WASHINGTON D.C. – Logan Circle residents packed a meeting Monday addressing community safety in the wake of a shocking murder last week.
Wendy Martinez was stabbed and killed last Tuesday while out jogging in the Northwest neighborhood.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham was at the meeting assuring the public that the community is safe. He shared statistics that show the crime rate is just about even with last year’s rate in the area.
Notable increases in the year-to-year comparison including robberies and burglaries. There have been 32 burglaries reported in ANC District 2F compared to 22 at this time last year. There have been 37 robberies reported compared to 27 last year.
At the same time the comparison shows a decrease in auto thefts and sex abuse cases.
Many residents who attended the meeting repeatedly brought up another issue—public illegal drug use and its potential role in Martinez’ death.
Chief Newsham implored people not to jump to the conclusion that Martinez’ alleged killer was high and hallucinating when he stabbed her on the neck.
Police have yet to find evidence that Anthony Crawford, 23, was on K2 even though they admit he had a history of using the drug.
Newsham said even though a motive for the stabbing has yet to be developed the killing appears random.
Residents who asked questions during the meeting said they’ve complained about many people in the neighborhood they consider dangerous because of their open drug use. They want police to take the issue more seriously in order to prevent any future attacks, injuries or deaths.
ANC 2F Chairman John Fanning feels the meeting between police and the community can help residents find a sense of security in the neighborhood following Martinez’ high-profile slaying.
“The neighborhood is pretty shook up and people are kind of fearful about walking around,” said Fanning. “We want people to feel. The suspect has been arrested and generally we have a lot of community policing in Logan Circle. We don’t want this senseless act of violence to deter people from coming to our community.”