A few hours after 21-year-old Leonard Raynod Smith-Matthews was fatally stabbed at University Town Center on June 30 city police Sgt. Chris Purvis said his department was hoping that surveillance video from the scene would help them solve the crime.
While Prince George’s County Police will investigate the homicide—the Hyattsville Police Department does not have a homicide unit—the HPD will assist the county during the process. Four other people were stabbed during the altercation, Purvis said.
Since UTC was built out starting in 2007—the entertainment hub boasts several restaurants, a movie theater and outdoor seating, often with live entertainment—one homicide was reported at the student towers in spring of 2008. The crime was believed not to be random and was solved shortly after. However, students from nearby Northwestern High School and other youth frequent the area and have been known to get rowdy, as noted by former Three Brothers restaurant manager David Cron.
No big arrests have been made as a result of the influx of students who tend to hit UTC in the evenings, Purvis said.
Qdoba Mexican Grill has an event special on Wednesday nights which tends to draw in a large, excited crowd and Hyattsville police work part time there from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to control the crowd, Purvis said.
Hyattsville also uses a security program called Safe City to monitor things at some commercial areas around the city, including UTC.
The program includes additional surveillance cameras and emergency call boxes. Residents can also to sign up for alerts and receive immediate information about crime, weather and other assistance.
A city police satellite office is also located at UTC.
You can follow the city’s crime reports by checking out the blotters on Patch each week, or by visiting https://www.crimereports.com/.
This article has been corrected. There was a homicide in the student towers at UTC in 2008. That case was solved shortly after. We regret the error.