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Mob of Teens Allegedly Attack, Rob Gay Couple, Others During Night of Crime

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Jun 18, 2019
Cal Craven and Braden Brecht
Cal Craven and Braden Brecht  (Source:Cal Craven via GoFundMe)

It was a mini crime wave, reportedly carried out over a span of approximately 75 minutes by teenagers as young as 15. In at least five separate incidents, all taking place in the early hours of June 16, people were robbed and/or assaulted in an area of Washington, D.C. that's dense with bars, restaurants, and other night spots, the Washington Post reported.

The Post article said arrests had been made in the various incidents, and identified two 19-year-old suspects — Marcus Britt and Akiz Peterson — as well as reporting that two minors were also arrested, one 15 and the other 16. The 15-year-old had a weapon and now faces charges of armed robbery.

Two of the victims were a gay couple who told authorities they thought they were targeted because of their sexuality, local news channel Fox 5 reported.

According to Cal Craven, he and his boyfriend Braden Brecht were assaulted by a mob of youths. Craven said his wallet was stolen, while Brecht was robbed of his phone. Craven estimated that as many as a dozen assailants might have been involved in the robbery and the beating, the brunt of which Brecht suffered.

The two were walking along the U Street corridor, having just left a bar, when they stopped for a moment while having a conversation, Craven said. That's when several teens began taunting the men with anti-gay epithets, Craven recounted. Then more assailants arrived at the scene and began attacking Brecht. Craven was knocked to the ground, he said, and his wallet was stolen at that point; when he managed to get to his feet, he saw how Braden was being beaten by the mob and threw himself into the fray in an attempt to aid his boyfriend.

Authorities believe that a number of others were involved in addition to the four teens they have arrested so far, Fox 5 reported.

Craven related the evening's traumatic events at a GoFundMe page where he's seeking donations to help defray the medical costs that Braden faces as a result of the beating he endured.

"I don't remember how long they kept beating him for," Craven recounts. "They chipped a major part of his front tooth and he had to get multiple stitches on his lip.

"Braden doesn't have insurance and will have ER, ambulance, and counseling bills, along with needing a new phone," Craven goes on to say. "He will also be out of work for some time. Any help would be greatly appreciated."

A member of DC's police department, Cmdr. Stuart Emerman told the media that the teens were "targeting ... an area where they know there's a lot of opportunity."

Emerman added that prospective victims of violence and theft "are out and about trying to have a good night, trying to enjoy their evening, and individuals are preying on them," the Fox 5 article said.

The teens arrested in connection with the assault on Craven and Brecht face additional hate crimes charges, Fox 5 reported.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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