Olijawon Griffin, 18, was stabbed and killed as he was fighting to protect a friend who was being badly beaten
An 18-year-old killed during a melee in the Woodley Park Metro Station on Saturday was fighting to protect a friend who was being badly beaten after they confronted a group of teens that earlier had robbed him, according to court records filed Monday.
Police said Chavez Myers, 17, sneaked up behind Olijawon Griffin, of Olney, as he was engaged in a fist fight with another boy and stabbed Mr. Griffin in the chest. The fatal attack was caught on a security tape inside the Metro station. Mr. Myers, of District Heights, was ordered held without bond Monday in D.C. Superior Court. He faces a second-degree murder charge, aggravated assault and robbery.
Eight other boys, all juveniles, were charged with aggravated assault and robbery in connection with the incident. They are facing their charges in juvenile court. According to court documents filed in Mr. Myers‘ case, Mr. Griffin tried to buy marijuana from a group of people in an Adams Morgan alleyway earlier in the night. The group robbed Mr. Griffin at gunpoint, stealing his Helly Hansen jacket and iPhone. Mr. Griffin and two friends left the area, heading to the nearby Woodley Park Metro Station to catch a train home.
While in the station, Mr. Griffin saw the people who had robbed him on the train platform, including one who was wearing his jacket. He walked up to the man and ordered him to return the jacket. “You’re going to have to see us,” the person wearing the jacket said, according to court records.
The group of 10-12 people assaulted one of Mr. Griffin’s friends, and Mr. Griffin and another person tried to walk back toward the station manager’s kiosk to alert authorities. Mr. Griffin told his friend he was going back to help his other friend, “who was outnumbered and being badly beaten while lying on the platform,” according to court records.
Security footage from inside the Metro station showed Mr. Griffin square off to fight one of the people in the group when he returned to the platform, court records state. The two traded boxing-style blows, as Mr. Myers snuck up behind Mr. Griffin. While the fight was ongoing, Mr. Myers ran up to Mr. Griffin and stabbed him in the chest. Mr. Griffin died at George Washington Hospital Center within the hour.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department and Metro Transit Police arrived on the scene and arrested a number of people, including Mr. Myers. While in custody, Mr. Myers admitted to stabbing Mr. Griffin but claimed it was in self-defense.
A teenager charged with fatally stabbing another teen inside a District of Columbia Metro station confessed to the killing but told a police officer that he acted in self-defense, according to police documents.
Chavez Myers, 17, was ordered held without bond during a court appearance Monday in the death early Saturday of 18-year-old Olijawon Griffin inside the Woodley Park Metro station in northwest Washington. Though Myers said he acted in self-defense, security footage from the station shows Myers “sneaking up behind” Griffin and stabbing him once in the chest as Griffin fought with someone else, a detective wrote in documents charging Myers in the death.
Myers, who is being charged as an adult, faces charges of second-degree murder while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon. Eight other juveniles were also arrested. His public defender didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Monday evening.
Police say Griffin earlier in the night had been attacked and robbed of an iPhone and a Helly Hansen jacket by a group of youths in the Adams Morgan neighborhood from whom he had apparently planned to buy marijuana. A “visibly angry” Griffin then walked with two friends to the Metro station, where they encountered a group of 10 to 12 teenagers believed to have been involved in the robbery — including one who was wearing Griffin’s jacket, police say.
Griffin, a recent graduate of Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring who had been a member of the football team there, demanded the jacket back but was told by the teen wearing it, “You’re going to have to see us!” according to the charging documents.
Security footage from the Metro station shows Griffin, who was unarmed, approaching several of the teenagers to fight, police say. As Griffin exchanged punches with one of the other teenagers, a knife-wielding Myers sneaked up from behind and stabbed Griffin once in the chest while his back was turned. A friend Griffin was with sustained a fractured nose in the fight.
The nine teenagers were detained at the Metro station, a centrally located and popular transit point that services the National Zoo and Adams Morgan. Under questioning, police say Myers admitted that he stabbed Griffin in self-defense but denied having been involved in the robbery earlier in the night.
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