Eastern Market knife attack: Woman robbed, suffers severe laceration

(WJLA) - There is shock in a Capitol Hill neighborhood after the news hit that a 67-year-old woman was viciously attacked just steps away from neighbors’ doors.

The victim’s neck was slashed after a robbery, and what’s more, the attack happened last Thursday night – but residents with whom we spoke knew absolutely nothing about it.

"That is really shocking because I live a block come we didn't hear about that?" asks Cecilia Burns.

According to the police report, it was just after 10 p.m. when the woman was walking home from the Eastern Market. Once she got to the corner at 9th and C Streets Southeast, a man walked up from behind, passed her, and then turned around before placing his arm around her neck and placing a sharp object to her neck.

The attacker demanded that she be quiet, and she promptly gave up her purse, credit cards, cash, phone, and keys. He took the purse, but didn’t immediately take off – instead slashing her neck first, which police describe as a severe laceration.

The knife-wielding attacker eventually got away, and the 67-year-old resident was rushed to the hospital. Now, everyone in the area is on edge.

Tim Temple says that when he moved to the Eastern Market area back in 1963, much of Capitol Hill was a "war zone" with constant muggings and attacks:

"You never saw a baby was a very rough neighborhood."

Since then, the neighborhood has done a 180, becoming the kind of place where neighbors kick back and enjoy the weather after work.

"You see people with their kids and their dogs, it's just very much a small town," says resident Steve Hagedorn.

Two Congressmen and one U.S. Senator even consider the block where the attack happened safe enough to live there themselves. But the brutal attack is making other residents think otherwise.

"That's even scarier...You know, here's my cell phone, here's my purse, and then he still cut her? Why?" wonders Jackie Von Schlegel.

The victim was walking in the direction of her home on Maryland Avenue NE, but still had a long way to go. In fact, the location where she was attacked was just about a mile southwest of there.

And residents say police still have yet warned them about the attack.

"Usually they put things out on the listserv, and I did not see anything this time," says Hagedorn.

"We don't want things like that to happen, but we want to know when they do happen," adds Von Schlegel.

The suspect is still at large, and the victim is recovering.