The 4th of July is suppose to be a day of celebration. But this past 4th of July in Washington, D.C. on the metro turned into a nightmare. Twenty-four-year old Kevin Joseph Sutherland was brutally murdered in front of metro passengers.
Eighteen-year old Jasper Spires murdered Kevin Sutherland. He was trying to steal Kevin Sutherland’s cell phone.
Jasper Spires boarded the Red Line Metro train at Rhode Island Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, joining passengers from the District and elsewhere headed to various Fourth of July festivities, among them the Foo Fighters concert at RFK Stadium.
As the train rumbled toward its next stop, at NoMa-Gallaudet, a three-minute ride, D.C. police said, the 18-year-old Spires — who may have been high on synthetic drugs — tried to grab a cellphone tucked into the waistband of a recent American University graduate headed to a gathering with friends.
The two struggled, police said, and the terror began.
Police and a witness interviewed said passengers trapped in the moving train huddled at both ends of the car and watched in horror as Spires punched 24-year-old Kevin Joseph Sutherland until he fell to the floor, then stabbed him until he was dead. Court documents say the victim was cut or stabbed 30 or 40 times, in the chest, abdomen, back, side and arms. Police said the assailant then threw the victim’s cellphone and returned to stomp on Sutherland’s body.
“We were in a moving train,” said a 52-year-old woman, who spoke on the condition that she not be named because she is both a victim and a witness to a crime. “You’re not really sure what you need to do. . . . This man is holding a bloody knife. I don’t think anyone was going to try and stop him.”
After he murdered Kevin Sutherland he robbed other metro passengers.
When the frenzy was over, the woman, who is from Texas and was headed to the concert with her 76-year-old father, said the attacker turned his bloody knife on them. A police report said he told her father, who lives in the District, “Give me what you got,” took $60 and threw the man’s wallet on the floor. The man’s daughter then handed over an additional $160 “to keep him from hurting her father,” a police report said. The attacker also robbed other passengers, police said.
Jasper Spires was arrested yesterday and police say that he may have been high on synthetic drugs. According to the Washington Post Jasper Spires was arrested last Thursday before he murdered Kevin Sutherland but was free while awaiting trial. Damn. His ass should have been in jail instead of out on the streets.
Spires was arrested Thursday night in Northwest Washington on more serious charges. A police report says he confronted a man outside shops in the 5200 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW in Friendship Heights. The victim told police that the man was waving a wine bottle and demanded, “What do you have in your pockets?” He then grabbed the man by the neck, pushed him against a wall and searched through his pockets, the report says.
He was arrested by police about five minutes later. According to a police report, he kicked two officers in the legs as they handcuffed him.
The police report indicates that officers forwarded to prosecutors charges of robbery by force and violence, a felony, and assault on a police officer, a misdemeanor. When Spires made his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Friday, prosecutors downgraded the felony robbery charge to a misdemeanor simple assault. A judge released Spires pending a July 21 hearing and ordered him to stay away from the victim.
It’s situations like this that make me nervous about metro sometimes. You don’t know what kind of people you will encounter on the train. Let’s hope they keep Jasper Spires in jail this time.