Overwhelming Concern Over Recent Spate of Crime: Update – Arrest Made

UPDATE: Arrest made in Rittenhouse Street Homicide

November 22, 2017

Arrest Made in a Homicide:
1300 Block of Rittenhouse Street, Northwest

(Washington, DC) – Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch announced an arrest has been made in reference to a homicide that occurred in the 1300 block of Rittenhouse Street, Northwest, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

At approximately 8:15 pm, members of the Fourth District responded to the area for the sounds of gunshots. Upon arrival, officers discovered one adult male and one juvenile male, suffering from gunshot wounds, in the rear alley of the listed location. DC Fire and EMS arrived on the scene and transported both victims to area hospitals. The adult victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The juvenile victim was pronounced dead after all life-saving efforts failed.

The decedent has been identified as 16 year-old Yoselis Regino Barrios.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARFTF) arrested 20-year-old Kevin Sorto, of Northwest, DC. Sorto has been charged with First Degree Murder while Armed.

NBC 4’s Shomari Stone reports on last night’s meeting

Too often, it takes a moment of tragedy to bring our community together.  Such is the case after the recent double shooting near Rittenhouse St NW in the Brightwood section of Washington, DC, where 16 year-old Yoselis Regino Barrios lost his life.

The Brightwood Community Association held its November meeting on Tuesday evening at St. John United Baptist Church.  The room was packed with well over a hundred neighbors who expressed their concern about the shootings.

Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd led the main discussion and began with some brief remarks.  He was followed by Fourth District Commander Wilfredo Manlapaz.

Commander Wilfredo Manlapaz Addresses Crime

Commander Manlapaz provided a short update on the status of four recent shootings:

  • Homicide, 900 Block Shepherd St NW – Case is still open
  • Shooting, 5400 Block Georgia Avenue – Case is still open, photo of suspect available
  • Homicide, 1300 Block Rittenhouse – two people shot, 16-year-old deceased. Case is still open.
  • Homicide, 5400 Block Kennedy St – Arrest has been made

Each of these crimes is a tragic event, but the commander provided the current crime statistics to give the audience a clear sense of what is happening across the Fourth District. These numbers compare 2016 to 2017:

  • Violent crime decreased 21%
  • Violent crime with gun decreased 51%
  • MPD has recovered over 100 guns
  • Property crime is down 13% (thefts from auto)
  • Overall crime down 14%

Commander. Manlapaz stated, “We are making progress and moving in the right direction.”

That point was reiterated by several long-time neighborhood residents who recalled years not so long ago when crime was much higher.  The city will likely end the year with a count of homicides in the low 100s (we’re currently at 100 year-to-date).  In the bad-old days of the early 90s, the city nearly topped 500 homicides in a year.

He also provided the following tips:

  • Please do not leave valuable items in your vehicle. The District has had to respond to over a thousand cases of theft from auto.  When police have to response to these cases, they are not available to patrol their local routes.
  • The winter months are here. Do not leave your car running unattended. Stolen vehicles are often used to commit other crimes.
  • If you have possible information about a case, call the Anonymous Tip Line at 202.727.0999 or text your tip to 50411.
  • He also noted that we do have several latino gangs in the area who do not play well with other gangs.

Security Camera Incentive Program

crime cameraCommander Manlapaz also enthusiastically promoted the new Private Security Camera Incentive Program.  This program provides home and business owners a rebate of up to $500 for the installation of security camera equipment if the owner would consent to show video to the Metropolitan Police if they need it.  He said that private cameras are often more useful to the police than the expensive, public-owned CCTV cameras because of superior positioning and video quality.

If you would like to know more about this program, please visit www.ovsjg.dc.gov.

NEAR Act and the Office of Violence Prevention and Health Equity

In addition to the normal concerns that are usually expressed after a series of crimes like this, there was also a very vocal contingent of the audience who were seeking non-law enforcement approaches to violence reduction.  The D.C. Council unanimously passed the NEAR Act (Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results) in 2016 and has finally begun funding and implementing the law.  According to a summary provided at the meeting, the NEAR Act has four functions:

  1. Take a public health approach to public safety by establishing the Office of Violence Prevention and Health Equity through the Department of Health. Del McFadden was appointed to lead that office just two weeks ago.  He spoke briefly at the meeting and was full of ideas about how to implement the program.
  2. Link behavioral health and crime through a community crime prevention team program.
  3. Identify and engage individuals at risk of being involved in violent crime.
  4. Use data and training to improve policing.

Next Steps

After a tragedy, we are accustomed to seeing the flood of attention and police presence. But what happens of the klieg lights move on?  Audience members had plenty of questions on that front.

Councilmember Todd and Commander Manlapaz offered a few additional suggestions to keep the community and the government engaged in overcoming this problem:

  • Citizens can join the 4th district listserv to get up-to-date public information about recent crimes.
  • Orange Hat Patrols – Neighborhoods can organize these groups to provide more visibility and get to know one another
  • CAC – Citizen’s Advisory Council – the Fourth district holds monthly public meetings to discuss trends and public information related to crime prevention.
  • Block captain training: call Councilmember Todd’s office to learn about becoming a block captain.

Let’s take the concern and passion that was on display Tuesday evening and turn it into a force for good.

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