The neighborhoods of Capitol Hill are full of life. But as in other parts of the city, street crimes there have been on the rise this year, and as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray puts it: "If people don't feel safe, then they're not safe."
The trouble is nearly everybody seems to be distracted by a phone call, text messages or their music. And it is popular personal electronics the armed thugs are after.
"Those are the people that are becoming victims because the criminals know they're not paying any attention," says John Ayala, head of the Guardian Angels in D.C. "The side streets are where they're going to get mugged because there are less people there."
The Guardian Angels are now working the neighborhoods around Eastern Market, where in the early morning darkness this past Saturday, a young husband and father, TC Maslin, was severely beaten walking home after a night at the Nationals game and a late night snack with friends on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Obviously, the situation that happened up near Eastern Market was a horrific tragedy," Mayor Gray said Wednesday.
That is why he says officials have dispatched extra police patrols to fight crime on the streets.
"We've had spikes (in crime) before. We probably will have them again," the Mayor says. "But the important thing is to be able to respond quickly and affirmatively to bring down something so it doesn't become a chronic situation."