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Pepco worker shot in clash with teens

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By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 4, 2009

A Pepco worker was shot in the neck Thursday night after a group of teenagers harassed his maintenance crew in the Bloomingdale area of Northwest Washington, D.C. police said.

The 52-year-old man was seriously wounded, but he was conscious at the scene and was expected to live, police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital.

The worker was part of a crew that was repairing an underground line near First Street and Rhode Island Avenue, Pepco officials said. Shortly before 7 p.m., five teens began to hassle the workers verbally, police said.

The worker and at least one teen became involved in a shoving match, police said. The confrontation was quickly broken up by other Pepco workers, police said.

The teens, three males and two females, returned minutes later, and one of the males brandished a gun, police said. Words were exchanged again, and the weapon went off, striking the employee, police said.

The teenagers fled the scene, and no arrests had been made, police said.

The shooter was believed to be wearing a green hooded sweat shirt, police said.

The Pepco crew was repairing a medium-voltage cable outside a corner store, said a spokeswoman, who called the assault rare.

"It can be a dangerous job. But you don't expect them to have to be brave in this particular way," said Mary-Beth Hutchinson, a Pepco spokeswoman.

Police did not release the victim's name because he is considered a witness in the case. Pepco officials declined to release any details about his employment with the company or details about the incident, citing the police investigation.

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