Indian-origin man from Virginia dies days after altercation in downtown D.C.


A 41-year-old executive from Virginia died this week days after police say he was knocked to the ground and hit his head during an altercation outside a restaurant in downtown Washington, according to a police report.

Vivek “Vick” Taneja. PHOTO:

D.C. police said the death Wednesday of Vivek Chander Taneja of Alexandria has been ruled a homicide. Authorities said they have not made an arrest. The incident occurred about 2 a.m. on Feb. 2 in the 1100 block of 15th Street NW.

D.C. has recorded 13 homicides this year, two of them downtown. A former city election official was shot Jan. 29 in a parked vehicle in the 900 block of K Street NW – eight blocks from where Taneja was assaulted – and died a few days later. That shooting was part of a deadly crime rampage across the region that authorities attributed to one man. Another downtown fatal shooting in January near 16th and K streets NW has been ruled not criminal.

Police said in a report that Taneja and the other man in the altercation had both been at Shōtō and Akēdo, two sister Japanese restaurants in the Midtown Center building, a 14-story building of offices, restaurants and shops at 15th and L streets NW. Their entrance is along L Street.

The report says that Taneja, accompanied by two people, left the restaurants about 2 a.m. and was on 15th Street. An argument turned into a “physical altercation” and Taneja “was knocked to the ground by the suspect and hit his head on the pavement,” the police report says.

Authorities said Taneja lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Police said he died five days later. The report does not say whether Taneja and the man, whom police said they have not identified, encountered each other inside the restaurant. The report also does not describe the nature of the dispute.

Relatives of Taneja did not respond on Friday (Feb. 9) to interview requests. While police said in a statement that he lived in Alexandria, the police report lists him as living in Fairfax County. Taneja was the co-founder and president of Dynamo Technologies, an intellectual technology company, according to a company spokeswoman.

A representative of Shōtō said in a statement: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family during this incredibly tragic time. The incident in question did not occur at Shōtō and the restaurant was closed at this time.”

D.C. police have released a video of a person of interest in the case.



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