Suspects arrested in gruesome Eastern Market beating
WTOP's Dick Uliano reports.
WASHINGTON - A 17-year-old arrested along with two men in a robbery and beating near Eastern Market that left a man fighting for his life will be charged as an adult in the crime, WTOP has learned.
As WTOP first reported, police arrested and charged three people Wednesday night in the attack on 29-year-old Thomas Maslin. Two of the suspects - 21-year-old Tommy Tyrone Branch of Fort Washington, Md., and 18-year-old Michael Moore of Landover, Md. - are adults.
The third suspect, 17-year-old Sunny Kuti, was not identified by police because of his age. But court records show Kuti, of Southeast D.C., was charged as an adult in an armed robbery that occurred on the same day that Maslin was beaten.
The suspects had been arrested previously and charged in a robbery on 18th Street NW that occurred just hours after the attack on Maslin. Following that arrest, court records show all three suspects were on home confinement as part of a high-intensity supervised release program. They may have been wearing electronic monitoring devices as part of their supervision when they were arrested in the Maslin case.
A D.C. Superior Court spokesperson says once a juvenile is charged as an adult in one case, they are considered an adult on all subsequent charges. Court records indicate that Kuti will be charged as an adult.
Maslin was found beaten and unconscious in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue SE at roughly 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. He had attended a Washington Nationals game the night before and did not return home.
One of the suspects turned himself in to police. The two other suspects were arrested Wednesday.
It's not known if the suspects are responsible for a second beating and robbery reported on Sept. 4 that occurred four blocks from where Maslin was found. Police had said they were looking into the possibility that the two crimes were related.
Lanier classified the attacks as "disturbing" and unusually violent. The assaults on the victims, who reportedly complied with the robbers' demands, appeared to be unnecessary, she said.
"When we catch the folks in these robberies, we're going to go after these people hard," she told WTOP.
Following the first attack, detectives released surveillance video from a Capitol Hill Exxon station of a 2005 silver Hyundai Sonata. Police say the occupants of that car attempted to use Maslin's credit card at that station shortly after his attack.
Maslin's condition is improving following two surgeries and a brief slip into a coma. Maslin lives with his wife and 21-month-old son on Capitol Hill.
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