Police on Friday arrested a 17-year-old who authorities say was in a group of teenagers caught on surveillance video beating and stomping a man at the entrance to the Washington Hilton hotel near Dupont Circle.
A police report says as many as 10 male and female teenagers as young as 13 participated in the attack in the circular driveway of the hotel in the 1900 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, north of Dupont Circle and near Adams Morgan. A police spokesman put the number of youths at up to 14.
Police said the attack occurred about 1 a.m. on July 14. Authorities released video of the attack Wednesday, seeking the public’s help in identifying the teens. The victim suffered injuries to his head and a swollen left eye, according to a police report. The man, from Newport News, Va., did not respond to several interview requests.
A second man injured in the attack also could not be reached.
The video shows a man followed by a group of teenagers as he slowly walks toward the front doors of the hotel. He appears to be trying to ward them off. Another man intervenes to separate the group. The victim puts his hand in front of one teenager dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt, then is surrounded and taken to the ground.
The video shows the teenagers swarming over the man, kicking and hitting him. Two appear to kick the man in the head, and as they depart, a young woman returns, bends over and appears to spit in the man’s face.
The police report on the incident indicates there might have been a prior interaction between the teenagers and the victim, or the people he was with. One person told police that while walking to the hotel, the teenagers were seen at a corner. One yelled out, “That’s him,” while pointing to a person in the group.
The man who suffered lesser injuries in the assault told police that he told the teens, “That’s not him, you have the wrong person,” according to the report. There was a further exchange of words and then the assault, police said. Both victims were treated at a hospital.
Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for D.C. police, said investigators do not have any evidence to suggest the teenagers and the victim interacted before the attack. He said the teenagers might have mistaken the victims for others, but he cautioned the investigation is not complete.
“We only have one side of the story,” he said.
The manager of the Washington Hilton referred questions to the hotel’s corporate headquarters. A spokeswoman, Lisa Cole, said hotel officials believe the incident began “away from the property,” but she did not elaborate.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and we wish them a full and speedy recovery,” according to a Hilton statement. The statement adds that hotel security officials “quickly responded to assist the victims and medical first responders.”