Crime: ‘Secure DC Omnibus’ Crime Package Clears D.C. Council; Georgetown Spa Robbery

One vote down, one to go. With the mayor’s full endorsement, Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto’s “Secure DC Omnibus” crime package passed unanimously Feb. 6, with amendments, in the first of two rounds of D.C. Council voting on the massive crime initiative – combining 12 separate crime bills and including more than 100 provisions designed to tackle the mounting crime crisis in the nation’s capital. A final vote on the package has not been scheduled but is expected in the next few weeks. 

“In 2023, we saw a devastating 39-percent increase in violent crime and a 26-percent increase in crime overall in the District,” Pinto, Chair of the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety testified before the vote. “And 274 people lost their lives to homicide. Residents live in fear of carjacking, thefts, and falling victim to crime across our city. This is unacceptable. Today, by approving my DC Omnibus, the Council has the opportunity to take decisive and comprehensive action to make the District more safe and secure.”  

Around 100 protesters, wearing black tee-shirts and imploring “Don’t Throw DC Under the Crimnibus,” disrupted the proceedings and had to be quieted by Council Chair Phil Mendelson. “We can clear the chamber – which I really don’t want to do,” he said. “But this is not a public meeting.”  

In live news coverage from the Wilson Building, WUSA 9 reporter Delia Gonzalez said after the vote the protesters were “celebrating a win because many amendments they were fighting for actually were debated upon and passed.” Most significant, the omnibus package’s proposal that DNA evidence could be collected from an arrestee not yet charged. But Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie fought to claw that provision back. “The Committee believes that the privacy rights of the innocent should be preserved… And let us not forget, we are all innocent until proven guilty,” he said to applause during the hearing, per a live report from Fox 5.  

Another key amendment celebrated by protesters calling for more “evidence-based” public safety measures, according to WUSA 9, involved pre-trial detention provisions for youth. Instead of a permanent rule, the Council will gather data for the next 250 days to measure the efficacy of holding suspects believed to have engaged in violence in prison before trial.  

“We worked very hard over the last several weeks to work with all our colleagues to incorporate some of the concerns they had,” Pinto told reporters following the hearing, per WUSA 9. 

The omnibus bill will include provisions increasing penalties for gun possession, more broadly defining “carjacking” to facilitate prosecutions, expanding pretrial detention for youths, incarcerating more adults before trial, loosening police oversight, allowing police to create drug-free zones, changing the composition of D.C.’s sentencing panel and requiring more crime-fighting participation of city agencies.  

“My Secure DC omnibus is the culmination of a robust and thoughtful public engagement process that makes me confident that taken together, the 100-plus interventions and solutions in the bill will make D.C. residents safer by preventing crime, ensuring accountability when crime does occur, and improving government coordination to meet the needs of District residents,” Pinto wrote on her website  

Armed Robbery at Georgetown Spa 

Where many go to relax in Georgetown, Coco Spa at 1658 33rd Street NW, an attempted armed robbery by two masked assailants was caught on the spa’s front desk surveillance cam Wednesday Feb. 7. 

“Good evening,” Shomari Stone of Fox5 news began his on-the-scene report of the incident. “Coco Health has been here for three years… The manager tells me he’s sick and tired of violence and robberies in the area. Now those two suspects walked right through this front door here. They then went through the typical entrance they have here, this sliding glass door. And then, you see right over here above the front desk? This surveillance camera captured them coming through. Let’s take a look at them.”

Surveillance images from incident at Coco Spa at 1658 33rd Street NW. Released by MPD.

“Once they get inside they ask for a 30-minute massage,” Stone continued. “They then walk through this door right over here. This is where the massage rooms are located. They go through this door, pull out a gun in this hallway, grab the massage therapist, demanding money from her. Police say she showed them her empty pockets and they tried to steal another woman’s purse. She hit them with it. And you can hear the manager, Alex, yelling for them to get out.”

“I’m a little nervous,” Alex told Stone. And the manager’s son-in-law [unidentified] said, “I was very upset when it happened. I was terrified when my mother-in-law said they were being robbed and I ran here as fast as I could.”

Following Stone’s report, a Fox5 anchor updated the story with news from MPD that “one of the suspects in the case also tried to rob a business in Northwest yesterday afternoon [Feb. 7]. That suspect pulled out a gun, demanded money, then left after realizing there was no cash on hand.”

Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, per Fox5. For video of the purported incident in question, click here

Local Reports

On Feb. 9, MPD announced arrests in recent “Robbery” offenses in Northwest, D.C. On Thurs. Feb. 8, 23-year-old Charles Edward Thomas, of Southeast, D.C., 23-year-old Daquan Devon Simmons, of Northwest, D.C., and 22-year-old Tysha Faulkner, of no fixed address, were arrested for a Robbery offense that occurred in the 2200 block of Savannah Street, Southeast. Daquan Devon Simmons was additionally charged with “Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of a Controlled Substance.”

On Feb. 9, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch requested public assistance in identifying and locating a suspect involved in a homicide in the 1100 block of 15th St. NW. At “approximately 2:00 a.m.,” on Feb. 2, “Second District officers responded to… reports of an assault,” MPD said in a press release. “Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from life threatening injuries as a result of an assault. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment. On Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. The decedent has been identified as 41-year-old Vivek Taneja of Alexandria, VA. The suspect was captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the photo below and this video:

On Feb. 8, detectives from MPD’s Third District requested public assistance in identifying “two suspects of an armed robbery in the District.” On Feb. 5, at “approximately 10:34 p.m., the victim was approached by two suspects in the 1000 block of 7th Street, Northwest,” the police report said. ‘One of the suspects told the victim, “borrow me some money.’ Both of the suspects [then] brandished a handgun. The victim was assaulted by one of the suspects. The suspects [then] fled with the victim’s property [but] were captured by nearby surveillance cameras and can be seen in the photos below:”

On Feb. 8, detectives from MPD’s Third District announced a man was arrested “after burglarizing an occupied residence.” 

On Feb. 8, at “approximately 10:10 a.m., the suspect entered an occupied residence in the 1800 block of Park Road, Northwest,” the report said. “Once inside, the suspect stole property before fleeing. Responding officers located and arrested the suspect nearby. On Feb. 8, 34-year-old Jarvis Hardy, of Northwest, DC, was arrested and charged with Burglary One.”

On Feb. 8, detectives from MPD’s Third and Fourth Districts announced the arrest of a man who “committed multiple armed robberies” in those districts Feb. 7. “In each of the below armed robberies, the suspects approached the victim(s) while displaying firearms and took property from the victim(s),” the report said. “The suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.”

  • At approximately 9:30 p.m. in the 3300 block of Holmead Place, Northwest
  • At approximately 10:41 p.m. at the intersection of 14th Street and Perry Place Northwest
  • At approximately 10:56 p.m. in the 1600 block Military Rd. Northwest
  • At approximately 11:10 p.m. in the 13th and Tuckerman St. Northwest.

“During the investigation, detectives were able to link the above robberies and determined a lookout for the vehicle the suspects were using,” the report continued. “MPD’s helicopter Falcon 1 assisted in locating the vehicle. Shortly after, officers apprehended one suspect at the intersection of Minnesota and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenues, Northeast.

On Feb. 8, 18-year-Alijah Headspeth, of Northwest, D.C. was arrested and charged with four counts of “Armed Robbery (Gun) and Carrying a Pistol without a License.”

On Feb. 7, detectives from MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit announce the arrest of a man for “sexually abusing two women in Northwest, D.C.” In each offense listed below, the “suspect was providing massage therapist services when he engaged in unwanted sexual contact with female victims at the listed locations,” the report said.

  • On Friday, October 13, 2023, at approximately 7:00 pm, in the 1700 block of Lanier Place, Northwest.
  • On Monday, May 29, 2023, at approximately 8:30 pm, in the 1700 block of Columbia Road, Northwest.

On Feb. 6, “pursuant to DC Superior Court arrest warrants members of the Criminal Apprehension Unit arrested 50-year-old Juan Del Risco Hernandez of Northwest, D.C. He was charged with First-Degree and Second-Degree Sex Abuse of a Client,” the report said. 

On Feb. 7, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced the “arrest of a juvenile who killed a man in Northwest.” On Dec. 18, at “approximately 11:46 a.m., Fourth District officers were at Georgia Avenue and Kennedy Street, Northwest, when they heard gunshots,” the report said. The officers “responded to the 5400 block of Illinois Avenue, Northwest, where they located a man with gunshot wound injuries. A private vehicle took him to a hospital where he died.

The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Jihad Darden, of Northwest, D.C.” On Feb. 7, a 15-year-old male of Bowie, Maryland was arrested and will be “charged [in D.C.] with First Degree Murder while Armed.” 

On Feb. 7, members from  joint MPD and Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force announced the “arrest of an adult in Northwest.” In January, the suspect “distributed media files of child pornography to an undercover agent,” the report said. On Feb. 7, 31-year-old Matthew Ballek, of Northwest, D.C. was “arrested and charged with Distribution of Child Pornography.” 

On the same day, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced a “second arrest in an October 2023 shooting that killed a man.” On Oct. 21, at “approximately 3:38 a.m., Third District officers responded to the 900 block of U Street, Northwest, for the report of a shooting,” the report said. “Upon arrival, officers located a male victim with gunshot wound injuries. He died at the scene.

The victim was identified as 24-year-old Diamonte Lewis, of Southeast, D.C. Previously on Dec. 5, a 16-year-old male, of Alexandria, VA was arrested pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant charging him as an adult with Second Degree Murder while Armed.” On Feb. 6, “pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, members of the MPD Fugitive Unit took custody of 20-year-old Na’eem Butler, of Herndon, VA, from the United States Marshals Service after he was extradited from State College, PA. He has been charged with Second Degree Murder while Armed,” the report concluded.

On Feb. 7, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced a “wanted suspect” had “been extradited and charged for a stabbing that killed a woman in Northwest D.C.” At “approximately 2:49 a.m.,” Dec. 19, 2023,” the report said, “Third District officers responded to the 1200 block of 11th Street, Northwest for the report of a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, officers located a woman inside of a residence with stab wound injuries. She died at the scene. The victim was identified as 31-year-old Reyna Garcia-Lopez, of Northwest, D.C.” On Dec. 20, “pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, members of the Great Lake Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested 54-year-old Alberto Valle-Carranza, of Northwest, D.C., in Michigan City, Indiana,” the report said. “Valle-Carranza went through the extradition process and was returned to Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, members of MPD’s Fugitive Unit transported Valle-Carranza to the Homicide Branch where he was charged with Second Degree Murder while Armed.”

On Feb. 6, detectives from MPD’s Second District requested public assistance in identifying a “suspect who robbed a bank in Northwest, D.C.” On Feb. 6, at “approximately 9:20 a.m., the suspect approached a teller inside a bank in the 1700 block of K Street, Northwest,” the report said.The suspect implied he was armed and demanded money. The teller complied and the suspect fled the scene [but was] captured by nearby surveillance cameras and can be seen in the photos below:”

On Feb. 6, detectives from MPD’s Carjacking Task Force requested public assistance in “identifying and locating suspects in connection to a carjacking and unlawful discharge of a firearm.” At approximately 10:00 a.m., Jan. 13,” the report said, “three suspects approached the victim who was sitting in his vehicle in the 3000 block of Idaho Avenue, Northwest.  The suspects, all armed with handguns, demanded the victim get out of the vehicle. The victim complied and the suspects took property from the victim then fled the scene in the victim’s vehicle. On Feb. 3, at approximately 1:08 p.m., members of the Seventh District responded to the 3400 block of 25th Street, Southeast, for the report of the sounds of gunshots.  A crime scene was located, and no victims were found. The suspects and the victim’s vehicle, a Black 2012 Kia Sorento, were captured by surveillance cameras and can be seen in the photos below:

On Feb. 6, detectives from MPD’s Third District requested public assistance to help “identify two suspects who attempted to rob two men in Northwest D.C.” On Jan. 26, at “approximately 8:00 p.m.,” the report said, “the suspects approached two men walking in the 3200 block of Hiatt Place, Northwest. The suspects [then] brandished a handgun and demanded property from the men. The suspects fled the scene before obtaining property from the victims… were captured by a nearby surveillance camera, and can be seen in the photos below:”



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