Dear PoP

Dear PoP,

I have lived in Petworth for one week. So far, so good, and lots of what we read about the area from your blog, we are experiencing (friendly people, etc). However, in one week’s time, I have TWICE seen the same man (different days) walking around different areas of Petworth barely holding his pants up (meaning, holding them up just past his knee – full front and back nudity!!). This I was not expecting J. Does anyone ever call the police on this guy? It is very disturbing – there were children around the first time!


Dear Disturbed,

Welcome to the neighborhood. No, seriously, I didn’t mean that sarcastically. Sounds like quite an exciting first week. I’m happy to report that I don’t think this is a regular occurrence. I’ve lived in the neighborhood over five years and I’ve never encountered something like this. I think I can say without hesitation – yes call the police next time. However, I’d also ask a neighbor who’s been around a while and see if this is just a regular crazy character or if it is a new development. Not that a regular crazy character would make it more pleasant but at least you’d know he was harmless. I wonder, did he seem drunk or on drugs or mentally ill? If it’s possible to identify it might be easier to get him help. I’m afraid that even calling the police would be a temporary solution so it’d be nice if someone could get this guy some serious help. But honestly, like I said earlier, try and talk to some of your long time neighbors they may very well know about this guy or at the very least could offer some better advice than I.

Welcome to the neighborhood though. I promise you that’s not a common sight.


Has anyone else encountered the pantsless wonder? If so what did you do?

18 Comment

  • Disturbed – the first thing you should learn about this neighborhood is do not rely on your neighbors to call the police. You need to take the initiative and call. Even if you think they are calling – still call. Neighborhoods do not clean up by themselves and when neighborhoods stop calling on stuff like what you saw it only gets worse.

  • Disturbed – I’ve lived here for four years and while I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff around here, I’ve never seen this guy you describe. There’s all types of crazy in this town, so call the cops if you think this guy could harm anyone. And…. welcome to the neighborhood!

  • welcome to the neighborhood! considering some of the stories ive heard (and been a part of), seeing some crazy guys bits and pieces every other day would be a welcome vacation!

  • Well, it has been really hot lately and dehydration can lead to confusion… perhaps a tall glass of water would have helped this guy pull up his pants, but as a general rule of thumb, I’d call the police for any/all ween exposure.

  • i’ve seen this guy (i think it’s the same dude) wandering around warder, near otis, as i come home from work. i saw him a few times in a row, then he disappeared. i guess he is back!

  • I used to see a guy who walked up and down the street muttering to himself and calling random people names. But he has since disappeared. My roommate last night said in CH she and the other bus riders waited under the Mayorga coffee awning instead of the bus stop box because there was a woman in a santa hat yelling at everyone.

  • Maybe it was one of those hipsters taking the “No Pants Day” on the metro to a whole new level.

  • To cristobal – amen to that.

  • Welcome to the neighborhood.

    The most I could add to the discussion would be to echo ColorMePetworth’s sentiments–good advice there.

  • I’ve seen him several times very early on Varnum. It’s a lovely early morning treat, lemme tell ya. He’s seemingly allllways bending over to pick something up. Really though — they guy is obviously homeless and likely out of his mind. He looks like he hasn’t eaten in years; I’m guessing he’s some sort of serious addict.
    I’ll admit, I haven’t ever called the cops or anything. He’s just always quietly wandering by, and I’m always walking the dog or on my way to work, and in a hurry.
    I also randomly saw him in Mt. Pleasant the other day, though, pants down, ass out, so I guess the dude gets around.
    He def. can’t hold his pants up though.

  • Maybe someone can donate a belt to him?

  • agree with Kalia!

  • im guessing this man isnt very hot at all? i mean, that wouldnt make it ok, but would at least make it a little better, no?

  • Better than the crazy guy I see in Columbia Heights, who is just waiting to go off. He threatened to kill me once while waiting for a walk signal. Up until then I hadn’t seen him before. Now I see him 3 times a week. Freaks me out.

    Speaking of frontal nudity. I was walking to the bank downtown near work (12 and E streets or thereabouts). Dude was just pissing. Right there in front of God and everybody. Not even an effort to get up on the side of a building. Way more penis than I wanted to see on my way to the bank that day! So I guess it isn’t necessarily a neighborhood issue.

  • this is definitely a 911 call, no doubt.

  • I called 911 on this guy yesterday after my 11 year old saw him for the second time with his pants down. He frequents the Arkansas/16th intersection at rush hour. They were sending a car. He is an older white male, thin and looks homeless or mentally disturbed.

    I encourage anyone else who sees him to call 911. He needs help and we need to stop seeing him flashing.

  • I saw him too. Just the other day walking in the front yard of the senior homes on Upshur at 13th and right across from an elementary school. There was a cop over there, so I assume that the cop saw and took care of it. It was a weird way to start the morning, that’s for sure.

    However, having lived in SF and worked in the Tenderloin, whose SROs and community service providers are often home to ex cons and the mentally disturbed, I can safely say that this is not at all the craziest thing that I’ve seen. I was just all: life in the city!

    And kept moving on.

    Problem is that there is very little that can be done for the mentally disturbed like this and they just end up back on the streets. It depends on the laws of the state, of course, but few places can someone be committed or forced into therapy and no judge is going to put them in prison for life. So very sad, really.

  • Man, the way the “homeless” meme has been sold to us still burns me up.

    If your apartment house burns down and you’re on the street, then yeah, you’re homeless. But if you’re out of your mind with schizophrenia, homelessness isn’t your #1 problem.

    The poor slobs walking around with their pants down, they don’t need a roof, they need monitored administration of anti-psychotic medication, and then they’ll find a way to get themselves off the street just the same way you or I would.

    Well-meaning activists activists gave us the term “homeless” to replace yesteryear’s “bums” and “vagrants”. Let’s update the playbook and replace “homeless” with “psychiatrically underserved” or some such. At least it will get people thinking about real solutions, not just crash pads and soup kitchens.

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