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DC street vendor charged in fatal beating

Police in the District announced recently they had arrested a 50-year-old street vendor in connection with a deadly assault in Columbia Heights over the weekend.

Jeffrey Mills is accused of attacking 45-year-old Juan Antonio Paredes on Saturday and beating him unconscious with a metal pole, according to police and court records.

Mr. Paredes, of Northwest, was hospitalized and died from his injuries on Sunday.

According to an affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court in the case, Mr. Mills told police that Mr. Paredes approached him Saturday afternoon while he was packing up items in his vending van and threatened him with a machete-shaped pocket knife.

A witness said Mr. Mills walked up to Mr. Paredes with the pole in hand and said “You want to pull a knife on me?” before beginning to beat the man. He continued beating Mr. Paredes in the head as he lay unconscious on the ground, court documents state.

Before his arrest, Mr. Mills also told police that he was stabbed last year and believed that Mr. Paredes or one of the two other people he was with at the time were the ones who attacked him.

Mr. Mills, of the 1100 block of 46th Street in Northeast, was initially charged with assault with intent to kill, according to court records. The Office of the Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide on Wednesday and police expect additional charges to be filed.