Borderstan

Dupont – Logan – U Street

An Interview with “Mugged”


Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan Dupont Circle

Looking toward 17th Street on the 1600 block of R Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Spring is in the air and in DC—not unlike other big cities—pollen and daffodils are often accompanied by more street crime, especially robberies. Last Wednesday, March 17, there was a gun robbery in the area. From the Police Alert:

Robbery (Gun), 2148 hours, 1600 Block of S Street NW. LOF: 2 Black Females wearing puffy hoodie jackets, blue jeans both armed with guns, last seen eastbound towards 16th Street. DO NOT TAKE ACTION. CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20100132077.

By chance, we were able to contact and interview the victim of the mugging described above. Here is what she has to say. We refer to her as “Mugged” to protect her anonymity.

Borderstan: Where had you been the evening you were robbed?
Mugged: At a friend’s house near 13th and Corcoran for a St. Patty’s Day celebration—I was walking home from the dinner by myself.

Borderstan: Do you often walk on the 1600 block of S Street… were you in familiar surroundings?
Mugged: Very familiar. I live at 17th and S so this was an extremely frequent walk home.

Borderstan: What were you doing at the time?
Mugged: I was talking to my brother on my iPhone.

Borderstan: When did you first realize there might be trouble or that you were going to be robbed?
Mugged: They came up behind me, so not until one of them grabbed me did I realize something was wrong.

Borderstan: Exactly how did the robbery go down? How long did the whole thing last?
Mugged: Two people came up behind me—one grabbed me from behind (not terribly violently, if not for what they were saying it could have been a friend trying to surprise me). The other came around with a gun. They were direct in saying, “Hang up the phone… drop your purse,” repeatedly. I did so and they grabbed the phone and the purse and ran off toward 16th Street. The whole thing lasted less than 30 seconds.

Borderstan: How old were the two young women who robbed you?
Mugged: Likely upper teens

Borderstan: Did you see the two guns the robbers had?
Mugged: To my knowledge, there was only one gun and, yes, I saw it. If there was a second gun, it was never revealed.

Borderstan: What did you do after the robbery? How did you contact the police?
Mugged: It was practically in front of my apartment building, so I ran in, got my roommate to open the door to our apartment, and used her phone to contact the police. The police came extremely quickly. In the hour and a half that followed, multiple officers were on the scene… and in the area where they thought the assailants might have gone. A detective soon followed to get further information.

Borderstan: Any advice for Borderstan readers?
Mugged: Number one, avoid walking down empty streets by yourself at night, if at all possible. I can’t say the iPhone was definitely a cause, but I doubt talking on an iPhone helps you not look like a target.

Borderstan: Ever been robbed or the victim of a crime before?
Mugged: No.

Borderstan: Anything else to add?
Mugged: Be careful!

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March 25, 2010 - Posted by | crime, Uncategorized | , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Damn shame. Glad you’re ok “mugged”

    Comment by Milly | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank goodness “Mugged” was not injured. I am still seeing an oral surgeon after my mugging last June. These experiences are terrifying, especially when you have no idea if the assailants are likely to use the gun against the victim.

    While the iPhone itself may not have contributed to the incident, it certainly distracted the victim from what was going on around her. I estimate that roughly 40% of people walking around the neighborhood are talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to traffic, pedestrians, or potential hazards. I see people walking down the middle of the street on their phones. This behavior has become a cultural/social obsession, but even worse, it makes them even more vulnerable to predators.

    Lessons for all of us to learn.

    Comment by Michael | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m also glad no one was hurt. Did you try using the GPS associated with the iPhone and Mobile Me? It’s supposed to locate to within a block of the phone.

    Comment by Penelope | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  4. When I read the headline, I thought, “Is there an IPhone or a Droid in this story?” Was the person on the phone. Yes and yes.

    Comment by Taboo | March 25, 2010 | Reply

  5. I’m very glad “Mugged” was not hurt. Thanks to both of you for providing insight to this crime.

    Comment by GD | March 25, 2010 | Reply


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