WASHINGTON - Police have arrested and charged an adult man with multiple charges after he attacked two preschool teachers Monday while walking with a group of infants and toddlers in the northwest.
The suspect ha been identified as 38-year-old Russell Fred Dunkley III. He has been charged with two counts of simple assault, lewd acts, misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child, assault on a police officer, obstructing, and aggressive panhandling.
Councilmember Zachary Parker posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the teachers were from the Petit Scholars school in D.C.'s Bloomingdale neighborhood and were walking with three classes of children outside the campus.
Parker said a man that is known in the community, and who may suffer from mental health issues, approached the teachers and asked for money.
When the teachers refused, Parker said the man attacked them. One of the teachers was taken to a nearby hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. A second teacher who attempted to help was also injured but was not hospitalized. Parker said good Samaritans jumped in and helped.
Parker said the man suspected of attacking the teachers has been arrested. He said his office is looking into support services for the man.
He also said he has been in contact with the school and with the DC Department of Behavioral Health Director Barbara Bazron and that schools in the area have been notified of the incident.
The councilmember said he has contacted D.C. police to see if they can provide an escort for Petit Scholars groups as they take daily walks and trips to the playground.
Preschool teachers attacked while walking with group of infants, toddlers in DC: councilmember
"The devastation of a child witnessing their teacher be attacked is unthinkable. We must keep working to make our communities healthy, whole, and safe.," he said.
The attack happened the same day D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new anti-crime initiative. The ACT Now plan will target organized retail theft, open -air drug markets and the act of being masked.
According to data released by D.C. police, violent crime is up 41% in the district this year compared to last year at the same time.