Adams Morgan Crime on the Rise
Just last week, in the wake of two shootings in heavily trafficked nightlife areas -- in Adams Morgan and at 14th and T Streets -- we were asking how safe you felt when you went out. Then, around 1 a.m. on Sunday morning in Adams Morgan, an unknown person fired six shots in the alley between the Suntrust bank and Julia's Empanadas, near the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Road, with one of the bullets flying across 18th Street and striking a light fixture on the porch outside Madams Organ. Although the gunplay happened right next to a police substation, the shooter got away.
As a result, you'll see more police on the streets in Adams Morgan this weekend, including the city's elite Crime Suppression Unit. But according to Brian Weaver, the head of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, these two shootings are just the tip of the iceberg of rising crime in Adams Morgan: There have been 30 violent crimes in the last 30 days, primarily muggings and armed robberies, along with 14 confirmed incidents of shots being fired. "I view this as a scary jump," he says. "[Residents of Adams Morgan] tolerate drunk people fighting in the pizza line," Weaver says. "This is a little bit different."
(As a comparison, in August, there were 11 muggings and two assaults with a deadly weapon, which can be anything from hitting someone with a beer bottle to a shooting.)
The rise in shootings looks troubling. Weaver says police have determined that almost all are part of a long-simmering feud between rival teenage gangs, and the majority of those shootings are not happening on Adams Morgan's busiest streets. What's more worrying for visitors is that huge spike in muggings.
These robberies aren't happening on the 18th Street strip or Columbia Road, either, says Weaver; instead, the muggers and thieves are hiding out on deserted sidestreets like "Lanier Place or Champlain Street, waiting for people to come back to their car."
So while there will be more cops on the streets, consider this your public service announcement for the weekend: Park in the garage, take a taxi, grab the Adams Morgan-U Street Link bus to and from the Metro and just be extra vigilant. That way, there's less chance you'll turn out to be a statistic.
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