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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison for Robbery and Attack in Northwest Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Attack Took Place in Victim’s Apartment Stairwell

            WASHINGTON – Joshua Austin, 34, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for attacking a senior citizen in an apartment stairwell during a robbery in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Austin was found guilty by a jury in December 2021 of charges of first-degree burglary of a senior citizen, robbery of a senior citizen, and assault with intent to commit robbery of a senior citizen. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Rainey R. Brandt. Following his prison term, he is to be placed on five years of supervised release.

           According to the government’s evidence, at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2019, the then 68-year-old victim -- who uses a cane and was suffering from multiple significant health issues -- walked from her apartment building to a nearby corner market located at Missouri and Georgia Avenues NW. She encountered Austin, a stranger, inside the store. Not long after she left the market, Austin followed her to her apartment building on his bicycle.  According to the evidence, Austin then followed her into the stairwell of her apartment building where he threw her on the ground, assaulted her, dumped her groceries onto the floor, and stole $60 before fleeing. The woman suffered a broken collarbone and injuries to her arms in the attack.

            Austin was identified through surveillance video and other evidence. He was arrested Dec. 26, 2019. He has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department.  They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles J. Willoughby, Jr., Alicia Long, and Daniel Lenerz, Paralegal Specialists Lashaune Briggs and Alesha Matthews, and teams from the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit and the Litigation Technology Unit. 

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emma McArthur and Kristian Hinson, who investigated and prosecuted the case. 

Updated February 14, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-33