Reports of Snowball Fight Gone Bad at 14th and U Streets


A reader writes in about the snowball fight at 14th and U. Word on the street is that apparently it started in good fun but then someone hit a Hummer driving by belonging to a police officer and then the reader says multiple patrol cars responded. Anyone else witness this around 3pm Sat.?

52 Comment

  • Was super fun!!!!!!!

  • i just saw on the news that the cops pulled a gun on the snowballers.

  • Was a good battle. A cop tried to stop it earlier but failed. I left before this happened though.

  • Leave it to the douche in the hummer to break up the fun..

  • Since when do cops drive Hummers?? Internal Affairs, anyone?

    • As somebody on mentioned earlier in the day, it is not completely impossible for a veteran MPD detective to afford a Hummer, possibly with some mis-directed financial priorities and a propensity to floss (the kind of flossing that makes you buy a maroon H2 with 24″s, not get the stuff between your teeth). The detective might just be falling in line with the conventional wisdom on the type of personality that is often found driving a Hummer.

  • The cops were standing by, stepping in now and then, generally annoyed. It got dangerous now and then, when snowballers would run in front of moving cars, but nobody got hit. Most cars moved through the intersection without getting hit. The snowballs were directed at other snowball fighters. Folks even helped push cars that got stuck in the street.

    Then the hummer showed up on the northeast corner of 14th and U. A few people threw (very soft – the snow wasn’t good for snowball formation) snowballs at his “car” and jokingly chanted “drill baby drill.” Then he got out and the rest is history. Folks chanted “don’t bring a gun to a snowball fight.”

    I’m utterly shocked that a guy in a hummer did something like this. Owning a hummer is usually a sign of a more refined individual.

  • I saw them arresting someone when I was walking by.

  • That cop is very lucky nobody got hurt when he incited panic like this.

    It’s not, you know, wildly outside the realm of possibility that someone else at or near the intersection wouldn’t have responded well to hearing someone yell “he’s got a gun.” Only in DC can a snowball fight come this close to people getting shot by a moron cop. Asshole should lose his badge.

  • I was standing right next to him when this happened. We were pelting the hummer (as we’d done to about 4 other hummers), when this guy decided to get out of the car. He proceeded to walk towards the crowd, and naturally, people started to throw more snowballs at him. That’s when he brandished the gun. It was right about then that I decided to back up a little bit. The guy was in completely plain-clothes, but it turns out that he was actually a detective. As such, he radioed in some support. Snowballers rallied around as soon as some order was established, yelling at him for bringing a gun to a snowball fight. Naturally, a few more people chucked snowballs at him, and that’s when he charged the crowd. The police tried to keep order, but this detective was being a total utter dickhead. He bum-rushed the crowd, all chaos broke out, and about 30 seconds later he made his way out dragging an innocent bystander, who he was undoubtedly planning on booking. A whole lot of a bollocks bringing an end to the fight. Other than that, it was brilliant.

    • I would give anything to see a video of what you have described.

      • They’ll come, hopefully. We actually ran over to the TV van parked nearby to get his attention, as he was packing up. He pulled his camera back out and came to see the action. Also plenty of photographers.

    • not directed at you, but what kind of person throws a snowball at a person AFTER it’s been established that the person is pissed and has a gun??

  • Maybe motorists in general shouldn’t have been driving, but they have enough to worry about when they’re trying to brake in the snow besides a bunch of grown-ups having a snowball fight in an inappropriate location. Nobody should have to worry about not being able to stop their car as twenty-thirty people swarm the intersection. Just because the light changes doesn’t mean a car can stop in this situation. The battle should have stayed on the U street sidewalk where the market is held.

  • No sympathy whatsoever with whoever was arrested here. Deserves whatever punishment he gets. Apparently owning a certain kind of car is against the law, in the minds of the typically narrow-minded posters here. You all are ridiculous human beings.

    • really? even if the person arrested had nothing to do with it, as a witness has already suggested? what if the guy who was arrested WAS one of the 20 people who threw snowballs at the hummer, what exactly should the punishment be for throwing soft ball of frozen water at a car? flogging? solitary?

      you have nothing to say at all about a cop who reportedly flashed his gun before flashing his badge. but everyone else here are ‘ridiculous human beings’. Interesting. i really hope you don’t ever get to serve on a jury.

    • “They hung me up here five years ago. Every night, they take me down for twenty minutes, then they hang me up again… And if nothing else, it’s taught me to respect the Romans.”
      Monty Python’s Life of Brian

      Proper little jailer’s pet, aren’t we.

      Seriously, I grow alarmed at the number of people showing signs of Stockholm Syndrome toward rampaging cops. Have you been in captivity so long that you see no limits to how policemen may behave?

  • Channel 7 News has a story and video up:

  • Maybe if the cops would go after thugs with guns as stringently as they’d go after people with snowballs this would be a somewhat safer city.

  • Anonymous, you are the living, breathing Ebeneezer Scrooge. You need to re-read that story with the quickness. I can’t believe you’re being serious and not a troll. Go read that story again, you need to learn your lesson. you need to be taught a lesson.

  • @Anonymous 5:36

    Please try to see it through the other side before being so dismissive. The detective escalated the situation by literally wielding a firearm in a snowball fight.

    Seriously? How is that a justifiable use of force? In what world is that an acceptable way to approach a crowd?

    Even if the snowball fight needed to be shut down–and it probably did–that detective’s actions were wholly inappropriate.

  • cop should not have brought out a firemarm.
    on the other hand, the crowd should have taken their snowball fight to a nearby park…use some fucking common sense.

  • Cop should be demoted. Anyone who loses his cool like that does not get my vote to have a gun. You do not get to pull a gun on someone throwing snow balls. Hey Chief Lanier send this one to metro.

  • I was there and I have video and an image of the cop who initially pulled his gun to scare the snowball throwers. Check it out:

  • And what did you expect would happen by having a snowball fight in the middle of 14th Street. Stupid action on all sides. Be thankful there was no gun fire.

  • Lanier needs to




  • I was there, lobbing snowballs at other revelers. I am pictured in some of the footage: The young woman in the Santa hat asking for the name and badge number of the officer who had just brandished his gun.

    This was not a protest. A few friends of mine made a sign that said “No War, Snowball War.” We were just having some innocent fun until some cop freaked out.

    The snowball fight was all fun, games, and smiles. Then all of a sudden a shiny Hummer comes to a halt near us and a man comes out brandishing a gun. Everyone in my vicinity yells, “Game off, everyone. That man has a gun.” I run over to help calm people down.

    The guy has put his gun away and taken out a walkie-talkie. Police cars roll up within moments. The man with the gun is pushing and yelling at a reveler. I point out to the officer the guy who has the gun, and he tells me, as confused as I am, “What? That’s a detective.”

    Verbal jousting ensues. I tell Officer Baylor, “You have completely ruined a fun and innocent event.” Officer Baylor tells me that “that snowball could have damaged my car.” Gesturing to his car, I point out to the officer that his car is covered with snow, what harm could one more snowball do?” At that point the officer started walking back to his car.

    Then, one more snowball hit him in the cheek.

    Officer Baylor went completely ballistic, running into the crowd and pushing people over to get to the person he thought threw that last snowball. Man, this guy cannot take a joke. He pulled his perceived attacker, a young man with a furry hat, out of hte crowd and back to the vehicle. Then, police proceeded to drive all of us to the sidewalk.

    Our fun was over…

    I think the only thing to do is keep asserting our basic, fundamental freedoms: To having fun as if our lives depended on it, and being fiercely creative about it, even if it means we use (gasp!) snowballs!

    Lacy MacAuley
    [email protected]

    • i hope that is exactly what you all do over and over and over.

    • I agree that a huge snowball at 14th & U sounds like a blast. I also agree that it’s funny to throw snowballs at gas guzzlers. Unfortunately, it’s very likely that this could be considered vandalism, or at minimum, reckless behavior. Driving by a crowd of revelers in a snowstorm is dangerous enough — and yes, some people, including police officers, do need to be on the roads during snowstorms — but a bombardment of snowballs could very, very easily cause an accident or a pedestrian strike.

      Furthermore, throwing one, much less dozens, of snowballs at a detective is assaulting a police officer. Just because something is fun or funny doesn’t make it not a crime. You and your cohorts were breaking the law. That is not your basic, fundamental freedom. Sorry.

    • To have fun does not equal breaking the law. Throwing snowballs at motor vehicles is dangerous, and stupid.

      Throwing snowballs at a police detective during a heated exchange, asinine.

  • A couple months ago (i.e., Halloween) there was a post here about neighborhood kids (read: black kids) throwing “projectiles” (read: eggs) at a Metrobus. The near unanimous response here was that 911 definitely should have been called 911, this was clearly criminal behavior, could have injured someone, etc.

    Now, 2 months later, a bunch of white “adults” (read: 28-year-old hiptards) throw snowballs at cars and it’s just innocent fun.

    You people are such hypocrites. Racist hypocrites.

  • Fiercely creative 🙂

  • I will gladly establish the difference between eggs and a fluffy snowball.

  • Fire Detective Baylor.


  • I can appreciate the fun that those in the snowball fight must have had, but at the same time, having been driving while my car was hit by a snowball I can testify that for the driver it can be an unsafe startle. Nobody driving through the nonsense should have been so dumb as to not realize what it was or where it came from when they got hit, but when you’re focusing on braking, sliding, stopping the sliding, 100+ “revelers” and then your window gets whacked, quite audibly, it’s a shock and for me enough to make me think the people playing are not so cute and funny anymore as much as irresponsible and inconsiderate. Play, please! Just give the drivers a break. I could have had three of you under my tires and frankly would have appreciated the traction.

    • It’s dangerous to have a snowball fight in the middle of a busy intersection. It’s even more dangerous to take snowball fights personally. Both the throwers and cop were taking too many risks.

      In the future, large snowball fights should be done in a safe area, and detectives should detect when they’re coming close to a snowball fight and avoid it.

      By the way, why do so many of these responses assume we don’t know what it’s like when a snowball hits your car?

  • Agreed that pulling the gun was an bad thing and I hope the cop is evaluated for anger management issues before he gets caught in a endless Safeway line while armed. But the snowballers had no reason to throw at someones (expensive) car, or at least should have been ready for a fight if doing so. Men and cars are like people and dogs, a longstanding tight relationship that is very personal. I’ve seen multiple fights here in DC over the years due to car arguments, while I don’t feel that way about my car I understand the overall emotion. And then you hit the armed angry cop in the face, sheer genius!!

    I’d peg the snowball throwers as trust funded cake eaters from an upper class suburb, who live in a carefree world of ‘fiercely creative’ snowball fights (gimme a break) where there is no consequence to any action. If anything, you’re all lucky the cop wasn’t a thug and didn’t fire into the crowd. I hope this was a lesson and what most of the real world is like, even if you (stomp foot and email daddy) don’t like it that way.

    • More concise version. If you have money, an expensive car, and a badge (that you don’t bother to produce) you have every right to incite a panic by brandishing a gun when hit with snow, because, after all, people sure do love their cars.

  • WeLoveDC posted this link to a photostream which clearly shows the police officer pulling out his gun as he stepped out of the car–long before he identified himself and certainly before he was hit by a snowball, as he alleged.

    • It’s possible that police academies train officers to ready their firearm at their side when entering and potentially dangerous situation. It’s possible that this officer encounters hostile groups of people regularly in his line of work and has seen things turn ugly.

      I don’t know the DC police rules of engagement, so I’m not yet willing to condemn him in a court of public opinion based on this image, which, by the way, doesn’t clearly show anything. It just looks like he’s making sure the gun is still in its holster. Or maybe he’s tightening the strap so that someone can’t grab it and use it against him.

  • Who was the GENIUS that organized this? and on 14 and U? Better to pick some place that’s not as busy… why not the national mall, perfect place for a snowfight, or Martin Luther King Park, only a couple of blocks away. (For gosh’s sake you are adults and not a bunch of high schoolers)

    But noo, some people just want to be cute, jovial, or maybe they just come out in Fox 5 news or CNN and be crowned the king/queen of original ideas. Hey! some people are just born INCONSIDERATE and DOUCHY, and some people are just naive or plain dumb to follow the ideas of these idiot leaders.

    And then they expect the cops not to be called? or a bigger idiot than them, with a big ego and an oversized “luxury” (ghetto, cough cough) car to be oversensitive and start causing trouble?

    In 2003, the last big snowstorm, I drove from DC to Silver Spring (emergencies do happen, not everyone plans around idiots organizing impromptu snowball fights) and passed neighborhoods where kids were not only having massive snowball fights but were also throwing snow at cars (as was the case here from the videos posted). 1. It was terrifying, 2. It’s dangerous enough to be driving with so much snow and in DC (who does not know how to handle more than 2 inches) 3. I saw a guy get out of his car and yell at some of the kids ( I was cheering for the guy and yes, hoped it was a cop)

    The sad thing here is that this was all adults. And being DC what it is many of the participants were probably gov. or non profit employees, way to leave the future of America on the hands of people who do not know how to make judgment calls.

    If the organizers of the snow fight read this… you probably say that you were trying to have fun… but you are just a bunch of tontos… sorry but next time please be considerate and pick a better spot to become the next twitter/facebook star.

    I posted this elsewhere too… And as much as I would like to throw snow at a hummer while chanting drill baby drill… I generally like to let people know when they are being inconsiderate and dumb and this is one of those cases..

  • How come white people are not supportingthe police this time.

    • Not white people, yuppy people. These aren’t race issues, they are cultural and economic divide issues. There are plenty of black, yellow, and brown people acting in ways that get classified as “white” behavior. There are also plenty of white people doing things that are attributed to “black” behavior, but they tend to live in very rural or meth-heavy places. Yuppies look down on them, too.

      The tension and conflict comes from a fundamental difference in culture and upbringing. There is an inability to understand what it’s like to grow up with huge disadvantages and then to feel unwelcome in your own neighborhood by people who consider you to have failed at at their game. I don’t care what color you are; if you didn’t have access to quality schools and successful role models, then you will one day find yourself at the short end of the gentrification stick. If we continue to think that these problems are racial, we’ll never solve them. On the other hand, anyone who continues to see government assistance programs as a primary source of income and housing, and who fails to take some responsibility for their own success probably doesn’t deserve much respect from people of any color. Focusing on race instead of personal character only serves to further racism and to exacerbate the problem.

      Now to answer your question, it’s because people hold police to an untenable standard. They expect police to read minds. To know when a crowd is friendly or hostile. To be tough and unyielding when the subjects are guilty and to be benevolent and understanding when subjects are innocent (never mind that this requires judgment before investigation and a fair trial). Police are expected to preempt crime instead of waiting for it to be reported. Most importantly, police officers are expected to know that the commenter/complainer/angry letter-writer is always an upstanding citizen and must be taken very seriously at all times because, unlike everyone else in the city, their claims are 100% accurate and extremely urgent. If an officer falls short of these expectations, they are inept and/or corrupt.

  • you idiots shouldnt have thrown snowballs at him

  • Throwing snowballs at vehicles trying to navigate snowy streets is just dumb.

    Why wouldn’t the driver react with anger? Yes, the gun was an over-reaction but not being royally pissed off. The snowball throwers endangered the driver, other vehicles on the road, and the crowd of kids acting like idiots.

  • Your point in posting this address and what “might” be Elmer Baylor’s home phone?

  • There’s something very important that hasn’t really been stressed here. I was a few feet away when the detective stepped out of his SUV. When he walked around the front of his car he had his radio out, and looked annoyed, but not infuriated. When the crowd saw that an authority figure was at the scene, we were all in the spirit of ‘Hit everyone, hit everything, hit all the cars, be ridiculous!’ So this officer was standing there griping about his car getting hit, and someone beamed in the face with an iceball. Everyone around was like, ‘Awww, that had to hurt’ kinda thing. Basically it was like someone had chucked a rock or slapped him in the face, which as humans we react to by flipping into battle mode. I don’t blame him for pulling his gun under the assumption that things were about to get really out of hand and he was in danger. I do blame him for not realizing this was a friendly celebratory atmosphere and not putting his gun away. This would’ve calmed things down, but idiots in the crowd, after knowing he was a cop, kept whipping snowballs at the guy’s face. It’s not quite as black and white as it’s being made out to be. I was only feet away for the whole incident, taking photos on my phone and sending them out to people, and several of the videos I’ve seen don’t show the beginning of the thing. He should’ve put his gun away once he’d assessed the situation. My fellow snowball-fighters should not have acted they way they did. The whole time I was thinking, ‘You can’t be serious…someone is still throwing things at this armed cop? Fun is fun, but what is wrong with these morons?’

  • HIPTARD… I proudly wear the branding of \28-something hiptard!\

    Yes, I am fun-loving, work for a nonprofit, and don’t mind trying to talk my way out of problems instead of just sucking it up to authority figures. Nothing wrong with that. The fact that you see my smiling white face, and assume so much about my economic status/background – assume I have an unblemished, happy past – well that is unhelpful to the cause of ending racism in the US. Please, think that I may have been poor, I may have had to struggle, I may not be highly educated, I may not have had a happy childhood. Think all those thoughts. That is the flip-side of racism. All people should \be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.\ Never assume anything about anyone from their appearance. Just get to know them better.

  • Mount Pleasant is the perfect place for a fun filled(non gun toting-non police visiting) wholesome mid day snowball fight! I’ll propose 12 noon this coming saturday 2/6 if the snow comes as predicted. Park/Mount Pleasant Streets? Fungoers only!!!!

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