|Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006|
Five men ranging in age from 16 to 22 years old have been arrested and charged in connection with a series of armed robberies and sexual assaults that occurred on the National Mall last May and July. The five were taken into custody by USPP officers following an intensive investigation conducted by the Park Police and the U.S. Attorneyâs Office, with assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Secret Service, the FBI, Prince Georgeâs County PD, Metro Transit PD and Metropolitan PD. Another three individuals have also been arrested in connection with the use of credit cards stolen during the robberies. The following five incidents occurred on the Mall:
Working methodically and following leads arising from an analysis of records from the stolen credit cards and a cell phone, interviews with witnesses, and the execution of more than a dozen search warrants, investigators identified and arrested the five men. A variety of assault and robbery charges have been filed against them. Three other men, ranging in age from 19 to 24, have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit theft in the first degree in connection with the use of some of the stolen credit cards. In announcing the arrests and charges against these defendants, U.S. attorney Kenneth Wainstein and USPP chief Dwight Pettiford commended the outstanding work of all members of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to close this investigation, particularly, lead detective Todd Reid of the U.S. Park Police and the outstanding team of detectives, along with David Knoedler of the U.S. Secret Service, Marty Flynn of the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Criminal Investigative Unit of the U.S. Attorneyâs Office, particularly, John Marsh and Larry Grasso. They also commended assistant U.S. attorneys Elana Tyrangiel and Dan Zachem.
- May 25, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. â A couple walking on the Mall were approached by three young men, one armed with a gun. They were ordered to the ground at gunpoint and searched for money and valuables. Items taken from them included cash, a cell phone, and a wallet containing credit and ATM cards. One of the men committed a forceful sexual touching of the woman.
- May 25, immediately after the above â The men approached another couple on the Mall and were also ordered to the ground and robbed of similar items. As in the first incident, one of them committed a forceful sexual touching of the woman. She was also kicked in the head by one of the men when she resisted.
- May 27, 11 p.m. to midnight â A man and woman walking together on the Mall were approached by three young men, one armed with a gun. A jacket, wallet, cash and credit cards were taken from the man and his pants pockets were searched. Items and cash were also taken from the woman, who was then taken by the armed man to a grassy are of the Mall, where he raped her at gunpoint, then forced her to commit oral sodomy on him and a second man. The latter punched and kicked the man before joining the sexual assault.
- July 11, about 10 p.m. â Two women were approached by two young men and robbed of their cell phones and cash on the grounds of the Washington Monument. During the robbery, one of the men committed a forceful sexual touching of one of the women.
- July 11, 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. â A family of four â two adults with their two children, ages 9 and 15 â were walking on the Mall near the Washington Monument when they were approached by two men, one armed with a gun. They were forced to the ground at gunpoint, then robbed of cash and a camera.