A break in the armed robbery and near-fatal beating of a young Capitol Hill father came from a tip that the vehicle used in the attack had been hidden at the mother's house of one of the suspects.
The tipster told police that 21-year-old Tommy Branch was afraid to drive the silver Hyundai registered in his name because the car was seen on surveillance video and broadcast all over the news as detectives continued their search.
Police on Wednesday arrested Branch, of Fort Washington; Michael Moore, 18, of Landover; and Sunny Kuti, 16, of the District. The three were charged with armed robbery and assault. Kuti is being charged as an adult.
All three were being held pending a preliminary hearing.
"This case is one that is typically the most difficult to solve; no witnesses, no physical evidence on the scene and no ability to interview the victim to gain additional information," said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier in a statement late Thursday. "I am thankful that we brought this case to closure."
On Aug. 18, Thomas Maslin, 29, was beaten and robbed on the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue SE after stopping at the Tune Inn bar on his way home from a Washington Nationals baseball game. Police found Maslin on the front porch of a house, about six blocks from his residence near Eastern Market.
He had been badly beaten with a BB gun and robbed, and has since undergone several brain surgeries, according to his family.
Police allege that after attacking Maslin, the suspects committed another armed robbery several hours later on the 1800 block of 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan and were arrested, police said.
Police responding to the second robbery saw three suspects run and Kuti toss what appeared to be a gun into the bushes. Police stopped the suspects and asked about the weapon, a black BB gun.
Kuti stated that he "carried the BB gun for protection, and that he did not know it was illegal," police allege in court documents.
The three were charged with armed robbery for that incident, and a judge ordered they be released and placed in ankle-monitoring bracelets while awaiting trial.
Two weeks after the attacks, police released video of a vehicle of interest that was seen at an Exxon station shortly after the assault.
A citizen called police to say Branch had hidden the vehicle at his mother's house in Oxon Hill. Police found the car stashed away in a parking lot nearby.
All three were taken into custody for the Maslin case on Wednesday.