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08-12-06, 12:57 AM #1
Five Arrested in D.C. National Mall Robberies
U.S. Park Police have arrested five people who they say were involved in a series of armed robberies and sex assaults on the National Mall.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein said the five suspects committed five armed robberies on the Mall in May and July. Some of the incidents also included sexual assaults, including the rape of a 17-year-old woman, authorities said.
The suspects, who are between the ages of 16 and 22, were arrested in the past two weeks. All were charged as adults.
The suspects are:
Michael Bright, age 16, Northeast Washington
Zachary Bright, 19, Southeast Washington
Marcus Brown, 22, Southeast Washington
Ryan Newman, 17, Northwest Washington
Trayvon Thomas, 18, Northeast Washington
"They left their homes, took the Metro to the Mall, sought out the darkest areas along the walkways and waited for unsuspecting tourists," Wainstein said. "They pounced on them, stuck a gun in their faces and stole their valuables and their money."
Wainstein said the suspects physically beat some of their 12 victims. He said a man and woman were kicked in the head, two female victims were groped and fondled and one teen was sexually molested at gunpoint.
The mother of the rape victim told News4 Friday she's glad that police made an arrest.
"When the police called me and said that they had gotten all of them, we were really happy," she said.
The victim's mother also said that her family would visit the Mall again.
"It really hasn't changed. I mean, it's a beautiful place there. I mean, ordinarily you would think that it would be safe, but stuff happens everywhere. I know that they've made their best attempt to keep it as safe as possible. Between us, we have no reservations about going to visit again," she said.
The late-night crimes started in May when two couples were robbed. A few days later, another couple was robbed at gunpoint.
On July 28, Newman and Zachary Bright were arrested and charged in the participation of robberies that occurred on July 11. On Aug. 4, Michael Bright was arrested and charged with a robbery on May 27. On Tuesday, Brown was arrested and charged with robberies that occurred on May 25. Wainstein said that on Monday, Thomas admitted to robbing two couples on May 25 and to robbing a couple on May 27, when he and others allegedly raped the teen.
"Tourists who once walked in admiration of our monuments now walk in fear, in fear of the dangers that lurk in their shadows. Virtually overnight, this place of public pride became a place of public danger," Wainstein said.
Park police said there's a message behind the arrests.
"The message is that if you commit a crime on the Mall, we're going to hunt you down, and we're going to get the perpetrators of the crime. But most of all, the Mall is safe," said U.S. Park Police Chief Dwight Pettiford.
Numerous agencies were involved in the investigation. Wainstein said the Secret Service analyzed cell phone records, which allowed investigators to identify the robbers.
Police said it had been about a decade since any similar incidents took place on the Mall.
U.S. Capitol Police officers recently started helping Park Police patrol parts of the area. Authorities said they are also considering improving the lighting on the National Mall.
08-12-06, 01:02 AM #2
Fantastic, I'd been hearing a lot about that recently.
Wainstein said the Secret Service analyzed cell phone records, which allowed investigators to identify the robbers.
08-12-06, 02:01 AM #3
Yeah, I hope they improve the lighting down there. It's super dark where they got robbed.
08-12-06, 02:18 AM #4Banned
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That kinda sucks....as I was hoping to shoot a couple of those asshats if they tried to rob me......
Hopefully, things will chill out a bit....as the crime rate is through the roof here.....
08-12-06, 03:12 AM #5
Politicians to beat you up in the daytime, slimeballs for the night shift. I'm beginning to think the only reason I'd want to visit DC again is for the Smithonians.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
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