City Paper Widget

Monday, October 21, 2013

ANC2B Statement against Smash-and-grab Man

On Friday, October 18, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle published a community impact statement against Gregory Teal, a man who has been arrested 43 times for thefts from cars, often in the Dupont area. Teal will be sentenced on October 28 by Stuart G. Nash, an associate judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, for second-degree theft (felony), related to a July smash-and-grab from a car.

ANC2B Commissioners Kishan Putta (district 04) and Noah Smith (district 09) organized, drafted, signed, and sent the statement to the judge. They were authorized to do so by an ANC2B resolution passed at the end of their last monthly meeting on October 9.

Previously, Teal has been charged with second-degree theft (misdemeanor), which carries a maximum sentence of 180 days. After his last conviction, he was released after less than 90 days in prison. However, owing to his many arrests and convictions, Teal can now be charged with a felony, which means he is eligible for up to ten years in prison.

ANC2B's community impact statement urges Judge Nash to sentence Teal to at least two or three years "to give our residents some minimal relief (and justice) and to show other criminals that such callous recidivism will not be tolerated".

The statement includes three pages of community comment which Putta and Smith gathered by email over the course of a week. A sample:
Our morning walks to work should not have to include a daily check to see if there are any new smash and grabs overnight.  Caroline Street is a quaint and surprisingly quiet one block street immediately south of the bustling U Street corridor 16th and U Streets NW.  This guy was relentless. I personally witnessed two neighbors dealing with the aftermath of smash and grabs while they were in the process of moving into their residences! According to the Caroline Street group email list, during the last year we have a record of 11 smash and grabs on our block and around the corner on adjacent 15th Street.  Now mind you, these are only the ones that have been noted and reported via our email. Clearly the actual number is higher and for the past several years the number must total dozens. 
It is not a particularly welcoming message to have to tell new neighbors moving in, or friends visiting, that they should strip their cars clean of contents or risk a smash and grab. More important, they should not have to do this!! The Nation’s Capital should not have to erect a warning sign at the borders, just below the “Welcome” sign that says, do not leave anything in your cars or our smash and grab experts will empty your car.  How welcoming is that?
The particular crime which Teal will be sentenced for did not take place in the Dupont Circle area. However, as part of the sentencing process, the ANC is still allowed to submit comments about the effect of a criminal's activity on a community.

The full text of the ANC2B community impact statement against Teal is available as a .pdf file here.

A short explanation of community impact statements, with links to other examples, can be found at the end of the September 23 SALM blog post.

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