery on Saturday at 1 p.m. was in front of Results Gym at 1612 U Street NW, a very busy location, particularly on a Saturday afternoon. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Right in the heart of Borderstan on U Street… around 1 p.m. on Saturday two men robbed a woman at 16th and U NW. In fact, the address on the crime report is 1612 U Street NW, which is the address for Results Gym and Bang Salon. The police caught two suspects shortly afterward. (Full details follow.) According to MPD, one of the two suspects is being held and a pre-trial hearing is tomorrow; no word yet from MPD or the prosecutor’s office on the second suspect.

But here is the kicker. The two suspects were driving a car that they supposedly carjacked earlier in the day in Prince George’s County. Still, the story gets better. One of the two suspects arrested for the 16th and U robbery was arrested earlier this month by the MPD in the 7th District for carjacking. The court had released him–yes, he was free–pending his trial for carjacking. (I have not yet been able to determine whether this particular suspect is being held or if he was released again; I will update as I get more information.)

It is bad enough that the two suspects felt free to commit a robbery at one of the busiest intersections in the area in broad daylight–across the street from MPD 3rd District headquarters at 1620 V Street NW. (The crime occurred in the 2nd District, however.)

But one of the suspects was free on bail after being arrested for carjacking. Call me naive, but I thought carjacking probably got you thrown in jail without bail.

Description of Crime

Here is the write up on the crime that I got Monday from the MPD 2D listserv on Yahoo! Groups. I saw that the Saturday robbery at 16th and U had “closed” because police arrested two suspects:

November 21, 1 p.m., Robbery-Force & Violence, 1600 block of U Street NW: “The complainant reported that the suspect exited from a vehicle and snatched her iPhone. The suspect got back into the vehicle, with two other suspects and fled the area. A witness provided  information on the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped and two of the suspects were placed under arrest. Closed Case.”

Message from Chief Lanier

At the bottom of the same email was the following message from MPD Chief of Police Cathy Lanier regarding the robbery (emphasis is mine):

Thanks to the hard work of officers in the 2nd District and members of the community (witnesses), two violent suspects were apprehended within minutes of a robbery during which force and violence were used. The suspects were in a vehicle that was taken in a carjacking in Prince George’s County. They used this stolen vehicle in the District to flee the scene of the robbery at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

At least one of the suspects arrested had previously been arrested by MPD officers earlier this month for an armed carjacking in the Seventh District. He had been released pending trial in that case.

Again, I want to commend the officers, detectives, and community members for working together to apprehend another repeat violent offender. Our officers will continue to seek, arrest, and charge these repeat offenders until they get the message that the District of Columbia will not become a place complacent to violent crime.

You can help by providing information to our police anonymous tip line on known violent criminals who continue to repeat their crimes in the District and our neighboring jurisdictions at 1-888-919-CRIME. Thank you, Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of Police

Additional Information/Questions

I have been writing up these types of crimes for more than a year. But, I don’t claim to be an expert on DC criminal law (at all). I am going to try and get more information about why the suspect in Saturday’s robbery at 16th and U cold have have been released from jail pending trial for a serious crime such as carjacking.

Questions…

  1. Is this a problem with DC law?
  2. Are the jails full and the judge had no choice but to release the guy?
  3. Would the crime bill that failed to pass the DC Council earlier this year have fixed the problem?
  4. Regarding the two suspects that were arrested for the robbery at 1612 U Street: were both of them held… if not, why not?
  5. Exactly what kind of crime in DC warrants being held without bail? What about gun crimes?

In the meantime, any readers who know more about this subject (and many people do), please chime in with comments. Note: Keep it civil.

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