Patients and employees at a Northwest public health clinic have been victims in recent weeks of a rash of robberies, assaults and property destruction, usually committed by juveniles, according to D.C. department of human resources officials.
The violent incidents in the area of the Walker-Jones Neighborhood Services Center, located at 1100 First St. NW, has been stemmed somewhat since DHR and other agencies increased security at the site, the officials said.
Since the crimes intensified, a physician was beaten in the face, two employees were robbed of watches and pocketbooks, two nutrition program clients were assaulted and a worker's car was ravaged, according to acting DHR health and hospitals chief Dr. I. Blanche Bourne.
DHR director Albert P. Russo said a second security guard has been assigned to the clinic, and additional security support has been committed by city police, D.C. department of recreation roving leaders, and other agencies.
The clinic is located in a complex with a SOME House soup kitchen, and emergency food services and other programs run by a community action agency, the People's Involvement Corporation.
It is also adjacent to the Walker-Jones Elementary School and across the street from the Sursum-Corda public housing development, where half of the 10,000 residents are juveniles.
Sam Jordan, an assistant to Russo who is coordinating efforts to counter the problem, said one juvenile suspect has been arrested in the incidents.
Jordan said the D.C. recreation department has provided additional equipment and services in the neighborhood, among other preventive actions taken.
"We're trying to cool it in a positive way, instead of arresting these kids pell-mell," Russo said.