Weekend Gunfire and Robberies Disrupt Peace in Park View

Officers at the intersection of Newton Place adn 6th Street wrapping up their invesigation of Saturday's gunfire incident

Sadly, among the first things that I awoke to on Saturday morning (1/7/12) were emails inquiring about reported gunfire during the night and asking for details. I quickly learned from the 4D Substation that at 3:12 a.m., they received multiple calls for “sounds of gunshots” in the area of the 600 b/o Newton & 700 b/o Otis Place. At that time police canvassed the area but did not find any possible victim(s), witness(es), property damage or evidence of a weapon being discharged.

That changed as the morning progressed.  In inspecting the area myself in the early afternoon, I found that MPD was wrapping up an investigation of the crime scene where they had tapped off the area and placed cones throughout the area to mark evidence. Ultimately the following was posted on the 4D listserv in response to a request for information.

Units responded and did not find any victim(s), witness(es), property damage or evidence of a weapon being discharged. Later this morning, units discovered that a vehicle had been damaged from bullet holes in the 3500 block of 6th Street. Detectives are trying to determine a motive for the incident. If anyone has information, please call 1-888-919-CRIM(E).

Bullet hole in Dodge Durango parked at 6th and Newton

Further still, Saturday ended as it began, with violent criminal activity in the community. Again according to the 4D listserv, “on Saturday night, the Fourth District experienced multiple robberies in a short period of time.”  There was one around 10:30 p.m. on the unit block of Kennedy. In Park View, there were two, one around 11 p.m. on the 700 b/o Rock Creek Church Road and one shortly before midnight on the 700 b/o Newton Place. Below are the MPD descriptions of the Park View robberies.

Shortly after 11 PM, two complainants were walking in the 700 block of Rock Creek Church Road, NW, when they were approached by three subjects. The first suspect displayed a handgun and demanded the complainant’s property. The suspect obtained the first complainant’s property. The second suspect demanded the other complainant’s property, who complied. The suspects then fled the location. The third suspect stood as a lookout during the robbery. The lookout for suspect # 1 is a black male, 5’10”, 20-25 years old, 150 lbs, black clothing, black ski masks; suspect # 2 is a black male, 6’4″, 160-170 lbs, light complexion, think build, ski mask, wearing a gray sweatshirt and light colored jeans; suspect # 3 was described only as a black male wearing dark clothing.

Shortly before midnight, two complainants were in the 700 block of Newton Place, NW, when they were approached by two subjects. Suspect # 1 asked the first complainant a question and then punched the complainant. Suspect # 1 then told the second complainant to get on the ground and brandished a handgun. Both complainants gave their property to the suspects. The suspects then fled the area on foot. The lookout for suspect # 1 is a black male, 18-19 years old, 5’10”-6″, 155-170 lbs, dark complexion, think build, wearing black clothing. Suspect # 2 is a black male, 18-19 years old, 5’8″-5’9″, 160-175 lbs, dark complexion, wearing all black clothing.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies is urged to call 1-888-919-CRIM[E]

MPD is scheduled to have a representative (most likely Commander Missouri) at Wednesday’s ANC 1A Meeting to discuss the recent police redistricting and answer questions about this change impacts police service in our area. It will be an excellent opportunity to inquire about what this weekend’s crime events mean and how MPD plans to respond.

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18 Comments on “Weekend Gunfire and Robberies Disrupt Peace in Park View”

  1. K Says:

    All within a couple blocks of the Park Rd Police Substation…

    • JulesonPrinceton Says:

      My worry is that there is no reason for this type of crime to stop…they were successful in obtaining what they sought, infrequent police presence, lax laws for teens, etc.

  2. mb Says:

    This is awful. I wish there was more proactive policing BEFORE these types of things happen. I would also like to see a zero tolerance policy in place for loitering, drinking and smoking pot at the parkview rec center. This seems to be a regular problem at all hours of the day and I have never seen an officer or any of the park staff intervene. While this may seem small compared to getting robbed at gun point, these all start to add up to a community evironment where anything goes.

  3. K Says:

    Also, I find something strange with youths wandering around the neighborhood wearing ski masks when it is well above 50 degrees. Come on, my money is on that they MAY be up to no good.

    As MB stated the tolerance of loitering, drinking, etc.. might seem minuscule but it does contribute to a less than orderly society. I know the police have numerous pressing issues to deal with but some enforcement would be appreciated.

  4. as Says:

    Agreed and well said mb. The police have to see what all the neighbors see but yet seem to do nithing about it. If you let dice games, drinking and drug activity on our kids playground you can’t be surprised when roberies and shootings incerease. The message has been sent in Park View that you can come here and do whatever you want. We have a safe haven for criminals at that rec center in the middle of our neighborhood. Not everyone that loiters there are criminals but some are and they call the shots up there. With the increase of gambling I’ve seen in the past few months at the rec I am surprised we haven’t seen more crimes in our area. The children in this neighbirhood deserve better!

  5. pv Says:

    The loitering at the Rec Center and also the post party at Mr. Gee’s convenience store has been an issue for awhile, but it appears to be getting worse and not better. What became of the daily officer posting at the Rec Center? No, it did not eliminate the issue but it did help ‘try” to prevent illegal activity. If someone wants evidence of what goes on, simply look a the trash around the Rec Center and convenience store in the morning. The items one can find range from empty liquor bottles, beer bottles, and a wide variety of other things which do not seem appropriate being next to an elementary school. Can we get the officer back at the Rec Center, and also get an officer who is not necessarily killing time being there, but actively performing his role as an officer. A reasonable person can easily smell marijuana and clearly see the empty liquor bottles, almost evening. Presence and some enforcement are necessary. Also, does the convenience store sell single cans of beer?

  6. mb Says:

    Glad to see I am not the only one concerned with the rec center! Kent, do you think it would be helpful to organize a small group of resident to meet with DPR and the current manager of the rec center? The total lack of management or care at this center is appalling. They have done everything they can to run the Parkview Kids Zone off site as well which I think has made the loitering etc INCREASE. We need to let DPR know that the neighbors will not tolerate our rec center becoming a dumping ground for some of their worst employees. I would love to see more active programming, zero tolerance for ANY loitering outside the front door, nightly trash picks ups around the entire site and an officer on patrol daily. A regular report from the management would be helpful as well so that they are held accountable to the residents.

    • Kent Says:

      I agree that we need to engage DPR, but prior to doing that we need to organize a community meeting to fully vet the problems and our strategy. It will be helpful to speak as a united community. Let me start working on setting up a date and time.

      • mb Says:

        I am worried the problem is about to get a lot worse once the picnic shelter is constructed as part of the new park design. I attended one of the rec planning meetings after I moved in and hoped that a tennis court to be added to create more diversity if rec options and someone said “people don’t play tennis”. A good example of a smaller rec center attached to a school is the Stoddert Elem and Rec Center in Glover Park. The density is about the same as Park View and they have managed to build a beautiful new facility that serves the school and surrounding community with programming. I was involved in that project for a few months through my job and it was clear that a small but very committed group of neighbors made that happen. DPR was very responsive to their concerns. the current building we have seems to be useless and under programmed. I agree with previous posters that we might as well tear it down if we can’t get better programming. A dog park, open space, tennis courts etc would all be improvements over the current building and management,.

      • JulesonPrinceton Says:

        I agree with mb below. Currently there is little (if any)reason for adults w/o children to ever step foot inside.
        As far as the staff at the rec enter, it took months to secure access to the site after hours via holes in the fences. Months and all it took was a chain and padlock. Not to mention the fact that I had to bring the ginormous hole to their attention in the first place. Let’s just call it what it is – laziness.

  7. mb Says:

    One more thought, I don’t know much about Gee’s market but I have noticed the loitering there as well. I would fully support a ban on the sale of singles. If not Ward wide, then certainly in locations across from schools or rec centers.

  8. K Says:

    Banning the sale of singles would help tremendously BUT I feel that would be a tall task. Does anyone know how people could go about getting support?

  9. LK Says:

    I once heard that loitering is not illegal in DC. Can anybody confirm whether this is true? thanks.

    • JulesonPrinceton Says:

      Not if it is declared a drug free zone…the police have more power then. It seems like a rec center and elementary school shoudl qualify.

  10. as Says:

    Gee’s does sell singles. A lot of the drinking that happens at the rec comes from Gee’s. I have noticed when the Rec grounds close they move over to the market as of late.

    Good luck trying to get anywhere with DPR! Countless meetings have happened over the years and never any improvment. Time to just let it be a park. The only way the rec will get better is to knock it down and just let it be a park. I would love to know how much money DPR spends to have that facility open 6 days a week with no programs, rules, etc. They need to take that money and make a seriously nice park and not to fund the local crew/ gang clubhouse! I for one am sick of having to clean up dirty needles, condoms and beer bottles off the playground! Most of the loiters don’t even live in Park View, but are ruining the only park our kids have to play at.

    There is an officer, but he just plays cards and seems to be to comfortable over there. He doesn’t even bother attending the UNC meetings. He would rather play cards than talk to residents who care. When I’ve called the Police about dice games if they show up they just tell them to move on. I wish the Police would arrest someone when they catch them doing something illegal not just tell them to move on. As soon as the Police leave they come back and start up again.

    Benches have been moved to the back of the building facing the field. They sit and smoke weed and gamble back there, The manager has accomidated them by giving them a place to hid. Give us another playground and knock it down. It’s like a project that needs to be torn down because it’s gone so out of control for so many years you just have to tear it down and start over with a new concept. 20 years this place has been this way. Countless staff changes and it just doesn’t matter because the building needs to be shut down. We just need a park and greenspace for kids to run.

  11. Serenity now Says:

    How about we all take a breath here, everybody on this blog seems ready to break out the pitchforks. How did we jump from discussing a couple of felons loose in the area to a broad crackdown on the neighborhood kids and a dismantling of the Parkview rec center?
    The neighborhood kids are harmless. Sure they loiter (stand in one place for awhile). I did that too when I was 15 and too young to go anywhere or do anything. What’s needed is not a dismantling of the rec center, but some good solid after school and evening activities there to engage the kids and help them learn to be good adults. (If you all are so concerned you could perhaps volunteer some time there to get to know and help these kids.)
    I walk my dog past the rec center after work frequently. I’ve never seen anyone playing dice or wearing ski masks. Yes they occasionally smoke pot, but you and I know that makes people less aggressive, not more. Anyway they’re mostly just standing there socializing. So what? They don’t say a word edgewise to me as I pass by, and they nod to me politely if I nod to them first.
    As for the police officers in the area, they are doing “community policing” (foot patrols, getting to know the residents, etc.) and they’re doing a good job at it. Violent crime in Parkview is far less than the surrounding neighborhoods north, south, and west of us. Kent has the stats right there on his blog. We suffer mostly from thefts from cars.
    If these felons live in, or are known to the neighborhood, the only way to catch them now is with the co-operation of the neighborhood and the police. Harassing the neighborhood kids won’t help. As for preventing future crime, how about organizing a community watch?

  12. as Says:

    @ Serenity now. I run Park View Kids Zone. We work with over 100 youth and children only from the Park View neighborhood. I have personally volunteered 6 days a week at PV Rec for over 2 years.
    I know and love all the kids of our neighborhood and have literally given my life to empowering them and guiding them to grow up into productive citizens. I know most of the” loiters” and adults at the rec and we have a mutual respect for each other and I would consider many of them as friends to me.

    The problem is the environment that has been created and accepted up there is unhealthy for the kids of Park View and honestly is keeping people down. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to teach a kid the right way and encourage them to be a good person and as soon as they walk out the door to play basketball they pass by dice games, loud constant cursing and folks smoking up. When we were there it did make a difference in the atmosphere up there. I would personally tell them to move on if I saw things and I still do. I was hit in the face when I broke up one of the many school yard brawls, while the officer set inside playing cards unaware. Not many people would be cool with some of the stuff I put up with and saw each day. If this crap happened in a Georgetown park it would be on the evening news each night.

    I believe in our kids and I know they deserve the best and this ain’t it! Pitchforks should have been raised a long time ago, not on the youth, but on the systems which allow things to operate in the way they do in Park View (DPR,MPD). We deserve a park that everyone can enjoy and one that doesn’t make our youth worse off for playing there. You won’t find a bigger advocate for the youth in our neighborhood and in my opinion, after all the time and energy I spent to improve the rec, is let it be a park and have the police actually patrol it so it’s safe for our kids. If you or anyone would like to get involved with the youth of Park View check out our website at http://www.pvkz.org. We are completely volunteer and donation based. We are always eager to have more neighbors join us!

  13. mb Says:

    Angela
    Thanks for the thoughtful response.You are doing amazing things in this community! its so easy to live in DC and fall into the trap of lowered expectations (such as thinking smoking pot in front of kids on a playground is normal or even good since it makes them less likely to get into fights). I don’t think anyone on this thread wants to make life worse for DC kids. But yes, as someone who has lived in DC for 15 years, its sad how so many of us (myself included) can start to look at certain situations and think “well its just DC being DC”– and Kent thanks for you work as an ANC commissioner and bringing people together on this blog and in the neighborhood. There is NO REASON why this rec center can’t be as nice, well managed or actively programmed as other comparably sized centers in the City.


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