Well, It Finally Happened To Me

, originally uploaded by nearsightedharpy.

This is another one of those situations in which you have no idea how you will react until it happens to you. Lots of folks have told me about the problem of rock throwing in Columbia Heights but I’ve probably spent half my time walking around CH and have never seen it and certainly hadn’t experienced it. Sadly, that changed this evening. I was heading up 14th Street on my way to an interview at Commonwealth (more on that later).

At 7:50 pm I felt something hit the top of my head. It was more of a lob shot than a fastball. I was actually quite confused. There were 4 twelve year old boys behind me. So I had to decide what to do. Oh yeah, this happened at the corner of 14th and Harvard. So I have my ipod on and am just staring at them, thinking to myself, ‘did they really just throw a rock at me’. I was definitely in disbelief.

Well, I’m not a super tough guy but I’m pretty sure I can beat the shit out of a 12 year old kid. So I’m thinking to myself, do I just go over there and punch one of the kids? No, I can’t do that. You can’t punch a 12 year old kid. I’m also thinking, ‘well I don’t want to break my ipod if they all jump on me’. I swear to you, these are the thoughts going through my head. I’m not necessarily proud of them.

I decided to just turn around and continue my walk up 14th Street as I had an appointment and all. But then an older man comes up to me and says, “did those boys just hit you with a rock”. I said, ‘yeah they did, I was just deciding how to react’. He said, “yeah I saw that”. Then he said, “what you should’ve done was grab a stick and whoop them good, then they’d know not to throw rocks”.

So, I don’t know if there is a lesson here but this is not good. I don’t necessarily think violence would’ve prevented this in the future. Not to mention violent crime is not unheard of on this street corner and who knows how these things could escalate if someone else decided to get involved. I don’t know if there is a proper response. What would you have done?

157 Comment

  • Were this an isolated incident I’d chuckle and say “ahh boys” and remember all the hootinanny’s I got into as a kid. Since its DC and these things are a regular occurrence and portend future violence, I’d restate my list of reasons for moving out of this dump, and my steps for doing so. These little animals and their older brethren are the reason, in 10 years, their parents will be saying that white America unjustly abandoned black DC. So remember your response: you love the black folks and all other folks, but animalism unchecked is intolerable. In decent parts of the country you could approach government and police, but here don’t even waste your breath. Just hope new riots don’t happen while you live here.

  • There are cops at 14th and Columbia most of the time these days. I would have gone to the police, and filed a police report or call 911. Assault is assault. You always have your camera, I would have also taken a picture. Then to the hospital. Did you hear about the lady who bumped her head on the ski slope and died? Not worth the risk. yeah it ruins your night and beers at commonwealth, but you have to take responsibility for your neighborhood and yourself.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I actually disagree with you anon. You see the kids in my neighborhood would never do that to me. Because they know me. I think it’s just a matter of folks getting to know one another. Whether that be through sports, block parties, tutoring, I don’t know. But I’m not going anywhere. And while I have heard this happening to other people. I don’t believe this is a sign of the apocalypse. It’s messed up, it needs to be addressed. But let’s keep things in perspective.

  • Well, I see your point, I admire your optimism, but you’re betting with your life. In three years these kids will be shooting at you and its all fun and games to them. You’re an object for their amusement.

    I’m not usually this nasty and cynical, but I fell the culture of violence in DC is unchecked. Its the reason governments exist, but we don’t have effective government. Move to MD and you might get some backup. But again, I admire your optimism, and I wish I could consider this just a random and weird occurrence.

  • Is this really a common problem? Wow. This is the first I’ve heard of it in all my years here. Are we talking big rocks, or pebbles? I mean, I guess it’s better than being shot at, but still. I don’t know why I’m surprised, but it just seems so weird. I always fear more for the safety of my stuff where I live, than my own personal safety, even though I try to be really aware of my surroundings. I guess I need to add “rock throwing hooligans” to the list of things for which to be on the lookout. I’m really sorry this happened to you.

  • I will never understand why people walk around anywhere in a city, especially at night, while listening to an iPod or any other device that limits hearing. Awareness of your surroundings is a good way to avoid trouble.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Thanks Nichole, but I wouldn’t say this is really common. I mean I’ve probably spent hundreds of hours in Columbia Heights and like I said, this has never happened before. If it happens once it’s too much but I can practically guarantee that I will make this walk a thousand more times and not be hit with a rock again (knock wood, knock wood).

  • anon – that’s racist fear-mongering nonsense. and also historically confused.

    PoP – sorry you got smacked!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Thanks Brad but it really wasn’t a very good throw. While it was incredibly accurate it didn’t have a lot of force on it. And 10 minutes later I had a nice glass of Bushmills…

  • Two words: pepper spray.

  • Is this really a common problem? Wow. This is the first I’ve heard of it in all my years here.

    They’ve had a few write-ups about it in the City Paper years ago. Here’s one of their articles. It sickens me that these kids don’t give a crap about hurting others, nor do they have any fear of repercussions. They just don’t care.

  • Brad, thank you for saying what I intended to say to anon. I reread pop’s post to see if he mentioned race anywhere in there, and he didn’t. But this didn’t stop anon from assuming that the perpetrators were black and then descending into a racist rant.

    As a black man, I am offended by anon’s take on the situation. As a black man, I am equally offended by the perpetrators (assuming that they’re black b/c pop didn’t correct anon’s assumption) of these misdeeds. And as a black man, I am touched by pop’s humanity.

    When we see each other as humans and not as “animals,” as anon so angrily referred to the four boys, then, and only then, will we make any progress in race relations.

  • I doubt you would have ever really seriously beat up kids over this. You’re a smart guy and realize you’d be putting yourself in a situation where you might get some instant gratification but end up in jail. Legal trouble and jail is a far greater downside than breaking your iPod in a scuffle.

    Besides, I also guarantee that if you did go over there to whoop them someone Metro bus driver or other nearby section 8 resident would have come over and whooped you…

  • @NicoleRock throwing is one of the documented hazards of life in Columbia Heights. Seems to be a seasonal thing, like the usual Summer uptick in crime. Most folks seem to ignore it, as they know juveniles in DC can pretty much attack people with impugnity. Cops show up, haul them in, file a report, and they’re back on the streets before their dinner’s cold. Juvenile “justice” at its best.

  • The same thing happenened to me at 14th and Monroe (walking to Commonwealth!). I felt a small ping on the back of my head. It caught me so off guard that I had walked another half block before I processed what must have happened. A bunch of kids (more like 14 to 16 years of age) sitting on a stoop had thrown a small rock at my head. I was walking with my partner at the time…I’m pretty sure I heard an anti-gay slur too.

  • I remember several years ago that a professor or a grad assistant in my department was killed when a large rock was dropped from a bridge onto his car. No was was ever charged with the crime. Years later, my husband is robbed of what remained of his paycheck near our house. The robbers were never caught for this specific crime. It’s spring break from school in DC. Maybe the kids were out late unsupervised. They probably don’t get much supervision anyway. But one thing I know: all the criminals, who are people who have committed crimes, if any of you have a problem with this word over their deeds, will be caught eventually. Those boys who threw rocks could have caused a traffic accident or seriously hurt someone. They got off this time. But they will eventually get caught for something. Or maybe get shot and people will be crying over them and erecting cheap little garbage memorials on the street corner where they got shot, he was such a good kid…Dios castiga, He’ll get ’em.

  • Something has to be done but what? What “healthy” 12-year old kid throws rocks at people they don’t know – let alone adults? I got mugged by a 14-year old girl – hit on the head from behind with a blunt instrument, knocked unconscious and beaten that resulted in sutures and a hospital stay – 2 years ago. Broad daylight, no Ipod. If kids at that age throw rocks at people, mug.. We as a society must be doing something wrong and a bit of “whooping” surely would not make them change their mind or rethink their actions….

  • Sorry this happened, PoP. That really sucks. Hat’s off to you for being able to keep your cool.

  • “we as a society” haven’t done something wrong when kids turn out like this. the parents of those kids did something wrong, either in procreating at all or in raising their children. in my neighborhood, there are lots of great kids, and 3-4 hellraising 11-12 year olds who tear up people’s yards, set fires in the alley, run the streets until 10-11 o’clock on school nights, don’t go to school, etc. when you know who those kids belong to, you can see why they are the way they are. if “we as a society” have done anything wrong, it’s not having taken those kids out of a completely dysfunctional home and put them somewhere where they might get some education and discipline.

  • Getting to know these kids is not a practical suggestion. It may work for people who have lived in the area for a few years. For everyone else, the best advice is DUCK.

    I grew up in a safe middle-class area of a major city and sometimes, especially when I was with my friends, felt a strong impulse towards various kinds of obnoxious behavior. What stopped me? My parents, my teachers, and most of all a fear of getting caught.

  • Sadly, parents all over are indulging their children to the point where there is no respect, no boundariesc and the consequences these kids face by the government have not caught up with the times. We can blame the parents all we like but it’s an epidemic we will have to face as a nation.

  • you know, that guy who says you should have wooped them was right…..but you can’t

    They say it takes a village to raise a child. Unfortunately the law will allow parents to discipline a child, let alone anyone else in the village. Second of all (major stereotype coming up) if you where to approach the parents and tell them what happen, they would probably take the defense of their own child.
    So the way I see it, this kids are failed from many different aspects. First, their parents suck. Second, their community is not involved.
    I know I am painting a broad brush here, but that is the way I see it.

  • I would have turned around and said “what the f**k is wrong with you?” and then kept right on walking. I would have at least acknowledged the situation.

  • I am sorry this happened but I do think you should have reported it to the police. It is still an assault and without reporting it we get all the rosy reports of “crime is down” or like some on this string surprise at “rock throwing hooligans” in Columbia Heights.

  • I think I would have called the police after I was far enough removed from the situation. It might not do anything specifically, but then at least there would be a record of it happening and the police would be aware that it was happening on that specific block. Or if I saw that police car that is usually parked at 14th and Columbia I would have gotten his attention and told him what happened.

    And, I gotta say, I grew up in a safe, suburban area and there was a time when some dumb kids through rocks (small rocks, maybe pebbles) at my mom’s car as we were driving by, so this is not just an inner-city problem. That’s part of it, but it’s also a dumb kid problem.



  • I empathize with these kids. In fact, I’d like to throw rocks at a few of the anonymous posters on this thread.

    Kids act like kids.

    It annoys the hell out of me that when a little brown boy throws a rock he is some sort of thug in training to you people. If this was a barefoot white kid in the suburbs hes a modern day Tom Sawyer (or Dennis the Menace at worst).

    Also what kind of person writes a statement like this:

    But they will eventually get caught for something. Or maybe get shot and people will be crying over them and erecting cheap little garbage memorials on the street corner where they got shot, he was such a good kid…Dios castiga, He’ll get ‘em.

    Really? Really????

  • Firstly, I’m sorry this had to happen to a decent bloke.

    Secondly, I’m sorry to see the sudden knee-jerk race-baiting and DC-hating. Anon no.1: Where the burning jockstrap hell did THAT come from? I’ve spent many years in DC as well as other cities, AND a fair dose of time in various suburbs. And I’ve had a much worse time with vandals and creeps in the land of mullets and miller lite. Suburbs and exurbs. Your precious suburbs are just as likely to be breeding-grounds for assholism as anywhere else, so get off that. It’s a reflex action. You can probably treat that condition with an open pair of eyes and an overpriced herbal cleanse from Whole Foods ™…

    In other words, where the f*ck are these “decent parts of the country” you’re referring to? ANSWER MEEE! Name one! Give me a Google Map or something!

    I dig living in this city and always have. But villains are a global phenomenon. Clearly there is no justice for decent people, and so I still fantasize about super-hero vigilante-ism: These kids obviously think they can’t be touched. So what we need is some random cases where an apparently harmless victim goes completely apeshit and physically TEARS THOSE KIDS TO PIECES. And laughing in their faces the whole time… HA! HA! HA! pulling arms off, all that. Nail his buddies to a tree to watch the rest die one at a time. HA! HA! HA! Everybody gets the treatment! I’m the new youth councilor in town! HA HA HAA!

    Maybe that’s what the little bastards need: a dose of humility, of fear, of devastating terror. Because it seems to me that all other options have failed. Why must the human predators be the bad guys?

  • I remember when I first moved to the neighborhood, this was an issue with the apt bldg at 11th and Florida – kids hit a guy on a bike with a brick. Even now when I walk by it, I walk on the west side of the street just in case.

    I dont think much is done about it, and the kids largely go unpunished.

    If it was me and it was one or two kids, I might have confronted them. A big pack of kids, I would have just called the cops. One day, however, I bet that this will happen to the wrong person, and the kid(s) will get the sh*t beaten out of them, or worse. Only then will the community truly rise up to fix the problem.

  • I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted… I’d like to think I’d calmly turn around give the group a dissaproving eye and then say something stern with equal parts wit, wisdom, encoragement, dissapoinment, and understanding.

    That said, I’m forcing myself to remember all the times I’ve opened an unholy can of verbal whoop-ass on people I see littering, let alone throwing rocks. I suppose my reaction would have largely mirrored your own depending on my mood.

    Given the number of increadibly stupid things I did as a boy I certainly understand this group’s mischevious nature. I probably should have been incarcerated by the age of 8 but luckily my hijinks were usually resolved in a thorough discussion with my elders and the business end of a large wooden spoon. That said, I’m gonna have faith in humanity this morning and chalk it up to “boys will be boys”.

  • Love “land of mullets and miller lite” – classic line!

  • Show me a place where trifling little kids don’t throw rocks and I’ll show you Singapore.

  • They’re twelve year-old kids, right? Presumably they have parents somewhere. Why not walk back and talk to them. Get them to tell you which one did it, and then make that kid take you to his house so you can talk to his folks? That’ll get justice served better than running to the cops will. It treats the kid like a part of the community. And it doesn’t require violence.

  • I had no idea there was an Intifada in Columbia Heights…

  • I think my biggest concern is the trajectory. I agree with Flipflopirate, I did a lot of stupid stuff as a child, most of which resulted in a pretty stern punishment from my parents.

    That said, none of the kids in my neighborhood were in gangs, none of the kids in my neighborhood had guns, none of the kids in my neighborhood were ever gunned down, none of the kids in my neighborhood ever beat down homeless people for fun. We did “stupid” stuff. We rang door bells and ran away, we threw acorns at one another, but not at adults, we rode our bikes way too fast on the sidewalks sometimes, but we didn’t act aggressively towards adult strangers.

    Rock throwing hooligans today could easily stumble upon a handgun tomorrow in which case stupid fun becomes deadly fun. Or alternatively, let’s say the rock didn’t hit PoP, but instead some gang banger… how do you think he’d react? A menacing glare? A stern talking to? This sort of behavior is dangerous not only for the community, but also for the perpetrators. Most importantly however, there is something seriously wrong, an absolute mental defect, with someone who receives pleasure from causing pain to another living being. These young people who find it fun and enjoyable to cause pain to another have it in them to do much, much worse.

  • But really, what do you expect? CH is the ghetto and you can’t take the ghetto out of the dark characters who live there. You didn’t give a description of the scum who attacked you. 10 to 1 it was a gang of black punks and you are trying to be PC in not giving us a much-needed description. Shame on you.

  • You always have a camera. Turn around, give them a great big WTF??, take their picture, go straight to the cops.

    Posts like this really bring out the apologists for the sh*t in our ‘hood. Recognize what’s going on here: unsupervised kids, unlikely that they have parents who would discipline them if you took the trouble to look for them (who the heck are you, after all, and when will they ever have to deal with you again?), old enough to know better than to throw rocks at people’s heads, did it anyway. Even if you don’t assume absent parents, these are not your neighbor’s kids, where you might have a pre-existing relationship and could handle it with the parent or develop a rapport with the kids. These are kids who just decided to chuck a rock at your noggin.

    Your recourse is very, very limited, and not at all aided by the abject incompetence of DC’s institutions. Treating the kid like part of the community means educating him about the criminality and seriousness of assault. Next time they give you or someone else a little more heat, and you’re Natasha Richardson. So blah blah blah to all the “kids throw rocks” commenters. Sure, kids throw rocks elsewhere, but they also get turned in and put through the paces in juvenile justice systems that work. And nowhere else I’ve ever been has had the frequency of juvenile assault-by-stone that I’ve read here and other neighborhood sites.

  • I’ve encountered this rock throwing problem a few times. The first time was right after i moved into the eastern part of Shaw, i was walking to the Giant on O street, passed a group of 6 dudes a little younger than myself, and got about 20 feet passed them when i got slammed in the head with a watch-sized rock. Didn’t hurt, but as i turned around in disbelief, the smallest kid of the crew was snickering, laughing to himself. It infuriated me, i was seeing red for the rest of the evening, HOPING i’d catch that little bastard alone so i could beat the tar out of him. It takes a real tough-guy to pick on a lone white kid in the hood when there’s six of you…REAL Gangsta.
    The second incident happened on Harvard st, between 13th and 14th. I’m walking by the Sec. 8 housing around 1145 at night, having just escorted a ladyfriend up the street to get her a cab, and i start hearing things whizzing by my head. So in a show of defiance, i continued walking, acting as though nothing was happening, while a group of about 10 or so teenagers hucked rocks at me from across the street. None of them hit me, but a good number of the cars on my side of the street got hit. I continued walking, and continued to get rocks thrown at me, til i got about 30 yards away, where i turned around and started mocking them…”you know, not one of you has hit me yet, y’all couldn’t hit sand if you fell off a camel, try again you little bitch”. Probably not the best reaction. I’ve decided that if it happens again, i’m going to start throwing rocks back, and, seeing as how i pitched fastball growing up thru middle and highschool, i think i’ll be able to do some damage. but seriously, rock throwing is just plain stupid. And annoying as fuck.

  • kyle – do you live in la la land? are you kidding me with:

    “Get them to tell you which one did it, and then make that kid take you to his house so you can talk to his folks? ”

    i don’t know any kid who is going to rat out their friend in front of them to a stranger let alone tell said stranger where they live so that the stranger can get the kid in trouble with their parents.

  • Again, the District needs to stiffen its penalties against youth who perpetrate violent crimes, especially if done in small gangs. At least it was a rock and not a bullet.

    My friend who lives near 14th and Oak has a very similar thing happen in the area where you were accosted. He now always has money in his pocket to take a cab instead of walking. Small price to pay over the course of a year to avoid being beaten by gangs of violent youth, now so prevalent in the District of Columbia.

    You should have seen the group of little G’s yesterday on the metro. Flashing their cash, showing off their bling bling. Future felons prospects for sure.

    For the record, you should file a report, with descriptions of these little thugs.

    I asked my lawyer friend, apparently it’s not a good idea to start a DC young punk thug most wanted list and post it on the internet, they could sue for invasion of privacy. But she said it was likely ok to start a club and share the photos/intelligence about these young criminals internally, just not for public comsumption.

  • Oh yeah … the one I’ve always wanted to see: SUE! If you can get the kids’ names, just file yourself a nice little lawsuit against them. I mean, you’ve probably had all sorts of crippling headaches since the incident, right?? That’s pain & suffering!

    And I’m only being half-sarcastic here. Would love to see a lot more civil lawsuits brought on this sort of stuff. It’s not like the criminal justice system is succeeding, so why not try to put the financial pinch on these kids and the parents who ultimately would have to pay up for them? Something — anything — to visit the sins of the kids on the parents.

  • PoP, it sucks you got tagged. And, anyone who says it’s the city, the neighborhood, the race or whatever, you need to check yerself.

    I don’t care where you’re from. 12 year old boys throw shit at people, period. It’s funny when you’re not on the receiving end.

    Take it from “not the same anon” and DUCK! Or, throw it back.

  • Oh, that sucks. Sorry to hear about that happening to you POP.

    I think the worst thing about incidents like this is that when it happens, you’re always at an utter loss at what to do. Sure you could shout, yell profanity, call the police, etc. But all of those options still leave you feeling helpless. (Yelling or stern glares usually elicit nothing but laughter and gives them the reaction they sought.)

    I’ve never had rocks thrown at me, but I’ve been verbally accosted by groups of teenagers in the past and it always leaves me violently angry, yet utterly powerless.

  • I don’t understand why this comes down to race, why it comes down to us failing these adolescents…it cannot be denied that the “privilege” of self-control and empathy often comes with a certain upbringing. We, as humans, are only capable of so much without guidance and discipline and it is unfortunate that a lot of children, black or white, rich or poor, miss out on a balanced upbringing. I don’t doubt that somewhere, deep in the conscience of those who find superficial joy in attacking and humiliating others and a seeming thrill in doing something “wrong” and “bad”, there is potential for change and compassion. We’re not human without these things, and we’re not human without allowing other the opportunity to embrace them. What worries me is that there just doesn’t seem to be a way, given the more juicy opportunities that await some of these kids, to make them want to be “soft” and considerate. We all feel pretty entitled to a lot of stuff, so why take from these kids their right to feel empowered and successful by what may be the most familiar and safe? How do we awaken their conscience without putting them in a position to fear being kind? They certainly must know what happens to innocent strangers who walk down the street not bothering a soul…

  • i got involved in something like this once, involving snowballs and groups of kids, after the initial face off where the more pissed off 16 year old, he was throwing snowballs, i confronted him he told me something regarding his “dick” i told him “to take it home to his mother” which i dont think he expected. I happened to be on my bicycle the next day and noticed they were throwing snowballs at other people, i started cycling full speed directly towards them, and let out a shout “HEY” they stopped, looked me in the eye, recognized me and all shot off in different directions, i gave it a second then i chased the one kid i recognized as the bully for a block and a half, and he ran into a store and i rode past onto work… i never told anyone that.

  • Dude. I grew up in Adams Morgan. That type of stuff happened all time. I did bad stuff too. I didnt even go to columbia hieghts back then. For that matter I didnt even go back where they built harris teeter. This part of DC seems so much better now and im sure it will get better.

  • i never saw those kids on my way to work again…

  • PoP,

    Sorry to hear your tale. I think I would have ignored it as well, but it sure would have ruined my day. I’ve come to the realization that there is an overall lower expectation for civility in CH compared even with other parts of DC. There really isn’t anything you could have done, since the cops won’t respond and the kids won’t care if you turned on them, and they certainly won’t take you home to meet their parents, who in turn would probably do nothing to curtail the behavior anyway.

    And unfortunately I don’t think it was a huge leap for those who assumed the kids were black. There have been enough reports of black kids throwing rocks at white neighbors for that not to be an outrageous assumption. How many white 12 year olds have others seen in the neighborhood anyway?

    Sadly, after half a decade here, I have more or less given up on CH and will be decamping for the burbs. It saddens me but I just don’t think my wishful thinking (plus attendance at community meetings, regular calls to 911, attempts to talk to neighbors, engagement with ANC and Graham) will make this a place that I am happy coming home to every night. I’m a little surprised to find that I am unwilling to make it my life’s work to try to change it, but I’ve decided to be honest with myself.

    Weirdly, it’s not the major crime or killings that gets to me. It’s the slow and steady accumulation of indignities that I worry is turning me into a hateful person. So I’m leaving. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to be a better person and find some peace, but of course, there’s no guarantees. Maybe I’m just getting old.

  • This an interesting question you ask us Prince of Petworth, but I think you can only answer it after the fact. Like Mike Tyson used to say, “everyone has a plan til they get punched in the mouth.”

    To the people who say to walk back and talk to the kids and tell on them to their parents, you must remember that you just got hit in the head with a rock. Sometimes you don’t think too much logically after that so you either stick around and fight like some loco or you keep on moving and think about the shit you want to do if only it was between you and the thrower and you both have on some boxing glove.


  • This “kids will be kids” stuff would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. Get your heads out of the sand. For whatever reason, many of these “children” lack basic empathy and impulse-control, thus making them unpredictable and dangerous.

  • you should have pretended to collapse and have a seizure. The kids would have been so terrified they would have ran away crying, never to repeat such a misdeed again.

    but seriously, they are just kids. relax. same shit happens everywhere. I TPed houses when I was 12, and I am a normal person with a job today. get over it.

  • Throw some voodoo pebbles behind the ground your walking on, turn back, point the voodoo finger, and say in your best Celie voice “Everything you’ve ever done to me I ‘ve already done to you.” Everybody is scared of the voodoo.

  • @anon 11:01 TPing houses isn’t the same as throwing rocks at people.

    Thanks everyone for letting me know about the frequency of this. I guess I never noticed the City Paper and DCist articles because I don’t live in Columbia Heights and I’ve never heard of it happening on the Hill. To be honest, there are a lot of people I wouldn’t mind throwing rocks at over here, but I’m burdened with that troublesome impulse control.

  • Honestly, things have gotten 500% better. Some forget that Columbia Heights was, quite literally, the most violent and dangerous neighborhood in the District for a few decades. Some of the same people who made it that way are still there, and have had children. The only hope is direct engagement, education, improvemeent in living conditions/economic situation, and learning good behavior by observing it (doubtful as it is).

  • Would anyone consider asking, “why did you just throw at rock at me?” I also wonder if anyone would consider speaking to these kids with respect? I doubt that happens often to them. Maybe I’m naieve, but I’ve witnessed a lot of success in speaking to young people with respect, regardless of the situation. Lead by example.

  • This happened to me one time walking on 14th near U st. I was dumbfounded that someone acutally would throw a rock at me. Luckily it only hit me in the leg. If it ever happens again, I’m chasing the those punks, if nothing else, to give them a fright.

  • Okay, this happened to me a couple of years ago at the same intersection. I was walking from the metro to my apartment and another 20something white woman was walking about 5 feet in front of me. I heard what sounded like gravel striking the cars in front of me and saw her suddenly jerk and look to her left at a small group of 10-12 year old black boys hanging out by the fence. Then she started walking much more quickly, all but running across the intersection.

    I was connecting the dots as I walked up to the corner, and then I felt what was probably a handful of gravel and small rocks bounce off of me — mostly off of my shopping bag. It wasn’t like I was pelted with them; just like someone had tossed a handful underhand.

    My reaction was a little bit different than the woman in front of me: I stopped and stared at the boys with what was probably an extremely offended expression and took one step towards them. I just remember thinking, “You little jerks, how DARE you? I live here!”

    Something of that must have come across, because the boy in front started backing off, hands up. I still remember his exact words: “My bad, sorry! Hey, I like Express [the logo on the shopping bag] too!” And then he and his friends bolted down Harvard.

    Of course, since I’m crazy, my next reaction was to kick myself for scaring them off because I could have interviewed them and written an article about it. (Yes, I am the same person who reacted to gunshots outside my apartment by immediately going downstairs to take pictures and interview people.) But, honestly, if they hadn’t run away I probably would have just told them off.

  • A couple of winters ago, I was walking by the Columbia Heights metro station when I got hit in the left temple by a chunk of ice thrown by a kid who looked to be about 10-12 years old. He was with a few other kids hiding behind the bike lockers who evidently thought it would be cute to throw ice and snowballs at people who were walking by. I got extremely mad–getting hit in the head hurts–and proceeded to cuss out the kids. I mean, I screamed at them, and the kid who threw the ice at me ran like hell and the others just stood there and pointed at the kid running. They clearly didn’t think someone would have the nerve to confront them. The whole “they’re just kids” argument is cute, and so is the idea about talking to them with respect, but kids who do stuff like this have clearly never been taught to respect others or appreciate the fact that someone could really get hurt. They need to be told off.

  • Sadly, this has happened to me twice since I moved to CH 4 years ago. Once on my bike and one in my car sitting in traffic with with windows rolled down at 14th and Columbia. After being filled with rage I quickly realized it’s futile to run after the group of kids.

    A few years ago a bunch oif kids were throwing/dropping bricks on cyclists going up 11th street next to Cardozo High School. Jim Graham got involved and got the police to crack down on that episode.

  • You see the kids in my neighborhood would never do that to me. Because they know me.

    POP, really, that’s delusional.

    I lived where I do for the last 15 years. I saw the nice kids I’d talk to turn into angry kids who called me a yuppie turn into high school dropouts turn into drunks and drug addicts who try to stare me down while they block the sidewalk. Only now that they’re finally getting their act together do they tolerate me. I’m friends with everyone’s parents to the point that their own parents will tell me about their problems with the law, street justice, etc.

    But don’t think for a second that someone who is already crazy, strung out on coke and committing crimes and who also believes in street justice/crews/beefs won’t be blocked by your car one day while you’re double parked and then call you “Mr. Charles” for 5 years and won’t let you pass on the sidewalk if your wife isn’t around. That’s the definition of the gang mentality- it’s IRRATIONAL.

    Your suggestion that somehow because the kids on your block know you that they’ll be cool with you is… so f*cking NAIVE! What’s going to happen when they listen to NOI and then get all anti-white and antisemitic for a year afterwards? I’ve seen these kids get in huge fights because one guy stole the other one’s girl and they all really know each other.

  • Rachel, I believe you can express yourself without swearing and yelling. I think it is effective and makes a big statement in and of itself.

  • JV at 9:25- I totally disagree with you and I think you are EXACTLY THE PROBLEM WITH DC’S ASTRONOMICAL CRIME RATE.

    You are 100% of the problem.

    Kids will be kids! You are possibly the biggest loser in this whole thread.

    the first anonymous post never said one racist thing and I challenge ANYONE to find it. The same exact sentiment has been spoken to me by my elderly neighbors for years about gentrification and the diversification of DC. The elderly residents believe the baby boomer generation created the very fair image of the African-American city run amuck. They wear dresses and suits, they read their bibles on the porch, they give my kids cookies and are really nice neighbors. I shovel their snow and I check stuff for them on the internet and print it out for them.

    The first anonymous poster sounds like my 80 year old African-American neighbor calling out the one family down the street for embarrassing her entire race. As she told me once, “I heard the gunshots and I said, you’re going to laugh at me, ‘please don’t be black, please don’t be black’ and then it was [insert family name], but I’ll tell you when we first bought our house here it WASN’T LIKE THIS!”

    Then theirs this totally uneducated quote:
    “I’ve spent many years in DC as well as other cities, AND a fair dose of time in various suburbs. And I’ve had a much worse time with vandals and creeps in the land of mullets and miller lite. Suburbs and exurbs. Your precious suburbs are just as likely to be breeding-grounds for assholism as anywhere else, so get off that. It’s a reflex action.”


    Quite simply, you’re lying and wrong.

    I know this because I know the crime statistics for DC really well.

    those of you who

  • “there’s” should be above.

  • I don’t care where you’re from. 12 year old boys throw shit at people, period. It’s funny when you’re not on the receiving end.

    you are an idiot and a jackass.

    I spend some weekends at my parents’ house in Montgomery county and know several 9-14 year olds and not one of them would ever do this, there have never been any incidents like this in the last 20 years, and they spend most of their time when I see them:
    1. building robots and other science projects for robotics club/ boy scouts/ fun
    2. Having paper airplane, model rocket competitions and related science/engineering fun
    3. playing guitar hero
    4. playing basketball
    5. bicycling and having bicycle races and slaloms and skateboarding on homemade ramps
    6. weightlifting in the garage
    7. painting houses/ mowing lawns/ washing cars for money
    8. talking about Twilight and listening to crap on their ipods
    9. on facebook
    10. texting

    one time I saw two of the girls from the suburs at the zoo while I was there with my kids. oh yeah, you know those tough teenagers, all hanging out at the zoo and sh*t!

    The suggestion that this is in any remote way “normal” is possibly the most ignorant comment about this- this kind of behavior amongst boys is totally ABNORMAL.


  • Prince Of Petworth

    Neener, you add interesting perspective. But please stop personally attacking posters. You can make your point with out calling people jackasses. C’mon man. Thanks.

  • This happened to me when I was walking home from work about a week ago. Being a bit naive, the first time that I heard something drop I thought it was a chestnut or a very large acorn because I didn’t see anything at all. I stopped walking and just stood there. Then it happened again, except this time I saw a rock sliding across the sidewalk in front of me. After a few more rocks, the thowing stopped. I don’t know if they ran out of ammunition, or just decided to find a more interesting target than the girl standing in the middle of the sidwalk, but after a minute I resumed my trek home and was met with no more disturbances.

    I think this probably supports the consensus that “twelve-year-olds will be twelve-year-olds.”

  • JV, I was the anon poster who said that Dios castiga, meaning God punishes, meaning what goes around comes around meaning these rock throwers will get theirs. I am sure that this rock throwing, which I repeat can cause serious injury, a car crash or even death, has gone unpunished this time. But I am also sure that these individuals are involved in other types of activities, petty vandalism, minor shoplifting or even worse, that one day they will get caught. Wonder how their behavior is at school? Do they get into fights? Assault people? Get suspended? They are on the road to bigger and much more serious activities and trouble. This is a violent city and people get shot, especially out late at night causing trouble to innocent people. And yes, I remeber those incidents involving bicyclists near Cardozo and no sympathy for these individuals. So what kind of person writes such sentiment? One who pays her taxes, serves my community, works in a school and wants to live in her city of birth in safety and freedom.

  • I am castigated and apologize for stating what I felt deeply in my heart to be true.

  • one of the reasons I get so upset about these issues is that I have kids myself and I’m in DCPS a lot.

    As a parent you have to give your kids a LOT of love, attention and also things to do.

    this means signing up for netflix, buying the building blocks, lego sets and videogames, coaching soccer, t-ball, basketball, paying for swimming, ice skating, dance, acting and art classes.

    Because you live in the city you are NOT AT LIBERTY to let your kids go out and play like one could in the suburbs where the crime rate is half to 10% of what it is in DC.

    Every once in a while I run into a parent who is really stupid and isn’t doing enough for their kids and their kids are suffering mentally. While 4 out of 5 times in THIS city that means the parent is suffering from poverty and a lack of education, there are also the rare occasions of the overbooked-lawyer who neglects their kids. (Most of the uber-rich I know have their kids in afterschool programs at Sidwell/GDS/Maret/WIS, etc.

    My kid is on spring break in the program we got him in, he’s going to three different museums, the zoo and the circus. Because that’s what Ward One parents do in DC- they pay for college interns to run “spring break” programs for $400 for the week so their kid returns to school having learned more than if they were in school itself.

    Some people who don’t have kids in elementary school may look at kids running on the sidewalk and playing as carefree kids, but really they are in trouble and headed for worse because what you’re really witnessing is child neglect. In the suburbs where crime rates are miniscule this isn’t an issue, nor is this a similar issue to when you were a kid in the 1960s- kids might run onto someone’s lawn to retrieve a frisbee but they’re cool about it. In DC about 20 years ago I saw kids tossing the football around, then run and get it off someone’s steps and the kid just picked up the homeowner’s jack-o-lantern and threw it on the ground. I mean totally bizarre vandalism. About 1996 I was at a block party where a kid with clear issues tried to vandalize the moonbounce until the family that rented it shut it down. I mean, this city still is not normal and it’s really personally offensive to me when people suggest that it is normal or that we need to accept it- that’s a very naive attitude that reflects a lack of worldliness. I’ve been to Park Slope Brooklyn with kids and the kids there were remarkably nice, creative kids. When Brooklyn is polite and charming and Columbia Heights is messed up, then what?

  • sorry PoP!! that sucks. this used to happen to me in the Peace Corps occasionally. I would yell: “I’m going to tell your parents!” and “Shame on you!” and pick up a rock (never threw one, just picked it up) and they would usually scatter pretty quickly. If it was older boys (older than 14), I would get help from elders.

  • Anon 12:36 pm:

    I take your point about being able to express yourself without yelling or swearing. However, please keep in mind that I just been hit in the head–HARD–while minding my own business. I was stunned, humiliated and in pain. I was not able to stop and think about the best way to discuss the situation with these kids. Frankly, kids who don’t think about how they might cause someone to end up in an emergency room NEED to be yelled at.

  • Rachel, so-called kids who assault people need to be arrested and charged with assault, not merely yelled at. Iḿ not telling you that you should have pressed charges or ran after them or called the police. But what they did was assault. These are horrible stories I’m reading about.

  • Dude, you run up on one of these kids and it may be the last we hear from you. A white guy “whooping” some kid or even chastising them is grounds to get you killed by his brother, his mother, or the 12 y/o himself. These kids are packign dude. Don’t let their precocious looks fool you.

  • I was the nerdy girl who taught Sunday school and was on the honor roll. I was once almost kicked out of an amusement park for spitting on people’s heads from a ride. It was my idea and I talked a younger girl into it. Don’t know what I was thinking. I think I thought it was cool or funny.

    So, yeah, there is something amiss in the wiring of pre-teen brains. I think even bright “normal” kids can have moments where they forget that their actions affect others.

    That said – I also work with a lot of disturbed and neglected kids here in DC. Both things can be true:
    – All kids have the potential be stupid, hurtful and destructive
    – Some destructive behavior is indicative of larger community problem

    A kid at 14th and Girard once threw a full cup of soda at my car as I drove past. I didn’t realize it had caused a dent in the door panel until I got home. I called the police then so I’d have a record of it in case I wanted to get insurance to fix it. The dent’s still there.

  • One word: Slingshot! Small, compact, easily carried in back pocket and will ensure a nice little welt. They even come equipt with sights and lasers for accuracy!

  • A friend of mine and I were walking (two 20-something guys) on 14th on a weekend afternoon last Fall and had the same thing happen. In our case, however, the kids were on the balcony of one of the large apartment buildings on 14th at like columbia and irving.

    We were surprised, but it was ultimately harmless. Just made that area look really bad. Sad really.

  • Yep, this has happened to me too, but they missed. I chose to ignore it. I figured they were looking for a reaction, and I refused to give it to them.

  • “Kids will be kids” is fine until someone is in a coma because one kid decided that if throwing a rock at someone’s head is fun, throwing a brick must be even more fun.
    I did some stupid things as a kid but I don’t recall any that threatened physical injury to anyone else. One of the few things former President Bush said that I completely agree with was his reference to the damage done by the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” These kids are not being well served by adults that expect and excuse their anti-social and dangerous behavior.

  • Superdude, where did you do Peace Corps??

    I did it in Nicaragua, and the same thing used to happen to me there too. I attributed it to being different. They also used to throw rocks at my dog there. That upset me.

  • Prince Of Petworth Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:17 pm
    I actually disagree with you anon. You see the kids in my neighborhood would never do that to me. Because they know me. I think it’s just a matter of folks getting to know one another.
    You are totally deluded. Well it is great if you have such a positive attitude. But you can’t trust these kids on the street. Even if they “know” you. That couple that was killed a while back “knew” their killers. They are still dead all the same. They will get talked into robbing you by their friends. They think you (white people) are all rich anyway.

  • I would have wanted to throw the rock back at them before considering that one of them probably was packing heat.


  • just blacks being black..young blacks especially, are prone to violence.

    it has nothing to do with gentrification it is biological, check the FBI crime index and see imperical evidence of the percentage of black on white crimes vs the opposite, especially shocking is the number of black violent offenders vs their % in the population.

    Of course it must be some root cause though. White people ultimately are to blame.

  • I like that City Paper story about someone getting hit with a brick and police being “unable” to do anything about it. This would be judged attempted murder or assault with deadly weapon nearly anywhere else in the USA. In DC, its just boys being boys and business as usual. Over the long term this will breed further criminality and chaos, and more hand wringing when one of these kids kills someone and people as “how could this happen!???”

    Its also important to remember how pathetic these kids and their “families” (using the term very loosely as the may not live with anyone blood related). While you may feel you are the victim, and you were of course, these kids are likely more than halfway through their lives, and will live the remainder as savagely as any caveman. So, while you can get angry at them, just be glad you are not them and pity their insignificant existence.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Anon. 3:03pm that comment is unacceptable. I hate to be forced into moderating comments. Let me reiterate – racist comments will not be tolerated nor allowed. Period.

  • PoP, leave it, he misuses the word “empirical”. Hilarious!

  • Pop,
    anon @ 303 is saying what I am sure a lot of people feel. Rarely do we see any white kids in this city shooting each other. Rarely do we see white kids ruining CHinatown Adams Morgan or Union St. Enough of this politically correct gibberish. You and other people further perpetuate the problem by refusing to admit that the young boys that threw the rocks at you were black. So how is it racist what anon says?

    Most of the problems in DC are caused by blacks. There is nothing racist about admitting as much.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Hey Nate, all Nazis were white. Think Nazi Germany. Draw a conclusion. Now think about it a little bit.

    I’m not going to debate you because this string of argument has been done over and over and over again. You can think that if you’d like. But you can no longer constantly repeat it here. If you wanna talk about complexities of urban living, gangs/crews, poverty, aspects of race relations, etc. that’s all good.

  • Complexities of urban living? What? All these excuses for a certain segment of the population not acting civil.

    The stats show that if you are robbed, shot or assaulted in DC, the odds are that a black person, most likely a black male is the perpetrator. What is so racist about admitting the truth? We will never get to the bottom of this if people refuse to be honest about the problem. This is not an urban living, poverty issue. This is about a certain subculture that is violent. If they so happen to be black, so be it.

  • PoP – It’s your blog, but I would appreciate you not censoring the content. You relayed a story that is sadly familiar to many in the city and I would like to hear what people honestly think, not confining the comments to an arbitrary and undefined standard of “appropriateness”.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Tom, understood. But what are your thoughts about what anon 3:03 said?

  • Totally agree with you Nate. I think some hipsters/yuppies are just as ignorant as the people throwing rocks. I thought everyone in my neighborhood knew me and thought I knew the young boys until one decided to throw a brick at me; it turns out I really never knew them to begin with.

  • Ugh, yeah, 3:03 is totally wrong and out of line.

    My son has white and black and mixed race friends. I wish to heck he had Asian, Latin and South Asian friends, but I’m not going to lie to you, they don’t live around here and he just doesn’t know them beyond acquaintances. It’s just wrong to suggest that there is a genetic component to this, so wrong that I wonder how real your post is or if it was posted to get a rise out of people. I know several kids who are nothing like the above and whose parents would never let them get that way.

    But what Nate says and what my elderly African-American neighbors say and what the Black Lawyers in our PTA say is that it is cultural and that it is a problem and that, sometimes conversely, it’s more racist to think of this behavior as representing African-Americans than suggesting that African-Americans can hold themselves up high and not engage in assault.

    And part of this is really true- the culture of low expectations.

    If you look at FDR, he was a liberal who challenged the United States. It is NOT the purview of the republicans or conservatives to challenge our children. It is not classically liberal to make life cushy for our children and forgive their crimes. What is so conservative about giving the little guy a chance to make it as a small business?

    You see right wingers fall all over themselves to suggest that Wall St is not guilty of what they’re doing. Does anyone here want to be like Santelli and suggest that these kids should have the right to do this? Do you see where I’m going?

    I recently read a whole lot about the civil rights movement and what made it all so horribly sick was that people were systematically disallowed to do things socially, financially and academically based solely on their race. There also existed a segregated media unlike anything we could imagine. There were real structures in our society during my childhood which makes anti-gay marriage laws seem quaint by comparison.

    But what is true is that our culture achieved a lot to get past it and we did conquer it and we have President Obama.

    So if you know your Black History and you know that in California the Panthers organized whole communities to throw off their shackles and believe in themselves, but under the FBI’s cointelpro the powers that be successfully dismantled the political aspect of the panthers. So any black leader with a militant view immediately came under national LE scrutiny.

    But… Raymond Washington comes in (see, I really do know my 1960s history) and borrows the Panthers’ organizing tactics to build the Crips out of the Avenue Cribs and the Bloods are formed from the old Piru St gang. But the FBI doesn’t stop him because that’s a local criminal matter and 40 years later the Crips and Bloods are literally in a civil war that is claiming hundreds of victims.

    Note that I’m not a sucker and am not suggesting Tookie Williams had anything to do with starting the Crips. Why? Because I’m not a sucker.

    But… just because they’re coming out of poverty or coming out of any underclass community, that doesn’t mean it’s liberal to support them any more than it would be liberal to pity poor Germany and how they were screwed in the post-WW1 treaty and to allow the Nazis to come to power.

    The reality is that Mayor Barry ran, almost but not quite, a fascist-style government and there are remnants of that culture in these teenage “Culture Warriors” who harass gentrifiers. That street culture is not reflective of anyone’s race as a whole. Throwing rocks is out of control and nothing like what’s going on in any suburban city. But I’ve seen white hispanic kids roll in with the worst crews where I live.

    Don’t be a Neville Chamberlain who let Hitler take over Czechoslovakia. Don’t be a J Edgar Hoover who ignored the Crips. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away because what you’re doing is making sure that those kids will never be successful in life and that they will be your underclass. And that’s sick.

  • Anon 3:03 is needlessly spewing hate.

    Pointing out the race of these perpetrators does little to help anything but put some people into a box so that you can dehumanize them.

    American race politics falling on straight black/white lines is boring at best, embarrassing, hateful and simple-minded at worst. People of all skin colors commit crimes and do so for complex reasons.

    Wall Street is full of many people who were happy to destroy the fabric of our communities with their greed, many of whom were white. Few people are saying “Why are white people greedy jerks?” They’re saying “Why are Wall Street people greedy jerks?” Just because race can be observed as part of a phenomenon does not mean that it’s a salient part of the discussion or the root of the problem. If you feel compelled to interpret it as such, it may say more about you than the problem you’re seeking to address.

  • Anon 3:03 is a racist. Genetics has nothing to do with it. It’s cultural. When you’re raised in a culture that glorifies thug life, you’re going to aspire to be a thug. Dr. King is rolling over in his grave.

  • Here’s hoping I get hit by a rock to drive some of this traffic over to my place.

  • Anon 303 was way out of line.

    However, I wouldn’t discount the role of genetics in determining behavior. There is A LOT of legitimate evidence to support the idea that many behvaiors are inhereted and not learned.

  • “You see the kids in my neighborhood would never do that to me. Because they know me. ”

    Hitting strangers on the head with rocks is unacceptable. The fact that kids “know you” has nothing to do with it. You just made an excuse for the very behavior that you are complaining about. You are part of the problem.

  • So how long will it take until DC shakes off this ghetto mentality where the blacks are allowed to act like feral monsters, while the city government and the rest of the population just turn a blind eye?

    I’m thinking the blacks have to drop to 1/3 of the population. The blacks will all vote for their own and refuse to take any action that punishes their own, no matter how outrageous the conduct. Sadly lots of non-blacks in DC aren’t registered to vote here, so they don’t count politically. So I think we’re going to need a supermajority to outvote the animals.

  • I haven’t had rocks thrown at me (knock on wood), but I did have two disturbing Metro incidents last summer. One involved a tall female teenager with a crowd, who had been yelling at, and insulting, an older man. I walked by the confrontation and was continuing on my way when the woman banged into me really hard and shouted “excuse you bitch!” at me. She was at least 6″ taller than me. I was so surprised and befuddled that I just said sorry and moved on. It seemed the only safe thing to do. The other incident happened about a month later – there was a group of young males on the Metro and they said something to a young lady that was getting off. She didn’t respond. I was walking in her general vicinity toward the escalator when I saw quick movement to the right. And then a full plastic cup of soda came flying by and hit the young lady, soaking her. The metro doors closed almost immediately and the train went away. It is frightening to be the victim of random acts of violence, and I agree with those who say that Ipods can be a bad idea when walking around the city. Situational awareness is key.

  • @ anon 459:

    There is actually staggeringly little evidence that behavior is genetically inherited. My father is born with a set DNA, he grows up and takes up sewing and gets really good. His genes are in no way altered by this new ability and he does not pass that ability on to me. Here’s a quick primer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism

    Also, say for the sake of argument that behavior WERE genetically heritable. There has been so little time evolutionarily speaking that any ‘propensity to violence’ differences between races cannot be genetic. Check out Stephen Jay Gould’s “the mismeasure of man”.

    So Anon 303 was wrong, but I think you are too. But that shouldn’t preclude us from assuming that these kids were black. What it should preclude is us saying that it couldn’t have possibly been white kids had they grow up under the same circumstances

  • My moment of heroism: About a year ago I was riding Metro when the car filled with about a half dozen loud HS kids, boys and girls, shouting and swearing. I didn’t feel like hearing it, so I got up, leaned over the ringleader, stuck my finger in his face and said, “It is not alright to shout ‘motherf****r’ on the subway so cut it out.'” And went back to my seat and sat down. He looked confused and embarassed for about a minute, and that was enough to shut down his whole crew. I got off a couple of stops later, and an older lady asked me (a fat old white bald guy), “What did you say to him?”

    Nothing. Just the fact that something was said was enough to throw them off their game, and make the Metro ride a little more pleasant. I guess it could have gone either way. That’s the way it went that time.

  • Today at Auto Zone, the sales man made inappropriate comments to me and invited himself to my car as he “helped me” find something in the back area of the store. As he spoke, I walked to the front of the store where there were many people in line, working, etc. He didn’t even notice that he had walked with me, and was still commenting under his breath. I yelled, “Excuse me. This man is making inappropriate comments towards me.” Then to him, “You are not allowed to speak to me that way. You are not allowed to speak to me that way,” repeatedly, while he stammered excuses. I kept saying that sentence until he slithered away, apologizing. He also walked outside of the store at that point, and I did not see him come back- left his job and walked right out. It felt FANTASTIC, and it was the damn right thing to do.

    So, in PoP’s situatio, I would have:

    1) taken a picture with a camera phone or camera if possible
    2) walked closer to them
    3) yelled at the top of my lungs, “THESE PEOPLE JUST HIT ME WITH A ROCK.” repeatedly. I’d also stop passers-by, and tell them the same thing. I’d follow the kids, yelling this repeatedly for at least 10 minutes, and if I saw a cop car/bike/on-foot, I’d scream and wave my arms and get their attention as if I were on fire.

    I don’t think violence is the way to deal, although it would feel great for 2 minutes. We all need to stop being pussies, and USE WORDS. Use precise words, loud words, words that get the attention needed for the situation, and words that do not provoke a second attack (like “you fucking idiots” etc might do). I prefer words because they work every time.

  • And wow, the racism on here is astounding and so sad.

  • It’s conversations like this, dripping with blatant racism, that let me know that everything I study is true; Alive and well. Thanks for that.

    I’m also pretty damn sure random acts of violence are perpetrated by white youth/teens as well. It’s the age not the race, not to mention many other issues these kids deal with every day of their lives (i.e. poverty). It’s just more likely that these kids would be black because of the high percentage of blacks in the neighborhood.

  • Gangs- er, groups – of kids operating with disregard for others – the root causes are complex but in the end so many of us are faced with what to do in the moment.

    Does ignoring or tolerating the behavior help or hurt? By not reacting, will they get bored and go away? Or does this implicitly encourage them to continue?

    In the same vein, does confronting them give them the satisfaction of a reaction or take them aback and shut things down ( aka Truee’s experience)?

    Depending on the situation, my preferred response would be along the lines of “what do you think you’re doing?” “that is so rude” “stop that” said with the proper tone of righteousness and indignation and strength.

    That said, Halloween a few years back in Mt P, I had someone throw an egg that broke on the back of my head. I hadn’t noticed anyone but all the same I didn’t turn and look for the culprit. Walked home and cried because it was just wrong for someone to do this. On the grand scale of things, minor but in the moment it was messy.

  • @pabloma:

    I am so tired of being told that any comments that call out black / white dynamics in this city from a white perspective are racist.

    Two years ago, on pennsylvania avenue I was assaulted by a group of black teenagers. When I called the cops, the black cop said explicitly- you know you were targeted because you are white.

    I’m sure she was right. Now if I was to say the same thing here, I’d be told I was racist. Oh, and as they left they started yelling homophobic slurs and bullshit.

    You know this whole conversation reminds me of Barack Obama’s race speech where he said both sides both black and white need to see where the other group is coming from. It feels like all I hear is this incessant politically correct bullshit that I need to volunteer, tutor, or know my neighbors and none of this would happen and don’t acknowledge what the cop said, that I was targeted because I was white. Can’t mention that.

    So it goes on and on. I know that if a white person in this city beat up a black kid and threw slurs his way, the outrage would be huge. But we have black kids who are targeting white people, many times gay people, and we can’t talk about it. Its bullshit.

    One thing I’m glad the assault did was it knocked my liberal naivete to the ground when they knocked me to the ground. I don’t care if it makes me look racist or whatever anyone else thinks- if I see a group of black teens on the street I cross the street.

    I come from a town in NC where it was 60% black and while race relations were not perfect, things were not like that. I lived there for 13 years. I’ve lived here for 4 years, and I’ve seen the amount of racism I have to challenge in myself rise every year. It sucks, I challenge my own thoughts, but they are there, and they were not there before.

    What would be great is to see all the blogs in this city that people read, to raise up and call on our council to do something. Juvenile Justice is a joke – and the power of the blogs in our communities are immense. It would be nice to see them harnessed to tell the council to put up or shut up, or we’ll elect someone else.

    And that goes for our boy wonder mayor as well….

  • Pabloma – suck it. A large proportion of the blacks in DC are feral and get their kicks from robbing or hurting white people, or anyone who isn’t black – and that includes Hispanics, which given your screen name might be more of interest to you. Denying the truth doesn’t make it go away.

    Y deja de hablar de racismo por favor – tú no sabes nada de mis experiencias ni de quién soy… por lo cual te digo, con máximo respeto, que te chingues.

  • Back @ CapHillEast –

    Ok time for me to preach now.

    First of all, I don’t think anyone can argue the blatant racism and horrible words of Anon 6:22’s post.

    Secondly- I understand your anger at your attack, and most people would as well. I’m ANGRY with what happened to me today, and what has happened to me in the past at the hands and words of other men. Today, I wanted to punch that guy in the face, or kick him in the nuts, or anything to make me feel better and make him feel worse. But these attacks on me were from four men; four in a sea of millions (and by the way, three of the four were white). It is not only unfair to generalize, but completely unfounded; so I choose to have my anger at men, and work on dealing with it, while also choosing not to show that anger to every man that crosses my path.

    Calling a group of people “animals” is not only completely inappropriate and disgusting, but also working against the speaker’s cause as it only further aggravates an already aggravated population.

    There is racism inside all of us, sadly. Let’s face it, we all have it, no matter our background or color or anything. It’s there, no thanks to the history of the earth. You can choose to fight it to live a fulfilling and fair life, and give people compassion and the benefit of the doubt, or you can do what YOU’VE done, CapHillEast, and give in.

    Anger does not excuse hatred in any way, shape or form.

  • I don’t suck anything via blog post, or otherwise, so no thanks.

    Take a minute and read what you just wrote- especially the part about “feral”. I’m sad for you.

  • p.s. My dog is named after Pablo Picasso, hence the screenname. I speak French and German, no Spanish. And you’re a generalizing idiot.

  • PabloMa, you hit a pretty hypocritical note when you pontificate on “fighting to live a fulfilling an fair life and give people compassion and the benefit of the doubt,” and “anger does not excuse hatred in any way, shape or form,” but follow it by the ad hominem attack of “you’re a generalizing idiot.” i bet Gandhiji wouldn’t have done it quite that way.

  • You may have a point, Jim. At least I can say I took my own advice and used words instead of violent actions (which of course was my only option being on the internet and all).

    Anon 10:03’s descriptions of people sickened me enough to call him a name, and in hindsight maybe it was uncalled for. (Or maybe you can give me a freakin break here.)

  • 1. I can’t believe that anyone would ignore this sort of behavior. Out here in MoCo we would never put up with that, which is probably one reason why it doesn’t happen out here. As far as ‘kids being kids,’ i think that is a terrible thing to say. It is one thing for kids to do the random stupid act but attempting to do harm to another person is something wholly different. Anyone who attempts to do harm to another person needs to be punished. I would probably have called the cops.

    2. I really wish that people who think that ‘race’ means anything at all would get over themselves. We all belong to the human race. And who the hell cares what the ethnicity of the attackers was? Anyone who would do something like this deserves to be punished, regardless of what color their skin is.

    3. I’ve never had rocks thrown at me but one time when I was looking at a house in Petworth I got a bunch of racist epithets shouted at me by an older black man. At the time I had no idea what to say or do, but in retrospect I should have said something. People need to know that this sort of behavior is NOT OK!

  • I guess rocks are better than a blowgun dart. Did they ever catch that kid? Do they ever catch anyone…POP maybe you should carry a slingshot

  • I just wanted to say this happened to me twice. Once I was running and the kids through rocks at my butt and once at the beach in Norfolk VA. My friend screamed at them and told them they would be in jail by the time they were 18.
    I wish it would happen again, because I didn’t respond the first time, I just looked confused and stopped and looked then kept on going. I wish I would have called the cops. They were just kids, but I was afraid they would do something worse. I thought about when I was a kid, did I do things like that, and I can’t think of a time I wouldv’e done something like that. I think you have to stop and say something, do something, or this behaviour will continue and grow into something worse..

  • There are tons of apologists on this blog… I do not feel sorry for anyone who grew up in this city. World class universities are at your door step and there are plenty of jobs available. Shit, there’s even a youth jobs program here. Where I grew up, in rural MD, we didn’t have no jobs program and we definitely did not harm anyone. We didn’t have parks, playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, or public pools either. This city is pathetic, or more specifically, the people who live here are pathetic. I love diversity but that isn’t an excuse to keep your eyes closed and ears covered. I don’t need to know my neighbors or volunteer to garner common respect; I pay taxes (both income and property) and support local businesses, and therfore, the local economy. That should be enough to gain the respect of my black neighbors. But too often I’m called “cracker faggot”. That shit gets really old really fast.

  • I lived in Columbia Heights on Euclid btwn 13th adn 14th for 2 years (just moved to Logan Circle). Let me tell you that the kids in that neighborhood are a sad bunch. I was attacked by a junkie on 14th street — just a block from Target and the young men (boys) at one of the apartment buildings across the street — instead of helping me — stood there and laughed. Finally a young black woman (yes it took a woman) came to my aid and scared the guy off. Finally the cops showed up after several other onlookers called them. This neighborhood continues to be trouble. Mainly the kids. Nothing is ever going to change in that neighborhood until the parents take responsiblity for their children. I’m tired of all the excuses — time whip those punks into shape.

  • I recently moved to D.C. from Omaha, Neb. A few years ago Omaha had a rash of rock throwing incidents. In that case, though, it was bored white suburban kids throwing rocks off of bridges. The other difference: unlike in D.C., the Omaha rock throwers killed a woman by dropping a heavy patio stone onto her car from an overpass. So yes, the kids in Columbia Heights are black. But don’t think that this is a black-only thing.

  • Stand up for yourself. Seriously.

    The kids should have been taught a lesson. They are just going to keep doing this and someone could really get hurt.

  • But in Washington, Mark, it happens to be a black-only thing.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not rude to call people “animals,” but it’s foolish to pretend that this is not a race problem.

    A good handful of people seem to recall times when they were assaulted or harassed while having a bunch of young black men call them white bitches, white faggots, or some other ethnically-insensitive slur.

    If the roles were reversed, such an incident would make national news (as a hate crime). In Washington, people (of all races) make excuses for the criminal and bigoted behavior. Strange.

  • The quality of life in DC remains sketchy. Kids like the ones who threw a rock at PoP (“tagged?” like that makes it a gentle game?) are bored and what’s worse, they are so desensitized that reflection is absent. The incident doesn’t linger in their thoughts long enough for any regret to take place. At this point, such actions are a reflex on their part.

  • I’m sorry this happened to you. I just moved out of Columbia Heights and back to Shaw. I was robbed by gun point in Shaw before I moved to SW before I moved to Columbia Heights. My roommate in SW was attacked by a group 14-16 year old boys. He fought back and became friends with the crew. They were part of a drug crew called 106 in SW. They would come over and have freestyle rap battles. Go figure. They weren’t bad kids. Just misguided. I never experienced any problems in Columbia Heights. I have however had eggs thrown at me by the Giant at 7th and O on more than one occasion. I know that there are a group of people at Clifton Terrace that love throwing rocks at people on their bikes riding up the hill on 11th st. There is another crew there called CTU. (Clifton Terrace Univ) Basically, you see this as random or disturbing. To some of these kids the violence is a right of passage. You’re an easy target because you don’t respond. If you did, who knows. You might become human and make an acquaitence. I know it’s way easier said than done. I’ve been made fun of and yelled at on the bus/metro by kids. I’ve bit my tounge and I’ve lashed out. I don’t know what’s right. I know that I love this city and I’m not going anywhere. I want to help our youth.

  • @ Brad

    I am very familair with Lamarck and his theories, so I don’t appreciate my arguments being compared to his. The example you chose to highlight has little application to my statement. You gave of an example of a learned skill, while I was refering to an innate behavior. Obvisouly skills we learn do not change our genetic material and I suggested nothing of the sort.

    My initial statement still stands and there is plenty of evidence for it, much of which can be observed by watching other animals, anything from breeding strategies to care for young to courtship rituals and so.

    Also, I merely stated that behavior has genetic implications. I did not state that there were significant inhereted behavioral differences between races nor did I state that violence in humans is genetic.

  • i would have turned around and walked right up towards them wielding my pepper spray. i hear the shit is illegal in dc, but it sure isn’t where i am from and i don’t live here, so i will spray away. i know it won’t always save me, but so far it sure as hell has saved me from a carjacking and getting the shit beat out of me while walking around 10th and S st nw at 4am. did i mention i am a 5’7″ 110lbs girl. watch the fuck out – us tiny ones will bite you, rockthrowers. go cry to mommy when your eyes are burning.

  • Sorry that happened to your PoP. I honestly think you did the best thing for your personal safety (long term resolution is a whole other issue not to be dealt with by you alone on 14th street).

    Last summer I got off the metro in Columbia Heights and was walking home down 14th. I was followed for about 10 minutes by a group of teenage guys saying very nasty sexual comments about my body and what they’d like to do to it. I was terrified. I didn’t know if confronting them would help or hurt my situation. I know self defense, but wouldn’t kid myself into thinking I could take on 6 guys at once. Mind you this was summer and only 5:30PM so very light out and lots of people on the street. No one did anything to help me. Eventually I went into a crowded store. They waited outside for a few minutes before walking away…then I ran home.

    This was only unusual in that it was a group and they followed me. Living there guys would yell nasty things at me all the time. I moved (for other reasons) closer to U St. and haven’t had that problem since.

  • DC police are notoriously bad about letting stuff slide, especially with minors. I get Crime Reports regularly and I’m amazed at how many first hand incidents of which I am directly aware (neighbors describing incidents) never get reported as ‘crimes’. Maybe DC residents should report all of these incidents, get case numbers, and run a ‘counter’ Crime Maps using real data and not the official police reports. There should be some way to quantify this from a public safety standpoint outside of the ineffective DCPS reporting.

    Even if you reported this incident, it would never show as simple assault, which it undoubtedly was.

  • i second what DG said “Stand up for yourself. Seriously.”

    i know this is over simplifying it but i like to think that how you carry yourself, your stature, what you wear and what sort of “accessories” you carry about with you has something to do with it. call me ignorant but that’s how i see it. i’m a pretty big guy and i typically wear some sort of black/death/punk/metal/whatever t shirt and jeans. i’m not covered in tattoos or anything and i definitely dont consider myself a tough guy but i have never been hassled. i know that sounds stupid but i would think that these people, if given the option, would go for the smaller, “hipster” looking, laptop carrying, ipod at night, peacoat wearing people with glasses and tight skinny jeans and chuck taylors over someone like me who is wearing a shirt with a fucking upside down cross and corpses on it or some shit. i know i’m generalizing here but that is my stereotype of a lot of “hipster” student type/artsy people in DC. i LIKE to think that they would think twice before coming down on someone like me but who knows. all i do know is i will either run like a motherfucker if i saw my life or teeth or head was in danger or i’m gonna fuck that shit up until i can get away. FIGHT BACK OR RUN. DO SOMETHING.

    that said, i’m really sorry this happened to you and i hope those kids get whats comin to em. something terrible will happen to them in their life if it hasnt already happened. karma is a bitch.

  • I played in a soccer league in Petworth a year or two ago. The neighborhood kids used to stand behind the goals and throw rocks at our keeper. We’d shoo them away and they’d eventually come back like flies to honey (or something). My initial reaction was anger at these kids’ parents. Who raises kids to think it’s ok to throw rocks at people?

    As summer is coming up, I propose a water balloon replacement initiative. We can pass them out in junior/senior high schools along with condoms. 🙂

  • I’ve said it before, now that D.C. will soon have law-abiding people carrying guns (it looks like), we are without a doubt headed for a Bernie Goetz situation. Unless the city gets off its ass and does something, at least. A group of teenagers will harass or accost someone, and they will whip out a gun and kill a kid, and the conversation on this thread will seem civil by comparison — there will be marches in the street complaining about an “innocent” kid being gunned down on the one hand, and people celebrating an “animal” being shot down on the other. It is an incredibly depressing thought, but I think it is inevitable that vigilantyism will take hold unless families and law enforcement do their jobs.

  • Families in DC often don’t exist in the sense that you are using the word. Law enforcement is generally hamstrung by ineffective legislation and leadership. Read about Ransom Perry Jr. and the murder of Arthur Daniels. Such a sad and enlightening story.

  • I’ve lived in Columbia Heights for the past three decades and the one time I was hit with a rock was on the elementary school playground as a fifth grader…I wasn’t even aware that rock throwing was so common…then again, as a relatively young black man, I don’t think I’m likely to be targeted as much, kind of the reverse situation from the anti-loitering law:)

    I know that if I was hit in the head by a rock, regardless of who threw it, I would consider that sufficient justification for physical retaliation. That may not be the most PC or productive approach, but I guarantee the best way to discourage people from victimizing you is to ensure that their bad choice (throwing rocks) is followed by and associated with worse consequences (spearhand to throat, elbow to jaw, sidewalk to head) That’s how bullies learn.

    What I find almost funny is the expectation that people who have been indoctrinated to interpret “personal responsibility” as the racist code words of a “mean-spirited” ideology would teach their children to embrace personal responsibility…

  • KIDS IN DC ARE BAD. Bad, bad, bad. I am totally and completely frightened of them – and I lived 5 years in NYC before moving to DC, and grew up in Philadelphia – and never have I seen such awful pre-teens/teens. There is so much juvenile crime in DC… They think nothing of shooting each other and assaulting random people. I love this city and it’s diversity, and I love the “transitional” neighborhoods – but the kids freak me out. It’s like they have zero conscious, they just hurt or kill people without thought. Something has to be done – I have no idea what though – b/c honestly, the best way to prevent a kid from “going bad” is a strong family/parental figure, or a good role model. Whether that role model be a family member, older friend, “big brother/sister,” etc. Obviously some great teachers help along the way, too. These kids need someone/people to help keep them in line, point them in the right direction… Otherwise the temptation is too great to just fall in with bad crowds and bad behaviors…. (This is true of all kids in all parts of the country, obviously.)

    It’s a huge task to develop some community programs to foster strong families, or at least provide good role models and other opportunities for these kids. I don’t see this actually ever happening… Hence why I’m totally scared of these kids and think the situation is a bit hopeless. Best to just be aware of your surroundings and avoid, if possible, without changing your life/routine, groups of loitering kids.

  • Pick up said rock.

    Throw said rock back at said hoodlums–preferably in the direction of a head.

    Go drink an IPA.

  • I’ve lived at 14th and Harvard for 4 years and have never been hit by anything, rock or otherwise. That’s not to say that such things do not occur, just that they don’t seem to be particularly common.

  • I have lived at 14th and Harvard for the past 3 years, and this has happened to me maybe twice. The first time it was three high school students (at least, they appeared to be) and about my size. On 14th, across from 7-eleven. During rush hour. I turned around, acknowledged them with a “Really?” and then walked on. They threw another rock.

    So I walked up to them, pulled out my phone, and dialed the police non-emergency line. I asked them to stick around for a few minutes. They hurled obscenities at me (but not rocks) and walked away.

  • It’s true that kids will be kids, but kids in my neighborhood growing up threw rocks at trees, or squirrels. Snowballs were the worst ammunition aimed at humans, and we all aimed below the neck. I’m not petitioning for small rodent torture or prolonged winters in DC, but apparently somewhere along the line childhood past-time stakes were raised to include the maiming of other humans. If the kids with whom PoP dealt were all bullies, it might be fair to suspect parenting (or lack thereof) is to blame. But I chalk it up to a group of adolescent boys egging one another on to go further each time, at which point we can blame low self-esteem. It’s true that, at some point, one or more of them will probably get in deeper trouble if they choose to continue disregarding their fellow humans’ feelings/safety. That’s called Natural Order, and nature has done a decent job so far of ridding itself of inferior, malicious beings. Well, maybe…

    If you live anywhere (especially in a densely populated city), you must accept that you will encounter unhappy/angry/mean folks at some point. I live in a VERY nice neighborhood. Yet, the people who live on our street vandalize our cars if we park them in front of their houses, because, apparently if you buy a house in the city, you then own the curb in front of the dwelling as well (did you know this?!). My boyfriend caught an old [white] man scratching his new car, just to scare him off. The next week, someone ripped the hood ornament off my car and threw mud all over it. I might mention that I’ve lived in DC for 6 years–I’m not exactly the NKOTB.

    My point? White or black or hispanic or whatever, people have a lack of respect for others that is bred from an overindulgence in self, and an unjustified sense of entitlement. It’s the same mindset that got us into this economic mess, but another topic for another day…

  • I have had a few run-ins with rocks/bricks on the 11th street hill above Florida. This was 2-3 years ago and it seems to have stopped. But what a pain the a$$ to be winded and trying to scold young-ins about hurting someone. That said, I always called the cops(911) and yelled to the kids that I was calling. They ran away but the cops came each time, usually within 30 seconds.

    A call to Jim Graham’s office (Ward1) is always helpful as he is a weasly little pol who likes to make the city a better place as long as he gets the credit.

    As for CH, I walk my daughter to school at 14th and Columbia every day and afternoon and we luckily seem to wear the cloak of invincibility that comes with a having a todddler at your side.

    I have also asked the group of throwers who threw rocks and they said they wouldn’t snitch.

    Sorry for the head shot PoP

  • Please remember that assault is a 911 call, not 311.

  • I read the term “bully” a lot above, but is that what these kids really were doing, bullying? I’m sure some psych major out there has an answer, but to me it seems like random violence/lawlessness rather than aimed at tormenting anybody in particular to make them feel better about themselves or establish dominance. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a 12 year-old, totally unprovoked, “bullying” a 30 year-old stranger on the street. It may be a case of territoriality — I’ve certainly had my run-ins with kids and adults interested in establishing their own cultural ownership of the space (and my lack of any ownership) — but I don’t know that I’d slap the minimizing label of “bullying” on it.

  • I am not a racist, but I’ll cop to being a behaviorist. Sometimes people display behavior that fully merits the titles “animalistic” or “feral.” Even “kids being kids” can earn these titles, and their age does not make the terms inappropriate.

    I deal with people on an individual basis, not on the basis of increasingly-useless pre-set demographical categories. At the same time, any sane person must admit that cultures exist, cultures are complex, cultures matter hugely, and the urban black culture in this city (and the similar cultures in many other cities in this country) is problematic in many ways. Some black, urban individuals choose to cling to the good parts of black urban culture while repudiating the bad, and thus become lovely, upstanding human beings. Other black, urban individuals make the opposite choice and spend their lives displaying animalistic behavior.

    This problem must be addressed if anything is going to change, but most people are afraid to address it because attacking the empirically troubling parts of black urban culture is too often reduced to simple bigotry or racism by people who can’t handle criticism, nuance, or both.

    An important part of my job is spent studying cultural statistics. Statistics is a very blunt instrument, as I increasingly believe the demographic markers social scientists have used for decades either are becoming or always have been insufficient tools to describe the intangible cultural picture. Nonetheless, the black racial indicators are consistently the bleakest in every category: illegitimacy, marriage rate, low birthweight, education, poverty, teen pregnancy, non-parental care, not to mention the well-known statistics on crime and violence. These are only symptoms, they are not the problem. The symptoms will not change until the underlying cultural problem is addressed. It is my personal/professional opinion that 90% of the underlying cultural problem is caused by the staggering disintegration of the black nuclear family, but no one wants to talk about that extremely non-PC elephant in the room either. At some point I hope saner heads will prevail and realize that our cultural order depends upon the strength of the nuclear family as the basic unit of society, and stop making urban black children (and the targets of their throwing arms) pay the price for the elite’s luxury of wishful thinking.

  • 1) You can sympathize with where these kids are coming from all you want. But they don’t give a shit about you or where you came from.

    2) You don’t have to be rich to be spoiled. These kids are ‘spoiled’ in that no one calls them on their bad behavior. Like a pouty brat who throws tantrums and parents that shrug their shoulders and do nothing to stem the behavior, by not confronting them, you condone it and they will do it again.

    It’s a bad culture these kids have and everyone around them should stand up to them, even if they have to back it up with pepper spray, slingshots, calls to 911, etc.

    Words are a weapon and turn them them first.

  • Sorry, that should read, ‘Words are weapons and turn to them first.’

  • I should also mention that it is one of my highest hopes for the Obama administration that the example of his close, strong, beautiful family will inspire some of the needed change I described above. It would be even better if he openly advocated for marriage and family, but given the political risk such a stance would entail, my higher hopes are simply on the weight of his family’s example.

  • Denegrification in DC NOW!!!!!

  • Like it or not, the face of violent crime in Washington, DC is a black male face. That’s not an explanation and it’s not an excuse. It’s an empirical fact. It is also an empirical fact that the perpetrators of crime constitute a small minority of the black population. This is not every black person or most black people doing something bad; this is a small minority of the black population doing something bad. We need to be able to, and I believe that we can, discuss these issues without hiding from the facts and without condemning an entire race for the actions of a relative few.

  • Not 15 minutes ago I was turning off Irving onto 15th St. toward Park (behind Bell Multicultural School) from the CH metro when a group of 5 or 6 boys with basketballs starting intentional bumping into me and one even put his hands on me by rubbing my head and pulling down my hood.

    I am a girl less than 5 ft tall.

    I turned and confronted them and just stared into the ringleaders eyes and he started cussing, calling me a bitch and saying he wasn’t afraid of me and what was i going to do. I was like, I’m not scared of you either and you’re a sad little bitch.

    Anyway they turned onto Irving and headed toward 14th and after that I’m not sure where they went because I continued on my way.

    I truly do not care about sad little kids calling me a bitch. Society, fair or not, will give them a smackdown harsher than I could ever deliver by sending their asses to jail or giving them AIDS.

    However, I do have a problem with anyone putting their hands on me. It is a sad state of affairs when children no older than 13 start touching women with impunity.

    All of us who have experienced this sort of thing need to start strategizing about how we are going to handle these incidents. I intended to call some kind of non-emergency police number just to give them the heads up but 311 doesn’t work and I haven’t found another non-emergency number that does.

    Does anyone have any ideas what number I could call? We should all agree to identify that number and calling it so these kids can get the attention they need, be it love or punishment. We would be doing them a favor.

  • 911 is the catch-all number now. I wouldn’t waste your time though, unless you’re willing to follow the kids until the cop shows up and point them out. At which point you’ll be told that there’s nothing illegal about unwanted touching or some shit like that. Like the brick example above, what is illegal in most places is allowed here.

  • pennywise, i am not satisfied with that. there has to be something constructive we can do collectively. this is a fairly high-profile blog we’re commenting on here. we can make this a PR issue for the mayor or the cops. or we can just formulate a recommended course of action so that people don’t feel so powerless against this stuff.

  • GSG – where you’re wrong is when you say it’s a small minority of black people in DC who are criminals. I’d wager it’s somewhere closer to about half of all black men.

  • 7:42- Sexual assault is a 911 call! the number you call is 911.

  • certain black teenagers are a plague on this city. that’s not racism, it’s reality. if the reason is because we’re black majority in DC, it doesn’t matter – maybe in columbus it’s white kids, but i’m being practical. there’s packs of little 14 year old scumbags running around, enabled by an horrendous juvenile offenders program and garbage parents. avoid the little pieces of shit as much as you can. if you want to put up a pc front, more power to you. drive on kennedy at 11 at night and see who tries to mess with you – a bunch of undisciplined, unsupervised 14 year olds. too bad their dads are in jail because of shitty drug policy – they need their asses beat.

  • Aglets

    As someone who works steps from the 14th & Harvard intersection (i can see it from my window) and also someone who has had a brick thrown through their window as they were driving (on M street in SW) i feel compelled to ask/beg/whatever please tell the police. I don’t care if it’s in the moment or in a thought the next day.
    I also agree with the above comment that you shouldn’t be walking around with your ears plugged up after dark, but if they throw a rock at you, they’re going to throw them at other people. It’s our duties as residents of the City to make sure that stuff is reported (no matter how small).
    Less than a week after the brick incident, someone was beaten to hell for sport blocks from where I was hit in SW.

  • POP,
    had similar experience with 8 yr olds and snowball/iceball. There aim was lousy and in response to my comment “Can you behave yourselves or do I get to call the cops” the one who did not run said “If I did it you would not catch me” I was late for work so I just hoped on the metro. I just am so frustriated…they were 8, short little kids….I am not exactly going to attack children or call the cops for a snowball (and what hold the kids until they get there?) It’s just soo frustraiting that this happens. No one seems to give a good answer on what to do/how to react?

  • The lamest thing about the continued racist comments such as “denegrification” – yesterday at 5:40 is that they keep posting under Anonymous. Grow a spine and own your ideas already.

  • This whole rock throwing thing has gone on in Columbia Heights and Petworth for some time. There was a cover story on it in the Citypaper a couple years back. Its very dangerous and some people have been critically stoned, beaten and almost killed. There is even certain slang for different ways a target/person could be hit. If you think this is a kids game then chances are you are the ideal target for such behaviour. There is a phenomenon in these neghborhoods (including Shaw) where teenagers are randomly attacking and beating up residents/visitors – particularly white men. This is what happens when you have luxury condos next to projects. These youngsters come from broken homes and are therefore broken themselves. Their reality is paralleled by that of young successful professionals living obliviously around them. They choose these people as targets to vent their lives’ frustrations and misguided anger. I’m sure its difficult to stand on the corner the entire day and look up at these bright beautiful glass buildings and see residents eating sushi while the game plays on their 50″ flat screens. Unlike in NY, gentrification is relatively new in DC and these are the realities of its initial stages. In NY black folks don’t even pay attention to white folks because its nothing new. In DC its still very much a novelty. Our gentrification process is only 9 years old. Lets not forget that Columbia Heights was the most crime infested part of NW and even with all its development still holds its own in that category. Many of those bad kids that grew up here in the 80s and 90s have goten older and had kids of their own, and I’m sure these little fucks picked up a thing or two from their older counterparts. I have lived and worked in DC for a long time. I have seen the changes, but don’t overestimate them. I carry a blade with me at all times not because I promote violence, but because I refuse to be a victim. If get a rock thrown at my head and/or get jumped by teenagers I’m going to assume they are trying to kill me so hopefully for them this doesn’t happen to me. I’ve read many of your comments and people have tiptoed around the issues of race, class and gentrification. That is exactly what this issue is about. The sooner you acknowledge it and understand it the less your chances of becoming a victim are.

  • I agree with anonymous. This is not about being PC when the reality is clear as day. Kids are the most dangerous because they don’t fully understand real consequences and life. Especially those from abusive broken homes. It doesn’t matter that they are black. In this case they are – so what. This is my message to urban white folks out there – Overcome your fear of not becoming the most open minded, progressive, antiracist of all time and concentrate on protecting yourself. If you see a group of teens hangin’ out in front of a building late at night they ain’t playin’ hackey sack. Take your damn Ipod earphones out, remove that “nice doggy” smile of your face and prepare yourself for some kind of interaction.

  • Holliewood’s 2 posts were by far the smartest 2 posts of the bunch.

Comments are closed.