Metro Weekly

Three arrested for attacking gay couple on U Street early Sunday morning

Victim's boyfriend has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical bills

Photo: Karl Craven, via GoFundMe

A gay couple was attacked while walking along U Street NW early Sunday morning, sending one of the men to the emergency room.

On Monday, MPD announced in a press release that they had arrested three suspects, charging two juveniles and 19-year-old Marcus Britt, all of Fort Washington, Md., with robbery.

“At approximately 1:44 am, in the 1000 block of U Street, Northwest, the suspects approached the victim and assaulted the victim,” police said. “The suspects took the victim’s property then fled the scene.”

Writing on a GoFundMe page created after the attack to cover medical costs, Karl Craven said that he and his boyfriend, Braden Brecht, were walking from Hawthorne’s to Nellie’s when the pair “stopped to talk for a few minutes.”

“[Braden] was leaning against me and a few guys started yelling ‘faggot’ at him and started to swing at him,” Craven wrote. “It was all a quick blur but next thing you know there was literally a mob of 15 guys beating him.

“They came out of nowhere and I was powerless to stop them, all I could do was jump on him to try protect him and scream help,” Craven continued. “I don’t remember how long they kept beating him for.”

The assailants reportedly stole Brecht’s phone and Craven’s wallet in the attack.

Brecht was taken to the emergency room, where he was treated for facial lacerations, a chipped front tooth, and received multiple stitches on his lip.

Because Brecht does not have medical insurance, Craven created the GoFundMe page to help raise money for emergency room and tooth repair bills.

The page has raised $7,000 — more than its $5,000 goal — since it was created on Sunday afternoon.

Photo: Karl Craven, via GoFundMe.

In a Facebook post, Craven said that the couple had been visited by the Metropolitan Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Unit and had been offered help in accessing the Crime Victims Compensation Program.

Several other people fell victim to assaults in the U Street corridor that morning. Five minutes after the gay couple was attacked, a group of teenagers allegedly attacked another victim in the 2000 block of Vermont Avenue NW, around the corner from where the first assault took place.

That was followed by another attack in the 1200 block of U Street, NW at around 2:11 a.m., and another robbery and assault in the 900 block of U Street at 2:40 a.m., during which one of the assailants brandished a handgun.

Twenty minutes after the fourth attack, a group of people attacked and robbed a fifth victim in the 2000 block of 9th Street, NW. One teenager was arrested in each of those four subsequent attacks. Most of the alleged perpetrators are juveniles from nearby Maryland suburbs, according to the MPD press release.

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

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