19-Year-Old Petworth Man Suspected in Neighborhood Attacks

A 19-year-old Petworth man is suspected in a series of attacks this week in that neighborhood and has been taken into custody, NBC Washington reports.

Sources told News4 that investigators recovered a claw hammer that they believe could be the weapon used in all four attacks in the area.

The teen is being charged in Thursday night’s attack and is being questioned in the other three.

Denver man Gary Dederichs was found dead of head trauma in Northwest DC Tuesday evening, two more people have been been found with serious head injuries near where Dederichs was found, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said Thursday afternoon.

Those people, a 53-year-old male and an adult female, remain hospitalized.

A fourth attack in the area was reported Thursday night. Chief Cathy Lanier said at a press conference Friday morning that that victim, a 19-year-old woman, sustained a serious injury but is reported to be stable.

“From what we know in this attack, it was a sudden and unexpected, and appeared to be a completely unprovoked attack,” Lanier said.

She added that undercover officers in the neighborhood heard the woman call for help.

Mayor Vincent Gray, on WTOP’s Ask the Mayor program Friday morning said those officers immediately responded to the woman and saw that she was injured and in pain. The officers

Saw a figure in an alley, pursued him, he discarded a backpack that contained a claw hammer with blood on it, with the same MO as the other incidents. I don’t want to conclude there is a pattern. This seems to be the case of someone who is mentally ill.

WUSA identified the suspect as Michael Davis. He’s suspected in the Thursday night attack on the 19-year-old woman and has not been charged with any other crimes at this time.

Update: WJLA confirms that Davis is the younger brother of San Francisco 49ers’ Vernon Davis and Miami Dolphins’ Vontae Davis.

Lanier issued the following message to the community on the Fourth District listserv Friday morning:

Following a series of assaults in the Petworth neighborhood in the past 72 hours, we deployed several teams of undercover officers to the area. Last night at approximately 9:00 PM, members assigned to our Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, Strike Force was patrolling in the 800 block of Gallatin Street Northwest when they heard someone yelling for help. They observed a female on the ground suffering obvious injury to the head. As they approached the victim they observe a subject a short distance away in the alley, holding a dark colored bag. As the officers made eye contact with the subject, he began running and was pursued by the officers. During the pursuit, the officers observe the subject discard the backpack. The pursuit continued to the 4800 block of Illinois Avenue where the suspect was apprehended.

A claw hammer, believed at this time to be the weapon used in the assault was recovered from the back pack discarded by the suspect.

The suspect has been identified as 19 year old Michael Davis of the 900 block of Emerson Street, NW. At this time he has been charged with one count of aggravated assault.

The victim in this case, who is not being identified, is a 19 year old female. She has suffered a serious head injury and remains hospitalized.

At this time, we are continuing to investigate and process evidence to determine if this case may be linked to the prior three cases that occurred in the Petworth neighborhood over the past 72 hours.

It goes without saying, we are extremely proud of the officers and detectives involved in this apprehension. They have certainly demonstrated their commitment to the safety of our community and the mission of the Metropolitan Police Department.

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