Residents of Rhode Island Row ramp up security after mugging - New York News

Residents of Rhode Island Row ramp up security after nearby mugging

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Joseph Ogolla (right) Joseph Ogolla (right)
WASHINGTON -

For the second time in three months, there has been a serious attack near Rhode Island Row, a sprawling new development of condos and 70,000 square feet of retail space in Northeast D.C.

This time it was 17-year-old Joseph Ogolla who was beaten and robbed on the stairwell near the Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood Metro Station.

Police are looking for seven teenagers in connection with the attack that was so brutal, Ogolla's jaw will be wired shut for the next six weeks.

His mother, who is blind, is worried about caring for him.

"Why did this happen to my son? asks Jane Charles. "He doesn't do anything to anybody. Why does this have to happen?"

In October, a 24-year-old woman living in the Rhode Island Row Condo Complex was stabbed two dozen times during an attempted sex assault. Police arrested a D.C. man in connection with that attack.

Lisa Lauxman, who lives on the Row, says in some urban areas, crime comes with the territory.

"Because it's a transitional area, it can happen," Lauxman says.

Caiti Carpenter says crime is something she doesn't want to get used to.

"I actually saw a girl step off the train and someone grabbed her cell phone, and I didn't know what happened, and someone said they grabbed her cell phone like it was no big deal," says Carpenter.

The Rhode Island Row now has several layers of security, including security guards, keys to get in the building and elevators.

"I'm a resident of Rhode Island Row and it's secure," Lauren Smith says. "I've never felt in harm's way."

"I don't really worry about it," says Marlon Quintero. "I just use common sense really."

After this week's attack, some residents are ramping up their personal safety.

"I try not to be overly paranoid," Carpenter says. "I have enough in my head already, but I do plan to be more on guard."

If you know anything about the attack on Ogolla, D.C. Police want to hear from you. The number to call is 202-727-9099.

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