Reader Recounts His Experience with Police Activity on Irving St., NW Yesterday


“Dear PoP,

I thought I would write to you you and give you my account of the police activity that occurred yesterday afternoon on Irving street in between 14th and 15th streets. At around 4:45 PM I was walking east on the north side of Irving street after a ten hour work day at my office in Dupont. I was about 50 yards from the Five Guys when I heard someone yell, “Police! Stop!” I looked up and saw a man running full speed on the south side sidewalk with four or five street clothed police officers (the ones with the badges aroudn their neck) chasing after him. The suspect then ran across the street diagonally towards me. Realizing that I had an an angle on him I threw myself at him (kind of a hockey body check) and knocked the suspect onto the hood of a pickup truck. He then rolled off but by then the police had caught up and tackled him to the ground. The suspect had shoved his arm down the sewer drain and the Police kept yelling “drop it.” I heard a clanging sound from the sewer below and the cops pulled his hand out empty handed. One of the officers turned to me to say thanks and then got on his radio.

I didn’t stick around to see what he was suspected of as I was pretty freaked out at this point. On my walk home to 11th st I saw a lot more police cars on their way to the scene. Any idea what that was all about?”

Wow, that is insane. Props to you for helping out. I can imagine how scary that experience must have been. I think that is when instinct kicks in and you don’t really think about it, you just react. Obviously, I’m glad you didn’t get hurt. Folks have to remember to be careful though particularly if a weapon is involved. Reminds me a bit of this incident from the Columbia Heights metro where a reader helped break up an assault. But thanks again for your response, I’m glad the guy was caught.

26 Comment

  • While the person who submitted this did do something pretty dangerous, he/she does get kudos from me for showing that some residents of DC do not tolerate crime.

    I could see certain commentators on here probably bodychecking the cops instead.

  • seriously…
    i’ve noticed since moving here that most people ignore this stuff.

    so kudos for doing something about it from me also, especially since i walk my dogs right there twice a day.

  • Applause to the good samaritan. While admittedly what he did was potentially quite dangerous, I hope he’s around if ever I’m in trouble. Too many people turn their heads and choose not to assist others; it was very brave of this gentleman to do so. Glad he wasn’t hurt!

  • wow, what a story.

    way to deal out some citizen justice!

  • I really thought that story was going to end with the police yelling at him for getting in their way, and am really glad it did not.

  • need more people like you who aren’t the typical old school columbia heights “didn’t see nothing” cowards.

    i hope i am as brave confronted with same situation.

  • Now that we know the police union is what really calls the shots around here, I’m shocked this story didn’t end with them taking you to arbitration for doing their jobs for them.

  • I once might have had the chance to forestall a pursesnatching at the Petworth metro. But unfortunately I was wearing a baby in a baby carrier and holding hands with a toddler at the time, so it just wasn’t possible. Next time, I hope I’ll be ready like I’m on Irving Street.

  • What is it with Five Guys and crime? Juvenile or Adult? Stolen goods, drugs or gun dropped into Sewer? If drugs, refer back to Eric in Ledroits comments about what happens when the boyz lose their stash, look out for fall out.

  • Thanks for stepping up!

    @ Amazed – I didn’t read it to mean that it had anything to do with the Five Guys, only that the samaratin was walking in near there when he saw the runner coming from the other direction.

  • Probably a *very* good thing you didn’t make your name a matter of public record by giving it to the police. The guy you quite rightfully tackled could sue you for battery, false imprisonment, and probably a half-dozen other things if he had a good enough lawyer. And he might win. God bless America.

    And the even-worse case scenario is that the guy you tackle ISN’T the guy the cops are chasing. Same lawsuit exposure, but even worse odds for you in court.

    And of course, the mother of all worst-case scenarios: the guy’s really a cop (you just didn’t notice his badge, or he didn’t bother to display it) and you get shot. And the cops will insist they were RIGHT to shoot you. Heck, you assaulted a cop: case closed (in their mind).

    I wish I lived in a country where you didn’t have to worry about this kind of garbage before helping someone. And I’m glad you didn’t worry about it. But I’m even more glad they don’t gave your name.

  • What Heather said.

  • fuck yeah! you kick ass!

  • my wife would have been pretty mad at me if i tried to hip-check a guy with a gun.

  • If he was in fact running from Five Guys, you should have let him keep on running; he would have stroked out in another block or two once the cholestorol kicked in. That heart attack would have saved the criminal justice a few bucks.

    Just kidding. Way to go vigilante!

  • Behind the heroic story is an even more astounding feat: this man managed to put in a 10 hour work day and get from Dupont Circle to Columbia Heights by 4:45pm.

    Impressive indeed.

  • It would be interesting to get the 3d arrest reports and then track the guy in the court system. Since he dumped his gun successfully my money says he was released within an hour (assuming he dropped a gun and not something he shoplifted or stole). Well done though, I myself dream of being in a situation like that and helping out. Wolverine!!!!

  • Thank you so much. I was walking by at 5 when the police were putting him into a squad car. I also saw them searching the sewer.

  • People on 11th rock. Thanks neighbor.

  • Actually, to amend my previous comment, even if he had a gun and they found it, its just a misdemeanor here (Carrying Pistol Without a License), so he’s probably out regardless.

  • I love when average folks are willing to stand up for their community…good on you, dude!

  • Nice! Glad he didn’t get hurt or killed like those guys that died in their apartment lobby when robbed and they tried to stop a guy with a gun. It still makes me sad and the threat of guns still paralyze me sometimes from taking actions like this.

  • Evil Racist Gentrifiers 1, Junior Thugs 0.

  • To clarify, Carrying a Pistol Without a License is a felony not a misdemeanor. Attempted Carrying a Pistol without a License is a misdemeanor but is rarely charged. Most people arrested on gun charges are not released within an hour as one of the commentators alleged. Instead, they are generally held without bond until the preliminary hearing a couple days later when a magistrate judge determines the appropriate release conditions if any.

  • I would just like to respond to this gentleman who wrote this post to say thank you. I was one of the officers engaged in the foot pursuit of the young man that he “body checked”. Although I’m sure we would have apprehended him without the gentlemen’s assistance, it definitely helped it end much quicker.

    I do not feel comfortable getting into the details of the pursuit, but I will say that is a 100% accurate account of what happened. Although I do not encourage citizens to endanger themselves in a situation like this, it was a very noble act and we were all extremely appreciative of his efforts.

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