Suspect who kept girlfriend inside SE apartment after beating remains at large

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - It was a verbal lashing outside of an apartment building on Brandywine Street in Southeast on Wednesday, as Chanita Peoples came out thinking residents might help in her quest to find the man who police say beat up her 19-year-old niece.

“She was beaten so bad in her face that she could possibly have a detached retina -- and what does that mean? That means she could go blind," said Chanita.

But no one seemed to want to cooperate.

Peoples said her niece explained that her 24-year-old boyfriend, who is on house arrest, is awaiting trial on a gun charge and began beating her Friday, holding her against her will until she was able to escape the apartment on Sunday.

Police are now investigating whether the man then put her four-month-old baby in a car seat outside on the front step after she left.

"Even someone in the apartment told me that she couldn't leave for two days," insisted Chanita.

But one man disputed this claim, saying:

"She was hit on Friday. She waited two days. Was she able to leave the apartment? She could have gone where ever the ---- she wanted to. She's a grown woman, the man was not stopping her."

However, a police report stated that she was hit so hard she passed out, though we now know from sources that she did try to call 911 on Sunday morning – yet for some reason, had to hang up.

Peoples said her niece was later able to call her, and when she raced to the apartment, she found the baby outside and her niece on the street, badly beaten. The boyfriend was gone, and despite a court-issued GPS ankle bracelet, he remains on the loose.