A man on a bicycle who was headed downtown to work became the latest victim of a robbery on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, a pathway through the heart of the District that has been plagued by assaults and holdups in recent months.
The most recent incident, the third in 10 days, occured about 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Brookland area of Northeast Washington as the man entered the trail near Eighth and Edgewood streets.
As the victim neared a man who was standing on the trail, the man drew a handgun and pointed it. After ordering the bicyclist to place his possessions on the ground, the robber seized two cellphones and a wallet and told the bicyclist to go on his way.
The victim said Tuesday that some of his possessions were later found in an alley on North Capitol Street, about one mile west of where the robbery occurred.
Police said the description of the robber in the Monday incident was similar to that given of the robber in a confrontation that occurred Friday near Third and R streets NE. In both instances, the robber was described as a young black man who wore eyeglasses. In the Monday incident, the robber was said to be 5 feet 10 to 6 feet, in a white shirt and dark blue shorts.
The trail, which runs from north of the Capitol to Silver Spring, is attractive to bicycle commuters, joggers and walkers, and the robberies have aroused concern.
The Guardian Angels have began patrols on the trail, and a coalition of trail users has called for volunteers to patrol from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday night, starting at Fourth and S streets.