WASHINGTON - Two men walking alone in the Columbia Heights neighborhood said they were viciously beaten without warning and knocked unconscious in separate attacks over the weekend. The daytime assaults happened just a day apart and have deeply troubled the victims along with their D.C. neighborhood.
Hung Nguyen said four men attacked him on Hiatt Place in Northwest D.C. Saturday afternoon just outside the gate to a soccer field. The 57-year-old man runs the Pho 14 restaurant on Park Road.
The following day, also in the afternoon, Osmy Figuoroa said five men beat him in an alley off Hiatt Place as he walked back to the store he runs -- also on Park Road. Figuoroa said he needed stitches.
Both men were beaten in the face and are still recovering from their injuries. Both of their cell phones were taken as well.
"After [Nguyen] saw the four African Americans, [he was on his cell phone] and then he just felt a punch from somewhere and he just fell down,” said Nguyen’s nephew, Tommy Hoang. “When he woke up, he didn't see anyone.”
Hoang said he believes his uncle was picked on because he is small.
"This incident surprised him," said Nguyen's nephew. "He didn't think it would happen to him.”
Figuoroa described a similar story as he walked into the alley from Hiatt Place.
“So [Figuoroa] said after that, he saw that they were sitting down and he was walking towards the back part of our house when all of a sudden they stood up and they walked toward him and they ganged up on him and they hit him,” said Nanci Rivera, the victim’s stepdaughter. “They threw him to the floor.”
Figuoroa said he now feels unsafe in his neighborhood.
D.C. police said these attacks are under investigation, but they have no further comment.
There are some surveillance cameras in the neighborhood, but it is unknown if there is any video of either of the incidents.