The Hero From the Incident at 14th and Irving Gives His Account

Comics Addicted Chapter Two -Viciado em Quadrinhos Capítulo Dois, originally uploaded by Herodoto.


Back on March 30th a reader had written in to ask about an apparent mugging that was broken up by a nameless hero. I have no doubt that the hero would not consider himself one but he certainly did act courageously and I think warrants the title.  At any rate, he wrote in to clear up what actually happened that evening. Here it is:

“A friend of mine sent me a link to your post about the assault that took place on 14th and Irving last Monday. I’m the “random dude” from the story. I wanted to drop you a line to clear up a couple of errors from the original post and give you a quick update. The main point that I want to correct is that the lady who was assaulted, or I should say, the lady who I witnessed being assaulted (there was a second lady assaulted earlier) would probably be quite upset to see herself described as old. She couldn’t have been older than 40 or so, though as a rule I really try to avoid speculating on women’s ages. The other correction that I would offer is that I don’t believe that the man was mugging her. Here is the quick version of my story:

I was taking the 14th street bus home from the office and got off at 14th and Irving. As soon as I stepped off the bus I heard shouting. I turned to look. About 10 feet away from me a young man was screaming at a woman. He was inches away from her. I couldn’t make out any words but the woman looked terrified. I had a beat to take this in when, suddenly, the man drew back and punched the woman in the face. The next thing I knew I was on top of him. I wish I could tell you exactly how I got there. I just remember my body hitting his and then his body hitting the ground with me on top. I’m a pretty big guy and I used to wrestle in high school, so at that point keeping him pinned down wasn’t too difficult, though he was trying to get me off him the whole time.  Continues after the jump

I remember the woman calling 911 and I remember yelling for someone to get the police. There were tons of people around and I think someone ran off to check around the corner. I remember someone telling me that they were on the way. I don’t know how long I was holding him, but it couldn’t have been more than a minute or two before the police came and slipped the handcuffs on him. When they picked him up a bottle of vodka started rolling away, I don’t know how it didn’t break. Immediately afterwards, a couple people came over to tell me that they had seen everything and I asked them if they would give statements to the police.

At that point a young woman came over and told me that she had been assaulted by the same man a few minutes earlier. Apparently, he had walked past her and punched her in the arm. She went into D’vines and when she came out, she saw me holding him down and stuck around to give a statement to the police as well. I should note that the guy must have hit her pretty hard because when the police photographer came over almost a full ten minutes later, she still had a red mark on her arm. I really don’t know what the story with the guy was. He had a cut on his eye that I initially thought I had caused but that everyone else said he had earlier.

What I pieced together was that he had gotten into a fight a few minutes before we ran into him, possibly when getting off the metro at the Columbia Heights stop, and was taking it out on anyone who got near him. The two women who were assaulted were just unlucky enough to be in his way. The important thing is that both the women seemed to be ok afterwards.”

29 Comment

  • You, sir, may not think of yourself as a hero, but you are to those two women. Bravo.

  • You rock, thank you so much. Unfortunately the perp is probably mentally deranged and needs help more than anything, but you maybe saved a woman from a vicious beating. I vote for a happy hour or some such where everyone buys you drinks.

  • As a woman, I thank you.

  • I bet the guy was one of those “bad drunks” I keep hearing about–you know, the kind who’s always looking for a fight after a few too many drinks? Still, only a real douche would punch a woman.

  • Attaboy to you. I wish more people would sack up and do the right thing when they see it going down.

  • apparently there has been a resurgence of PCP in DC which can cause violence like this.

  • yep, definitely a hero. that man would no doubt continued assaulting women if you hadn’t stopped him.

  • As a woman I am always looking over my sholder when I walk alone from the CH metro station, but I feel a lot better knowing there are people like you around. Thank you.

  • Hero. Thank you!

  • Hey man, great work! The only concern I have would be for your safety. Everything worked out for the best, but what would have happened if he had a knife or a box cutter? I would have hated the story to be about how a good sumaritian was stabed to death on 14th street.

    As a community it would might be preferable that people like this hero don’t have to go to these exterems. I think we all admire him so much because without his intervention it would be another tired story about how a psycho punched 2 women on a busy street and then just walked away.

    If EVERYONE on the street was to call the cops and then keep an eye on the suspect (even as they walk away) then maybe the police could do their job and not have a civilian hero put at risk…

  • Wonderful- thanks for the story and for your actions.

    I just have to add- this “as a woman” business is fine and dandy, but for me (as a woman), I would have punched him right back myself!

  • I’m coming out of that Metro station at that time 3 or 4 days a week and it freaks me out that that could have been me. You’re a hero for doing what you did.

  • You sir, are a hero. Period. Good job and thanks.

  • I don’t know how I missed this, but I echo all the other women’s remarks, thank you thank you THANK YOU!

  • Another vote for dubbing you a kick ass hero.

  • Props to you, glad someone has some backbone in this city…

  • As a man, and as someone who was violently attacked a few years ago and had to fight off the attackers myself (they were pretty much cowards and ran away the moment I showed some resistance), I want to add my thanks as well. Personally, though, I don’t necessarily think you are a hero; rather, to steal a line from the actress Anne Hathaway (used in a completely different contex), you are a decent human being. Sadly that is sometimes harder to find than a hero.

  • As a man, and as someone who was violently attacked a few years ago and had to fight off the attackers myself (they were pretty much cowards and ran away the moment I showed some resistance)

    Interesting sotry CPT_Doom. Did it happen around here?

  • And as a MAN, I thank you! Good work!

  • @clearbluewater33: Are you referring to the Washington Post story ( If so, Slate debunked it ( He said/she said, but interesting.

  • Actions like these remind me that there ARE good people out there – and I won’t deny it is …well…sexy. Can’t keep myself from wondering if mystery super hero guy is single and looking….

  • Dude, you scored HUGE karma points! Everybody wishes they were you right now. And sympathy to the victims. Nobody deserves what you got.

  • Awesome! Thanks for stepping up and doing your part to end this type of harassment. We linked to this story at our site:

  • I hope you’re reading the comments because I happend to see the tackle and really wanted to say that you rock!! I was pretty darn impressed.

    Can we get an update to find out if you’re single? 😉

  • Blessings to each of the ladies – I am glad you are safe.

    As women we have to be extra alert ladies. Self defense classes are an excellent source of exercise as well as a way to support defending ourselves. There are so many free to inexpensive options at area Rec Centers (any martial arts experts in the community – chime in – support your community host a class SMILE). It is quite hot to have the whole hero thing going on – if you must endure such an ordeal… even better a guardian angel. One more thing ladies… reach out to one another – you see the same faces everyday. Let’s start supporting one another by connecting and seeing if we could coordinate moving in groups… Sounds like a win/win to me – meet a friend and be a little safer!:)

    To the brave gentleman, what you did was very heroic. It was a blessing that you were there and willing to step in. I hope you realize the depth of your gesture – it was a random act of kindness – it was selfless – it was contagious – it was strong and above all rare! You bought your community together by going first. I’m sure additional witness statements help the victims obtain some justice! I hope your energy remains contagious. Be safe and thank you@

  • *restored faith in humanity*

  • Outstanding work my good man. Outstanding…

  • what a great guy

  • @emma d. I hadn’t seen that article, but i was talking to one of the local cops in DC about a violent incident at Union station a couple of days ago and he said that they are seeing more PCP use/evidence around their beat. I dont know if its making a resurgence like the article says but cops are noticing a pattern.

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