Man Tried to Grab Child Saturday Near Eastern Market

213
Pedestrians walk along the pathway that runs diagonally between the Eastern Market Metro Park playground and greenspace. File Photo: E. O'Gorek

Witnesses said a man tried to grab a child in the Eastern Market Metro Plaza playground (800 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) on the afternoon of Saturday, July 2.

Parents collectively prevented the man from taking the child and the man escaped the playground on foot.

Police were called, but they were already looking for the man.

Shortly before 2 p.m. this afternoon, officers responded to several calls in the area of Eastern Market involving a suspect that reportedly assaulted multiple individuals prior to the attempt to grab a child.

According to the police report, in one of the instances a woman was walking along the 200 block of Sixth Street SE when the suspect grabbed her by the neck.

Concerned citizens followed the suspect and called police.

Responding 1D officers located the suspect and gave chase on foot, until the suspect entered a vacant residential building.

They established a perimeter around the building and called in back up, including a helicopter that scanned the rooftops around Sixth and Pennsylvania Ave SE.

According to police, shortly after 3 p.m., members of the 1D Crime Suppression Police entered a locked apartment in the building with the consent of the property manager. The suspect, a 38-year-old male resident of Southeast, was found inside and taken into custody without incident.

But the man has only been charged with simple assault, because there was nobody to identify the person who had earlier attempted to take a child.

“Officers could not locate the complainant for the initial call for the report of a suspect grabbing a child,” MPD representatives said. “The suspect was only identified in the simple assault charge.”

Anyone that may have witnessed anything out of the ordinary around Eastern Market this afternoon is asked to call 202-727-9099.