A spokesperson for Metro Transit Police disclosed on April 15 that investigators had identified two juvenile suspects linked to an April 11 incident at the Congress Heights Metro station in which a gay man was attacked and beaten while being called anti-gay names.
The 23-year-old victim suffered a concussion, broken jaw and loosened teeth at the hands of four male suspects who assaulted him inside the station at about 10:45 p.m., according to a police report.
Nearly one month later, neither Metro Police nor D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, who is in charge of prosecuting juvenile offenders, have disclosed whether the two juvenile males, ages 16 and 17, have been arrested or prosecuted under the city’s juvenile justice system.
On April 22, Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye told the Blade the two suspects had not been arrested at that time. She said a juvenile court proceeding known as a Pre-Petition Custody Order (PPCO) hearing was expected to be held the following week to determine how the case should proceed.
But since that time Dye said she has been unable to determine from Metro Transit Police whether arrests have been made in the case. Detectives were seeking to identity at least one more suspect, she said.
The victim, who has asked that his name not be disclosed, told the Blade he was invited to a meeting with a Metro Transit detective and a representative of the Attorney General’s Office on April 28.
“They asked me if I want to press charges and I said yes I do want press charges,” he said. “They have my medical records from the hospital,” the victim said. “I signed papers to have them released.”
He noted that he underwent emergency surgery to reset a broken jaw, which included the wiring of the jaw in a closed position to allow the bone to heal.
The Attorney General’s representative told him he would likely be called to testify in court, but as of Tuesday he had not heard back from anyone, he said.
Robert Marus, a spokesperson for the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, said his office could not comment on any juvenile case, including whether or not an arrest has been made, under the city’s strict confidentiality rules pertaining to juvenile offenders.
LGBT activists following cases of anti-LGBT violence have expressed concern over past cases in which authorities declined to disclose whether juveniles implicated in anti-LGBT assaults were prosecuted and, if so, what the outcome of the case was. Some activists have asked why this information could not be disclosed as long as the names and identities of the juvenile defendants remain confidential.
Racine won election in November as the city’s first elected independent attorney general. He told the Blade during his election campaign that he would look into ways to provide more information on juvenile cases while complying with existing rules and statutes that require confidentiality.