WASHINGTON — A father who was assaulted by a man while walking with his children on Sunday morning in Capitol Hill said he needed six stitches while his 11-month-old daughter needed 19 stitches and suffered a fractured orbital bone after both were hit with bricks.
WUSA9 spoke to the father over the phone on Monday, a day after the incident occurred along the 600 block of E Street Southeast.
According to court documents, a witness saw the suspect "pacing back and forth" before hearing screaming from the street. Pictures provided to WUSA9 showed bloody clothing belonging to the daughter and father worn during the attack.
Police later arrested 44-year-old Jerome Razor, who investigators described as having "no fixed address," for the crime.
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Razor had his first court appearance on Monday to face charges of assault with injury and cruelty to children.
Records described the 11-month-old girl being in a stroller when Razor threw a brick at her.
One court document described how the suspect dropped a backpack before running away. An ID card with the suspect's name and picture was later found inside.
Multiple neighbors who spoke to WUSA9 on Sunday raised concerns about the suspect possibly being released from jail quickly after the crime.
D.C. court records showed that Razor was transferred to the D.C. Jail, where he will await his next hearing on January 7.
Following the assault, the debate has continued over how to best combat crime in the district and make the streets safer. Violent crime is up 2% this year in D.C. compared to the same time in 2020, according to MPD data.
Neighborhood Advisory Commission (ANC) Commissioner Denise Krepp said more must be done by city leaders to prevent similar types of crime from happening.
"All they were doing was going out for a walk. This is not acceptable behavior," she said. "Neighbors should be able to walk with their children safely and that’s not happening.”
RELATED: DC woman attacked while walking with young daughter; violent assault broke her front teeth off
Krepp took particular aim at D.C. Council and called for the suspect to be properly held accountable and put behind bars for the crime.
"What I’d like to hear from the D.C. Council is that crime should be prosecuted," she said. "What I want to hear from them is that crime is crime. The individuals who perpetrate crime should serve their full sentences.”
Krepp also believed more funding and resources should be provided to the police department.
"From what I’m seeing is they appear to want to cut their budget and I’m not happy with that," the commissioner said. "If we have fathers with babies being hit with bricks, I want more police on the street, not less.”
ANC Commissioner Brian Ready echoed the call to support police but also said more resources should be dedicated to mental health services.
"We need to put more money in mental health. We need to put more money into violence interrupters and other social programs," he said on Monday. "Those programs are great programs for what we need but they will pay dividends six months down the road. Leave the police funding alone and create new funding for these initiatives. One of the biggest tools we have in our system is our police today."
Over the summer, Mayor Muriel Bowser called for $11 million in emergency funding to hire additional police officers to help combat a shortage of law enforcement personnel.
However, D.C. Councilmembers Charles Allen and Phil Mendelson later countered by only offering $5 million for new officers while dedicating $6 million for violence prevention and public health.
On Monday, Allen expressed shock at the assault and said he agreed with the judge's decision to hold the suspect behind bars.
"It is the unpredictability of this violent act that is deeply traumatizing and deeply shattering that sense of safety," he said. "The judge decided to hold and contain this individual, pending trial. That’s the right decision and I’m glad that person is off our streets right now.”
When asked about what should be addressed to improve safety around the district, Allen said he believed public safety should be "fully funded" and that more community-based solutions should be pursued.
"Just given the completely out of the blue and unprovoked nature of it, it’s practically impossible to police that type of event," he said. "Rather than just having each event and keep responding to event after event. we need to get upstream and make the type of decisions and investments and the hard work to prevent this from happening in the first place. We’ve got to make sure that law enforcement and police have the funding they need to do their job and we have to make sure we are investing in the ways in which we prevent crime and support people in crisis and at risk in the front end as well.”
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