Posted on April 22, 2022

A Horrific, Senseless Assault by Teens Leaves Neighborhood Man With a Broken Jaw and His Family Shaken

Petworth News, April 21, 2022

During Covid, a family off of Kansas Avenue and Decatur Street put up an adjustable basketball hoop on their back deck, right on the alley, to let their two young kids play. The spot was popular with other neighborhood kids, and the two homeowners were happy to let other children use the net whenever they wanted.

The basketball hoop is now gone, along with the staircase from the back deck to the alley, and the window blinds are drawn closed. What started out as a normal night on April 11th turned absolutely nightmarish for the family as the four young kids, two of whom were teens, attacked the husband and left him knocked out in the alley with a broken jaw, missing teeth and more injuries.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous so we’ll call them John and Jane, would raise or lower the basketball hoop to fit whomever came by to play, making it easier to use. Around 7:30pm on Monday night, April 11th, as dusk slowly fell, four kids showed up at the back of the house. {snip}

John greeted the kids and lowered the net to make it easier for them to play and dunk the ball. He told them that they could play for a little while, but that they’d need to stop when it got late as his young 5-year old daughter would need to go to bed, and the hoop was below her window.

“John went out and adjusted the hoop for them as he often does as a kindness, and got out the basketballs we keep on hand,” Jane said. “He asked them to be sure to stop playing at dark so he could get our daughter to bed without noise. At 9:30 they were still playing, so when my daughter complained about the noise, John went out to ask them to stop.”

Jane says her husband is of slight stature, not an imposing presence and is soft-spoken. He reportedly walked halfway down the stairs to the alley and calmly asked them to wrap it up, as the noise was keeping up his daughter.

{snip} “After he asked them to stop playing, the bigger of the teens came at John on the stairs, yelling ‘What did you say to me? Why are you coming at me?’ The boy then rushed John and punched him [in the head].”

John fell or was pulled from the staircase, unconscious, and the kids allegedly proceeded to kick and stomp on him. “He doesn’t remember anything after that first punch,” Jane said.

What the couple has pieced together from the blood trail in the alley, John’s injuries and police discussions is that John was knocked out by the first punch, thrown down the rest of the stairs and “stomped out” as the police told them — kicked in the body and face repeatedly.

A neighbor’s camera footage shows the kids leaving the alley shortly after, “Strolling with no sense of urgency or fear, though John was unconscious and bleeding badly a few feet behind them,” Jane said.

You can hear the teens exclaiming how the video on one of their phones was recording their playing during the assault. {snip}

John had six bones broken in his face, including his orbital bone, nose and jaw, and had most of his front lower teeth broken. {snip}

A neighbor who went over to feed the couple’s dogs and clean up, said there was so much blood it looked like a murder scene.


While MPD showed up quickly, the responding officers told the couple they shouldn’t have spoken to the teens, but called MPD to remove them.

“The last thing we wanted to do was to call the police on four Black kids playing basketball in an alley,” Jane said. {snip}