Public Safety: Major Crimes Skewing Younger in D.C., Latest MPD Reports

A major puzzle in the D.C. crime scene is how so many young people end up on the “wrong side of the law.” Juvenile arrests for carjacking or gun offenses seem all the more common lately in the District. With school back in session rather than remote, however, lack of adult supervision can’t be as much of a factor as it was at the height of the pandemic. Street gangs often prey on young, vulnerable recruits. But this isn’t new. Could the rise of “dark web” sites facilitating illegal transactions – for “ghost guns,” drugs, or other illicit products or services – be a contributing factor? We can’t provide the answer here, but the question of what’s driving youth crime in the District should be analyzed.

In their most recent “Weekly Firearm Recoveries” report for Jan. 16-23, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) reported 70 firearms taken off the streets. An analysis of the ages of all arrestees mentioned in the report demonstrates how young the gun offenders were. Of the 43 names provided for unauthorized weapons possession, 60 percent, or 26 out of the 43 were under age 25. The overall average age for the arrestees was 26.34 years. And the age range of those named spanned 15-years-old to 47-years-old. 

In a Jan. 27 MPD summary of “Arrests Made in Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Theft One (Stolen Auto) Offenses,” the arrestees named are also much younger than the median age of the District population of 34.1 years according to 2020 U.S. Census data. Of the 9 incidents reported with ages of suspects, the ages ranged from 16-years-old to 40-years old, with an average age of 26.7 years old. Those aged 25 or younger accounted for 44 percent of the group. Only 11 percent were over the age of 30.

A most shocking report from MPD’s Carjacking Task Force seems to crystallize the problem. In an MPD press release, the task force announced on Wed. Jan. 25 that a “15-year-old juvenile male of Southeast D.C.” was arrested and charged with the following slew of offenses: a Christmas day carjacking in the 1000 block of Florida Ave. NW, an armed carjacking on Dec. 28 in the 1900 block of 16th Street SE, an unarmed carjacking on Dec. 29 in the 1900 block of 13th St. SE, an armed carjacking in the 1800 block of 17th St. SE on the morning of New Year’s Eve, an armed carjacking about two hours later in the 1200 block of U Street, SE, a robbery and stolen auto offense on New Year’s morning in the 1200 block of V Street SE, an unarmed carjacking on Jan. 3 in the 2100 block of 13th St. SE, and an “Armed Robbery (Gun)/Theft One (Stolen Auto) offense on Jan. 4 in the 1400 block of Minnesota Ave., SE. 

For future articles, we’ll be keeping an eye on youth crime categories in the District as well as attempts by D.C. officials to make sense of them.

MPD Neighborhood Crime Reports

On Jan. 27, MPD put out a call for a suspect in a “Burglary Two of an Establishment Offense” that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the 1400 block of T Street NW. The suspect was captured by surveillance cameras and can be seen in this video:

MPD is also seeking a suspect in a homicide that occurred on Sat., Dec. 17, 2022 in the 2400 block of 18th St. NW. At approximately 1:20 p.m., MPD Homicide Branch detectives said Third District responded at the scene to reports of gunshots. Upon arrival, two victims (one male and one female) were located with apparent gunshot wounds. DC Fire and EMS responded to the scene. However, “after no signs consistent with life,” the male was pronounced dead. He was identified by police as 30-year-old Avon Perkins of Baltimore, Md. The second victim, an “adult female,” was “transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.” According to detectives, the suspect was “captured by a nearby surveillance camera and can be seen in the video and photos below:”

On Jan. 27, MPD announced three suspect arrests for “Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Theft One (Stolen Auto)” offenses in or related to northwest D.C. For a theft that occurred in the 1300 block of K Street SE, 31-year-old Izat Petway of northwest D.C. was arrested on Sat. Jan. 21. A minor, identified only as “16-year-old juvenile female of Northwest D.C.,” was arrested for an offense that occurred on H Street and North Capitol Street NW on Monday, Jan. 23. And 26-year-old Overn Stoney of Hillcrest Heights, Md., was arrested for an offense that occurred on Thursday, Jan. 26 in the 600 block of H Street NW.

On Jan. 20, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced the identity of a victim of an apparent homicide on Wed. Jan 18 in the 2000 block of P St. NW. “At approximately 9:39 p.m., members of the Second District responded to reports” of a “man down.” Upon arrival, they located “an adult male victim suffering from an apparent puncture wound.” Following DC Fire and EMS intervention and transportation of the victim to an area hospital, the victim – 47-year-old Mubarak Mursal, of no fixed address – was pronounced dead. 

MPD’s Major Crash Investigations Unit reported Jan. 17 a traffic fatality at the intersection of 15th Street and Massachusetts Ave. NW. Preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 6:12 p.m., a 2013 Jeep Cherokee was traveling east in the 1500 block of Massachusetts Ave. NW while a 2017 Toyota Corolla was traveling westbound in the 1400 block of Massachusetts Ave. NW and making a left turn at the intersection onto 15th Street NE. “As the Toyota turned left,” MPD reported, “the Jeep collided” with it. Both vehicles then “lost control and mounted the southeast curb.” Upon arrival at the scene, DC Fire and EMS “transported six passengers from the Toyota and the Jeep to area hospitals for treatment.” An “adult male victim who was riding in the Toyota was pronounced deceased,” the press release stated. The victim was identified as 24-year-old Carlos Enrique Christian of northwest D.C. Police arrested 30-year-old Reginald Johnson of Philadelphia on charges of “Murder II, Aggravated Assault, Driving Under the Influence, and Reckless Driving.”



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