A neighborhood is on edge as D.C. police hunt for a group of men accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a man on New Year's Eve morning.
FOX 5 has learned that a 52-year-old man was walking along the 1500 block of Alabama Avenue in Southeast D.C. at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday when four armed men in a beige van pulled up. They forced him into the van and drove him to another location where two of the men sexually assaulted him.
"Who would think that someone would just snatch someone inside a van and take them off," said Paul Trantham, the newly-elected ANC commissioner in Ward 8. "Although we know these things do occur, we now have to refer back and look at cameras and see and talk to people in the community."
The suspects are wanted for first-degree sexual abuse while armed and kidnapping. One suspect had a handgun.
Police say the suspects are described as:
Suspect #1: Black male, 5'7" to 5'9" in height, weighing between 150 to 160 pounds, wearing a black hoodie and grey pants armed with a handgun
Suspect #2: Black male, 5'7" inches to 5'9" in height, weighing between 150 to 160 pounds, wearing a black hoodie and grey pants.
Suspect #3: Black male driver of the vehicle.
Suspect #4: Black male front seat passenger.
While Ward 8 crime has always been one of the highest in the District, residents here say this is taking it to a whole new extreme when a man is kidnapped in the middle of the day in front of a busy shopping mall.
It is a real wakeup call for the city.
"Mayor [Muriel] Bowser has also stated that she will have a constituent over here and she is going to address the issues over here in Ward 8," said Trantham.
While the last day of 2014 ended with a scary daytime crime, residents of Ward 8 hope to find ways to reduce crime in 2015.
D.C. police are asking anyone with information to call them at (202) 727-9099. Information may be submitted anonymously to the department's TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. A $1,000 reward is being offered in this case.