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Man Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Gay Men in Meridian Hill Park

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press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Pruden faces five counts of assaulting the victims on federal land, one count of impersonating a federal officer, and a hate crimes sentencing enhancement, based on the belief that Pruden assaulted four of the victims because of their perceived sexual orientation.

The assaults allegedly occurred between 2018 and 2021 at Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park, which is bounded by 15th, W, 16th and Euclid Streets NW, in the city’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Pruden allegedly went to the park, which has had a longstanding reputation as a “cruising” place for men seeking sex with other men, after sunset on five separate occasions.According to the indictment, when he encountered the victims, Pruden allegedly assaulted the men, spraying them with a chemical irritant.

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