At Wednesday's ANC 4C monthly meeting (5/13), Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth reported an alleged attempted abduction had occurred recently at a bus stop next to E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. Obviously, this freaked me out when I heard about it, so I looked into the situation and wanted to share what I found out.
The short version is that it appears to have been a physical altercation between a pre-teen boy and a man getting onto the #63 bus at Kansas avenue near EL Haynes (occurred next to, not at the school). The boy is safe. My initial concern and image of a man attempting to drag a kid into a car isn’t quite the case, but the full story isn't great.
As this was a Metro Transit police issue, I contacted WMATA for more information and reached out to Lt. Boehm from MTPD. I heard back from Dan Stessel, the Director, Communications & Chief Spokesperson for Metro who provided some pretty thorough info.
On April 22nd around 5:40pm, a man got into a verbal altercation with a 12-year old boy getting onto the #63 Metro Bus at Kansas Avenue by E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. It’s possible the argument may have started at the bus stop. According to the victim and witnesses, the suspect told the victim he would have to get off the bus. When the victim refused, the suspect punched the victim and then grabbed him under his arm and forcibly removed him from the bus. The victim fled along Kansas Ave, and the suspect gave chase. The boy got away and the suspect fled along Kansas Ave.
Both DC MPD and Metro Transit responded. MTPD received the call at 6:13 p.m. and the first MTPD officer arrived on scene about 5 minutes later. MPD may have been on scene prior. MTPD was initially contacted by the BOCC (Bus Operations Control Center.
Officers spoke with the victim and several witnesses. At least one witness thought the suspect was a family member and did not take action at the time of the altercation for that reason. (Never understood someone ignoring a physical altercation of any kind, let alone between a full-grown man and a young boy.)
The boy was treated on scene and released to his mother, and the man now has an arrest warrant out.
Based on the information available at the time, the incident was initially classified as a “Simple Assault”; however, follow-up investigation by MTPD detectives revealed that they should classify it as an “Attempt Abduction.”
MTPD detectives have been actively working the case since it occurred and have identified the suspect/attacker. Earlier today, MTPD brought the case to the Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office to seek an arrest warrant. The AUSA plans to issue a warrant on Monday.
I want to thank MPD Commander Manlapaz and MTPD Lieutenant Boehm for their quick responses to my initial inquiry, and WMATA Spokesperson Dan Stessel for his thorough responses to my questions.