Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Columbia Heights Petworth brothel robber gets his thumb chopped off

What!? I just got sent this from NBC4, apparently two men tried to rob an alleged brothel somewhere in Columbia Heights, and in the ensuing struggle, one of the victims chopped one of the robber's thumb off with a machete. Wow. The thumbless robber, named Bryan Perez, went to the hospital, the police brought the thumb, and there was a match. Busted.

That is probably the weirdest Columbia Heights crime story ever. I'm trying to figure out where the brothel was, but now you can have fun with your friends by sending them the article and saying "sorry your house got robbed."

UPDATE: Wait a minute, there was a shooting at a brothel last week too, on 14th Street near Quincy. Maybe it's the same place? Is there a rash of brothel crime in the neighborhood? Are there really that many brothels in the hood? What is this, Amsterdam?

UPDATE 2: The Examiner has the full story on the machete incident - the address is 3827 14th Street NW, which is in fact near Quincy - maybe it's the same place as the shooting. The article says there was an underground gambling establishment on the first floor and a brothel upstairs. What in the world.

And technically, the location is in Petworth. Dang news always trying to make Columbia Heights look bad.

UPDATE 3: The two events are actually the same thing - there was a shooting and the thumb chopping off happened at the same time. Geez.


  1. How bad is MPD if it's openly known that there's a brothel, and they don't bother shutting it down?

  2. @anon - um, that's kind of like asking why they don't shut down street prostitution, when it's openly known to exist.

    The answer in both cases is the same -- Because its really hard to prove that a sexual act is being provided in exchange for money, especially when all parties involved know that all they have to do to avoid getting in trouble is not use the words "sex" and "money" in the same sentence.

    Keeping your thumbs, on the other hand... that's a different challenge altogether.

  3. i remember readinf from somewhere that it was near the red derby

  4. Brad,

    I understand what you mean regarding street prostitution and even open air drug markets like the one around the corner from this brothel on Spring Pl. But here, there is a place of business. It is easy to see what is going on here and where the street prostitution on this part of 14th was coming from. Even running a legal business out of that house was probably illegal, and so, the police could have raided the place at any time. Closing that brothel has decreased the street prostitution that I have seen on that part of 14th since it closed.

    I don't know if the police are not more active in this way because of a lack of manpower or because the people they arrest serve no time and just end up on the street anyway. It would be good to know, though.

  5. Didn't realize there was a brothel there...This explains why I was solicited for sex about a block from there while waiting for the bus!

  6. gotta disagree with you on this one, andrew. that's 16th street heights, petworth sure as hell doesn't come that far west

    i don't agree with everything on that map, but it's pretty accurate as far as petworth goes...

  7. That's definitely not Petworth.

    It's right about the border of 14th/16th Street Heights and Columbia Heights, but most maps don't place Petworth anywhere west of GA Ave.

    We've got brothels in Petworth for sure, but can't claim this one.

  8. I don't think there's same link between crime and prostitution in Amsterdam. There, people are open about it and it is legal and regulated. It's in the U.S. where we've launched 'wars' against these so called 'sins' that crime gets involved and regular citizens are harmed.

  9. Yeah, I was joking about the brothels, not crime


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