WASHINGTON — They agreed to pay $40 for marijuana and were waiting outside a McDonald’s restroom at the Verizon Center for the dealer inside to weigh the pot on a set of scales.
But only two in the group had money. A 17-year-old pitched in $30. A 20-year-old threw in $10. They told the indigent 15-year-old that “he couldn’t smoke with them,” according to a D.C. police criminal affidavit.
The youngest of the group told his friends he would “bag” the dealer — street parlance for robbery, the affidavit says. D.C. police said in court documents filed Wednesday that the 15-year-old burst into the bathroom, took out a brown-handled rusty revolver and said, “You might as well give it up.”
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The affidavit says the teenager then shot the 25-year-old man in the left side of the head, “without provocation” as the victim squatted on the floor over the scales, 10 ounces of marijuana spilling on to the floor. Police said the three men left the restaurant without any drugs.
These new details for the first time describe the Aug.12 shooting that occurred shortly before noon at the crowded restaurant located in the professional sports arena in the 600 block of F Street NW, a street normally teaming with people attracted to restaurants, theaters and other attractions.
Police arrested the 15-year-old on Aug. 13 and charged him as a juvenile with assault with intent to kill. But the details of the case remained shrouded because paperwork and court proceedings involving juveniles are not public. Additional information became available after Tuesday, when police arrested the 17-year-old, also a juvenile, and 20-year-old Lafayette Booker of Northeast.
Booker was charged with assault with intent to rob. A D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered him detained until a preliminary hearing on Friday. Booker’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
Police described the restaurant as packed at the time of the shooting and while patrons may not have heard the gunshot, the affidavit says the victim stumbled out of the bathroom and collapsed in the middle of the floor near the front counter, bleeding “profusely from the ear.” A patron used his shirt to try and address the wound.
The victim remains in critical condition at an area hospital. Police in court documents described him as making a slow, painful recovery, at times appearing responsive and alert but unable to speak. Once, because his jaw was wired shut, detectives used hand signals to elicit information about possible suspects.
Police quoted Booker telling them, “They shot him for nothing.”