Sanctions for Anti-Gay Robbery Suspect

One of two defendants in 14th Street NW attack ordered to into support groups following positive drug tests

One of two suspects accused of beating and robbing a gay man on 14th Street NW in April was ordered Wednesday to attend two separate support groups following at least three different positive drug tests, including an initial test finding traces of cocaine in his system when he was first arrested.

Gustavo Velasquez, 24, who remains released on personal recognizance, was first arrested on the night of the attack after being positively identified by the victim. He initially tested positive for cocaine and was ordered to enroll in a sanction-based treatment program, at the recommendation of the court’s Pretrial Services Agency (PSA).

Velasquez subsequently failed to appear for testing on June 17, but no sanction was imposed. Sanctions were imposed for two other tests where he tested positive, on July 3 and July 22. He also failed to appear for a sanction hearing on Aug. 2 related to July 31 violation of his release, prompting D.C. Superior Court Judge Gregory Jackson to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Jackson later nullified the warrant and ordered Velasquez to attend two separate redirection groups, but did not revoke the terms of his release.

Velasquez’s alleged accomplice, Ciriaco Oxlaj, 26, tested negative for drugs and remains released on personal recognizance. Each man faces one count of robbery. Their next court date has not yet been scheduled and is dependent on whether a grand jury decides to indict them on the robbery charge.

According to charging documents, the victim claims he was standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette when three men approached him, called him a ”faggot” in Spanish and knocked him to the ground, stealing his iPad and attempting to reach into the victim’s pants pocket as he lost consciousness.

The victim later regained consciousness, and told police officers responding to reports of the attack what had happened. He identified Velasquez and Oxlaj as two of his attackers, but a third assailant was never found.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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