I was one of the two students who were robbed at gunpoint Nov. 16 at the intersection of South Carolina and 9th streets. After reading the Nov. 19 article in The GW Hatchet about this incident (“GW students robbed off campus,” p. 14), I felt I needed to respond.
First of all, I believe that responsible journalism is of the utmost importance, especially when dealing with a subject as sensitive as two freshmen being held up at gunpoint. To set the record straight, the two suspects were arrested shortly after we were attacked because they were riding in a stolen vehicle they carjacked from another individual several nights before.
Although it is true we were unable to identify the assailants from a selection of year-old photographs, this is due to the fact that we had our faces pressed against the cement the entire time. The assailants were not released as the article incorrectly stated, and our testimony may still be able to put them in jail for what they did to us.
Secondly, I would like to clarify that we were not being irresponsible by being in that neighborhood at 10:30 at night. I was house-sitting and we were in a residential neighborhood where people were out walking their dogs. We should have been in no danger; we were just unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Short of taking a cab home, there is nothing we could have done to avoid being victimized.
In the aftermath, I am trying desperately not to let this ruin my view of D.C. or change my life. Our actions that night in no way should have jeopardized our safety. I want other students to be aware that you can be extremely careful and still be victimized. I am upset by the implications in the article that somehow our actions that night contributed to our attack, and that in some way or another, it was our fault we became victims.
-The writer’s name has been withheld for security reasons.