For the first time since he was nearly beaten to death during a late night robbery near his home on Capitol Hill this summer, T.C. Maslin stepped into the spotlight of news cameras to attend a fundraiser at the Tune Inn on Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast D.C. Tuesday night.
"We're ready to return to the land of the living," Maslin's wife Abby told us. "We still have a lot of work to do."
Asked how he's feeling, T.C. Maslin answered: "Everything's good, thanks."
It's also the first time Maslin has been back to the bar and restaurant he had just left after a night with friends and a Nationals game before he was beaten and robbed of his cell phone.
"We were with him that night and there are always 'What ifs?"' says friend Patrick Bean. "It's just tough, and to be honest with you, it was the wrong person to happen to with a beautiful wife and a beautiful son."
"I will tell you, he has defied every expectation set before him up to this point, and so I have so much faith in his ability to overcome this," Abby Maslin says. "I know it's going to take time, and he knows it's going to take hard work, but he is so determined to make that happen. He wants to get his life back. We all want that for him."
Abby is a D.C. school teacher. T.C. is a solar energy analyst. Both are unable to work now. They can't afford to still live in the city. That is why their friends were raising money for the Maslins Tuesday night.
"T.C.'s going to need some intense therapies that are not going to be covered by insurance," Abby tells us. "And we want to make sure he gets the best care that he can."
The attack brought the Guardian Angels and more police patrols to the neighborhoods around Eastern Market. The attack on Maslin was clearly the most serious of all the smartphone robberies plaguing the District this year.
"When I think about how much has been lost over a cell phone," Abby continues, "it's beyond my understanding."
Three young men have been charged in the Maslin robbery. They were arrested after another street robbery in Adams Morgan that same night in August.