Adams Morgan residents react to reports of sexual assault in neighborhood

WASHINGTON — The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a report that as many as six people were involved in an attack in which a woman says she was beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted in Adams Morgan Sunday.

The woman tells police she was pulled into an alley and sexually assaulted by two of the six attackers about 5:45 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 Block of Ontario Road.

The location near Kalorama Road is just a few blocks away from a vibrant corridor of restaurants and bars known for having an active nightlife. Adams Morgan is a bustling neighborhood with a kaleidoscope of visitors and residents of different ages, income levels and ethnic backgrounds.

In the area of the alleged assault on Ontario Road, some residents describe incidents that make them cautious and wary, while others focus on the neighborhood’s charm.

“I’ve always felt like the neighborhood is pretty good and pretty reasonable,” says David Cook, who has lived on Ontario Road for seven years.

Cook says there have been what seem to be isolated incidents of violence. But, “most problems seem to be on Friday and Saturday nights when the bars close. But that’s more rowdy loudness as opposed to anything serious like this,” he says.

D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, says he has been in touch with MPD about the assault and is waiting for more information.

Adams Morgan assault (WTOP/Kristi King)

Graffiti in the Ontario Road block of Adams Morgan. (WTOP/Kristi King)

“These are very serious allegations of what is a major crime and the neighborhood is very concerned. I’m very concerned,” Graham says.

Brightly painted graffiti covers a business’ metal door just a few steps away from the Ontario Road alley where the assault allegedly happened.

“I just figure that’s D.C. — living in the city there’s going to be people who break the law,” says Marianna Abraham of the graffiti. Abraham has lived in the area of the assault for a year and a half.

“I’ve never really seen any suspicious characters. I’ve never felt like I’ve had to do anything special to keep safe,” Abraham says.

You’ll hear a different story, however, from some other people in the area.

“One has to be careful,” says Veena Titus who has worked in a home on Ontario Road in the block of the alleged assault for four years. “I’m alert,” she says of paying attention to her surroundings.

“Especially if it’s late or early morning and dark,” Titus says.

Brandon Malet has lived in the area of the assault for 2 1/2 years.

“Family members are a little uncomfortable about us living here,” Malet says.

Malet says farther down the block on Ontario Road, his roommate was beaten and robbed of a cellphone and wallet on a Saturday about 2 a.m.

“He had bruises on his face for about a month,” Malet says of his roommate who now is OK.

“If I was a woman, I would not be walking alone in this neighborhood when it’s dark — whether it’s morning or night,” he says.

MPD Spokesman Araz Alali says the department is investigating the assault.

“We will continue to work aggressively in protecting our communities for those who might prey on them and hold them accountable,” Alali says.

“We will use every resource available to find, prosecute and punish those responsible for these types of brutal and heinous crimes of depravity and abuse.”

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