D.C. police on April 25 arrested two men for allegedly assaulting and robbing a Silver Spring man about 1 a.m. that day as the man stood outside the Crew Club, a gay gym and health club at 1321 14th St., N.W.
According to a police report, the two arrested men were among three young males who allegedly began striking the victim “with closed fists while calling him a homophobic slur in Spanish.”
The victim, Daryll “Dario” Flammer told NBC 4 TV News in an on-camera interview on the day of the incident that he was smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk when he was “beaten, knocked out and robbed.”
The police report, which lists the incident as a possible anti-gay hate crime, says Flammer told police officers responding to the scene that the attackers stole his iPad, which police estimate has a value of $800.
Flammer “states that he temporarily lost consciousness and noticed the listed property missing when he regained consciousness. No other property was removed from his person,” the report says. It says an ambulance was called to the scene but Flammer declined treatment.
According to the police report, among the officers responding to the scene was an affiliate member of the police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.
D.C. police spokesperson Gwendolyn Crump identified the men arrested as Gustavo Velasquez, 24, and Ciriaco Oxlaj, 26, both residents of Northwest D.C. Court records show the U.S. Attorney’s office charged the men with a single count of felony robbery and did not list the incident as a hate crime.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has said in the past that it prefers to put off making a decision on whether to list assaults and other crimes as hate crimes until the cases are presented before a grand jury.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Karen Howze released Velasquez and Oxalaj on their own recognizance at an April 25 presentment hearing pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 14, court records show. The records show that Howze granted the release on the condition that the two men stay away from Flammer and stay away from the section of 14th Street, N.W. between Massachusetts Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue within which the Crew Club is located.
“Initially, I felt a bump on my head, a hard bump, and that knocked me to the ground,” Flammer told NBC 4 News, which was the first media outlet to report the incident.
“For a couple of seconds I was disoriented, not conscious, and then another individual took my tie and started pulling on me…and I couldn’t breathe, and he literally took the tie and ripped it off my neck,” he told NBC 4 News.