Man severely beaten near Eastern Market

WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - D.C. police say a 29-year-old man was severely beaten in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Eastern Market very early on Saturday morning.

Friends say Thomas Maslin, a solar energy analyst, was heading home from a birthday party at Tune Inn bar on Pennsylvania Avenue just before 1 a.m.

Maslin, also known as "T.C.", was possibly mugged in a park near Eastern Market.

He stumbled down North Carolina Avenue, knocking on two doors trying to get help. Maslin was found unconscious on the front porch of a home around 8:30 Saturday morning.

"He's in{ }a coma...we don't know the prognosis...we're hoping for the best," said Maslin's friend Vanessa Ford.

Maslin has already undergone two brain surgeries. He hasn't regained consciousness since he was found. His wife, Abigail, said he squeezed her hand Sunday morning. It's been his only communication so far. She says he is listed in critical condition.

Alyson Perschke, a fourth grade teacher, works with Abigail at Brent Elementary School.

"Deeply saddening. I mean, they are just such a great family, I mean, madly in love with one another," Perschke said.

While Abigail holds vigil at her husband's bedside, teachers at Brent organized her fourth grade classroom Monday. School starts in a week.

Joann Hill, a third grade teacher at Brent, said, "It is one less stress that we want her to have to think about, so anything we can do..."

The house where Maslin was found is along the route, police say, he might have to used to get home. Sources say police found some of his belongings in the park across the street, but they can't say definitively if Maslin was robbed. What police need are witnesses.

Area business owners say detectives have come by asking for surveillance video in hopes of retracing Maslin's steps.

"What is wrong with people? It is a shame this guy probably wasn't doing anything," said David Woodall, the manager of the Exxon station located across from Tune Inn.

Maslin's friend Ron Ford added, "He's a great person...last person you'd expect this to happen to...great father, husband, friend."

Homicide detectives are investigating, which is routine in serious assaults.

Police have reported no homicides this year in the patrol area around Eastern Market, but statistics show a rise in robberies, which is troubling to neighbors.

"Truly, there's never been a night that I have been out that there hasn't been someone on the street, which is one of the things that makes it feel to me like a safer neighborhood," said Capital Hill resident Bonny King-Taylor.

Armed and unarmed assaults are also up in the area.

The group "Moms on the Hill" is rallying to help the young family by organizing babysitting help and raising money through PayPal.