WEDNESDAY, AUG. 25 -- As the emotional fallout from the murder of Adrien Alstad continues to grip Washington's gay community -- and all residents in the area of Dupont and Logan circles -- new attacks have rocked the same neighborhood. Three men walking on the 1600 block of 16th Street NW told police they were attacked at 12:35 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The three were approached by two men, one of whom brandished a handgun, a police spokesman told Metro Weekly. The victims told police the assailants demanded money, and that one victim surrendered his wallet. A second victim said the armed attacker used the gun to strike him near his eye before both assailants fled on foot, last seen running north on 16th Street.
The victims described one suspect as a black male in his mid-20s, about 6-feet tall and 180 pounds. The second suspect was described only as a black male.
Later Wednesday, Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams brought a group to lunch at Annie's Paramount Steakhouse, on 17th Street NW, where Alstad worked. Alstad was shot to death as he walked home from work after the Sunday night shift, around 2:20 a.m. Monday. The shooting occurred at the 1800 block of R Street NW. Alstad had worked at Annie's since 1987, and lived on the 1700 block of 20th Street NW, just a short walk from Annie's.
Along with D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans and Rob Halligan of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Mayor Williams spoke to reporters after lunch. "We're going to get our arms around this and overcome it," Williams said, referring to rash of robberies in the neighborhood.
Halligan told reporters that the luncheon with the mayor had given him some confidence about the situation. He added that statistically it may not seem as though the city's crime situation as a whole is worsening. Nevertheless, warned Halligan, "There is obviously someone preying on our community right now.... I think the police are doing a terrific job, there just aren't enough of them."
Williams ended the conference by saying that he is confident the police will find the gunman who shot Alsted, though he confirmed there are not yet any suspects.
Two events have been announced to mark the increase of violent crime in this area of Washington, closely identified with the city's gay community.
A public discussion of rising crime in the area is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at the Dupont Circle fountain. Following the discussion, attendees will form a candlelight march to Annie's Paramount Steakhouse. On Saturday, Aug. 28, Dupont neighborhood churches will sponsor a similar march. For the Saturday night vigil and march, participants are asked to gather in the garden of St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 18th and Church Streets NW. The Saturday event also will include a candlelight march to Annie's. For more information on the Saturday event, call 202-543-6250.