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City Desk now provides weekly updates on crimes throughout the District.

Muggers and Damsels: A man walking in the 2100 block of Observatory Place NW on Dec. 1 was approached at 12:35 a.m. by an individual who reportedly got out of a white van and trained a gun on him. The victim was ordered to the ground. Another alleged mugger appeared and the two went through the man’s backpack—pilfering an iPhone, laptop, and headphones. The victim’s wallet was also stolen. The suspects jumped into their van and headed north on Observatory Place.

Two knife-wielding men robbed two women of cash, a purse, an iPhone, and credit cards at around 4 a.m. on Dec. 5 in the 2700 block of 11th Street NW. Police said the victims ran for help, and several citizens came to their aid. The Good Samaritans confronted the robbers and, during the fracas, one was stabbed in the chest. The stabbing victim is in stable condition. Of confronting assailants, Third District Substation Inspector Jacob Kishter says, “We don’t recommend it. But it was pretty brave.”

Carjack Talk: Police responded shortly before 9 p.m. on Dec. 1. to a report of a shooting in the 4300 block of Fourth Street SE. Officers found Arvell Stewart Alston, 40, of Temple Hills, Md., suffering from a gunshot wound. Alston died about an hour later at an area hospital. A second victim, also wounded by gunfire, survived and is in stable condition, police say. Police think the shooting stemmed from a carjacking.

Other carjacking news made bigger headlines. On Dec. 2 at around  9:37 p.m., Julia Corker, the daughter of  Sen. Bob Corker, was in a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe in the 700 block of D Street NW when a man tapped on her window and asked directions. While she was distracted, another man “approached the vehicle and ordered the woman to get out, at which point he physically removed her and threw her to the ground,” according to a Metropolitan Police Department news release. The two men got into the car and took off. Corker sustained minor injuries and her alleged carjackers—DeWalden Connor, 22, of Capitol Heights, Md., and Steven Alston, 25, of the 1700 block of Gales Street NE—were later taken into custody at a Taco Bell in Seat Pleasant, Md. Some news outlets reported Corker was stopped at a red light when she was carjacked, but a police source tells The Blotter that Corker apparently had pulled over to make a cell phone call.

Flying Bullets: After going on the attack, a pooch is shot. Police were called to the 3400 block of Quebec Street NW around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 after a woman was bitten by a pit bull. “Prior to police arriving,” says MPD, “a concerned witness heard the victim screaming for help.” The witness managed to pull the dog off the victim and get it in a cage, but the dog got out of the enclosure. Animal control officers tried to subdue the aggressive dog several times without success; it was shot as it charged an MPD officer. Police say the victim was admitted to a hospital and is in stable condition. The dog has been put to sleep.

Two men were shot in the legs on Dec. 5 in the 3700 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW. Their injuries appeared to be non-life threatening.

It’s 911, Stupid: Police Sergeant Christopher Micciche wants residents who spot criminal activity to immediately call 911, not a buddy. On Dec. 3, he writes via listserv, “a resident observed a subject trying to climb into his home through a window. He chased the suspect for several blocks, then ran back home and…called a friend. He asked a friend what number he should call to report the incident.” Of 911, Micciche says: “That is the most proven way for the police to catch the bad guys.”

Source: MPD’s District listservs, public releases