Security Guard Charged in Robbery

By Nia-Malika Henderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A private security guard assigned to watch over a D.C. government building has been charged with an armed robbery in Georgetown last weekend, police said.

Xavier D. Brooks, 34, has been suspended from his job at Hawk One Security Inc., a company official said yesterday. Brooks began work there a month ago, stationed at the D.C. Department of Human Services, the official said.

Hawk One, which has provided security for D.C. government buildings, recently won a two-year, $30 million contract to handle those duties for D.C. public schools.

Brooks and an uncle, Antwane Brooks, 33, are charged with robbing a man and woman shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday in the 2800 block of Dumbarton Street NW. Police said both men were brandishing revolvers belonging to the security firm. The man surrendered a wallet and the woman gave up her purse in the attack, police said.

The men were arrested within minutes and two guns were recovered from their car, along with the wallet and purse, police said. According to charging papers, both gave statements to police in which they admitted robbing the victims. The charging papers quoted Xavier Brooks as telling police that the two drove to Georgetown after Antwane Brooks committed an earlier robbery in Southwest Washington; no charges were filed in that incident.

Brooks, of Southeast Washington, and his uncle, of Richmond, are jailed without bond pending a hearing Friday in D.C. Superior Court. The arrests were reported yesterday by WTOP Radio.

April Hill, a spokeswoman for Hawk One, said that Xavier Brooks started work in June after working for another security firm. She said he was cleared to work by a D.C. police board that does background checks of security officers. A report by the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency, prepared after Xavier Brooks was arrested, shows no previous convictions.

"We had not gotten anything that raised a red flag about Mr. Brooks," Hill said.

John T. Harvey, a lawyer for Xavier Brooks, declined comment yesterday. The D.C. Public Defender Service, representing Antwane Brooks, did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

A D.C. police official overseeing school security said guards working in the schools are required to go through more scrutiny -- before and after they are hired -- than those assigned to other government buildings.

School security guards "go through a whole different level of security, including random drug testing and monitoring," said Assistant Chief Gerald M. Wilson of the police department's office of security services. "I'm confident our screening process will ensure that we have qualified people to be in the schools."

Board of Education Vice President Carolyn N. Graham expressed concern yesterday about the arrest. "It's something we're going to have to monitor," she said.

Hawk One's school security contract was allowed to begin July 1 despite a protest from the second-place bidder seeking to have the deal withdrawn. Watkins Security of D.C. argued that Hawk One should have lost the bid because of several tax liens against it. An official with the D.C. Contract Appeals Board said the protest is pending, and a decision should be made in about a month.

Staff writers V. Dion Haynes and Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company