Dear PoP – Brawl at U Street Metro on 28 Dec

Photo of U Street Metro by PoPville flickr user sciascia

“Dear PoP,

Did you receive any correspondence regarding a brawl/fight between some youth on the green line metro yesterday at around 5pm near the U Street stop? In any case this one guy-pretty much broke up the whole thing. He was awesome and deserves big props! There were also a couple of other guys that assisted.

Basically-what seemed to have happened was that these kids were standing by the door delaying the train-and the mystery guy asked them to please move so that the train could continue and after that it seemed like all hell broke loose-it all happened very fast-All of a sudden these feral youth were beating up on this other kid and this guy dove right in and broke it all up and kicked the urchins off the train.

I prefer an uneventful train ride home. Perhaps Metro should do something about large packs of these creatures traveling together, since they obviously don’t know how to conduct themselves in society.”

This is the first I’m hearing of this fight. Anyone else happen to witness this? Glad to hear that some good Samaritans were able to jump in and not get hurt.

127 Comment

  • The sad reality is that the majority of these “feral youth” cannot be rehabilitated and will grow up to become serious criminals. Everyone would be better off if they were never born, but forced sterilization will not become a reality for a very long time.

    • I think this comment is in poor taste. Probably nothing else need be said thereupon.

      The real reason I’m replying to it is to get toward the top of the comment section to say that flickr user SCIASCIA, whose photo PoP selected to illustrate this post, is a genius. Beautiful photo. Part of the beautiful life.

      • I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that you’re apparently so out of touch with what goes on beyond your glamorous little world in this town, or the fact that you replied here just to get your comment up to the top. Nice.

  • Huh… I was riding home about that time, and the train operator got on the speaker at every stop, requesting “any transit officer at this station or aboard this train, please contact the train operator”. I wonder if he was trying to find metro cops to take along, as he was headed in the direction of U Street.
    I didn’t notice anything amiss, but these things happen and are resolved so quickly…

  • Are metro police the equivalent of doctors that go to medical school in the Caribbean?

    • No, they’re actually quite well trained and have a longer police academy than most area agencies, as they have to be trained/certified in DC, MD & VA laws. Unfortunately there are far too few of them, the department suffers very bad morale problems, and they have an extremely poor relationship with MPD, which makes coordinating any kind of comprehensive law enforcement in DC Metro stations a real problem. Last I heard Transit Police & MPD couldn’t even talk to each other on their radios and had to go through their [very poorly skilled/poorly trained] dispatchers.

      • “No, they’re actually quite well trained and have a longer police academy than most area agencies, as they have to be trained/certified in DC, MD & VA laws. ”

        True. Their training is better than MPD’s.

        “and they have an extremely poor relationship with MPD”

        Most of the issues that we have stem from the fact that 9 times out of 10 MPD has to handle WMATA’s issues and that even when it’s not an emergency they don’t show up (i.e. accidents involving a Metrobus).

        “Last I heard Transit Police & MPD couldn’t even talk to each other on their radios and had to go through their [very poorly skilled/poorly trained] dispatchers.”

        Yep. Sometimes WMATA can’t even get reception in their own stations.

      • So the MTPD is undermanned, and yet they have enough officers to waste on the “random, voluntary” bag searches at Metro entrances?

        Between that, and the institutional blood feud with MPD, it sounds like MTPD has a very serious leadership problem.

  • Unfortunately, The METRO police have been diverted to check shopping bags and briefcases of the bureaucrats trying to get to work at a reasonable time. Until METRO assigns uniformed police to every train and on each platform, these incidents will continue; and public outrage will not be addressed until the daughter of one of our Congressional masters feels threatened on a train, tells daddy, and all hell breaks loose.

    • Was going to post exactly this. While the police resources are diverted to check the bags of the innocent riders embarking in the suburbs, there are incidents of wild-running youth either fighting or generaly misbehaving and intimidating everyone. Just last Sunday, I witnessed a bunch of mask-wearing youth get on a train at L’Enfant Plaza, yelling at each other, freely moving between trains via the end doors while it was moving, and acting very intimidating towards other passengers. My question is, if these kids can do this, then what’s to stop terrorists from coming in with guns and doing a Mumbai style attack? No cops around to stop them, and the rest of us sure as hell don’t have guns.

    • There’s only 420 sworn WMATA officers, working 3 shifts at dozens of stations not to mention buses across probably close to a thousand square miles of turf. Do the math. Its a joke overall, and DC-MPD is in a longstanding tif with WMATA-PD so they don’t patrol stations but will respond if called. Generally you’re on your own on Metro.

  • I heard there was also a fight that started at Pentagon City around that time and the kids were hauled off the metro at the Pentagon station.

  • The sad reality is that the writer thinks of these human beings as wild animals. First, lets keep this in perspective. This was a minor incident. It was a fight among teenagers. This behavior is typical of all teenagers from every different socio-economic background. Teenagers act out like this because they have high hormone levels and their brains are not fully developed. That does not make them animals. Second, the sentiment that these “feral youth” will not be rehabilitated and never should have been born is just as offensive. I’m betting people with that same sentiment are happy pouring money into the criminal justice system while depriving the schools of proper funding. So the cycle continues. All the while personally doing nothing to help educate the youth of the value of a decent life and how to attain it. It is the typical selfish response from people who have led privileged lives with complete family structures. Please consider what your mental state would have been like at that age had you come from the extremely difficult upbringing that many of our youth endure. Then please consider thinking about what you personally can do to help give the youth hope for a better future and the means to attain it.

    • In a perfect world, we could rehabilitate these misguided kids, but the truth of the matter is that this is how they were raised, and some after school programs are not going to fix the problem as a whole.

      It is an unfortunate reality that these skirmishes happen, and throwing money at the problem will not fix it.

    • Joe is aparently new to DC, out of touch with reality, or both.

      As someone who interacts directly with DC youth on a regular basis, the large majority of DC “kids” acting like those described by the author commit crimes of violence at young ages and are a lost cause suitable for rehabilitation.

      No amount of school or program funding can fix generations of decaying conduct and respect for law, other human beings, and the rest of society.

      • Spoken like someone who is comfortable with the status quo. Also spoken like someone who came from the good side of the status quo. Sounds great. Lets let the cycle continue until property values rise enough so that the have nots must move elsewhere. Until then these “kids” who have the audacity to act like hardened criminals not capable of rehabilitation by getting in a fist fight on the metro will be a minor nuisance that we can complain about on the blogs. I’m betting this is coming from someone who never got into a scuffle on the metro as a kid. Also betting there was no metro where you were a kid.

        • I’m sorry but fighting as a teenager is unacceptable no matter where you grow up. I admit it, I grew up in a wealthy suburb but the kids who got into fights were always outcasts. I have no idea what happened to them because they probably ended up in jail. Talking back is normal teenage behavior. Throwing punches isn’t. There’s something wrong if violence is normalized.

        • Joe, your ignorance is showing. Your assumptions are way off base.

          • I’m assuming that many of you are uptight people who cannot understand that teenagers sometimes act stupid, grow up, and go on to lead normal productive lives. So it is wrong to call your fellow citizens ‘feral youth’ or ‘creatures’ who are incapable of leading a normal life. Is it wrong to fight on the metro? Of course. Should we make the teenagers out to be subhuman creatures for it? Of course not. Forgive them for their youthful transgressions and help them get through this difficult phase in their life with the understanding that hurting others is wrong. Forgiveness not hate.

        • joe,

          yes, teenagers act up. and the responsible adult puts them in their place.
          if all you have to say is something against people that was civility amongst our youth then your ire is misplaced.
          violence in dc is an epidemic.

        • are you suggesting that the rules are somehow different because these kids grew up with a metro?
          wtf does that mean?

          • Someone buy this man Joe a drink. He seems to be the only hope left for humanity on this planet, let alone this website.
            Out of towners coming from uppity suburbs are really out of touch with DC and city living. You all are spoiled way beyond your flawed perception of rolling hills and picket white fences.
            Fights are inevitable amongst teens, go to youtube and watch all the white kids that fight in the suburbs in empty parks or backyards. No one calls them feral or animals, and most have mommys and daddys that will pay their way through an ivy league college.

      • they’ll grow up and live off of food stamps i.e. our tax dollars; oh wait! food stamps are degrading! i mean ‘food’ stamp debit cards that end up buying flat screen tvs, restaurant meals and trips to vegas… they rob and F with the people that end up taking care of them via programs for the poor and non-hard working; the more babies they have, the more free shit they receive…

        • Not to feed the trolls or anything, but the “debit cards” can’t be used to buy TVs. In fact, they’re an improvement over previously issued food stamps that could be sold for cash or bartered. Benefits on the cards are linked to individuals, can’t be used to purchase non-benefit items (like alcohol, even from a grocery store), and facillitate information gathering by the issuers.

          There’s more info at

          • Monkey Daddy is partially correct. EBT cards can have both food benefits as well as cash benefits.

            While EBT food benefits (SNAP, TANF, etc.) can only be used for food and non-alcoholic beverages, many people also receive cash benefits placed on the cards.

            The cash benefits can be withdrawn as cash and used for whatever purpose, including buying alcoholic beverages at a grocery store.

            This was explained to me by a cash benefits recipient in Safeway (using it to buy a good quantity of beer), and confirmed when I call the gubment to fact check.

            In addition, some recipients commonly sell the card benefits for cash to those in the store (“Hey, gimme $20 in cash, and I’ll buy your $40 in food with my card”).

          • anon is almost right. SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) funds on the EBT card can be used for food only. TANF (temporary assistance to needy families) funds on the same card can be used for anything.

            Although considering the fact that TANF benefits for 1, 2, 3, and 4 person households are $270, $336, $428, and $523 a month, I don’t think there are a lot of “trips to vegas” being paid for with TANF benefits.

          • also, people still sell benefits.. though its not as simple as handing over paper any longer, it happens.

        • “A Satisfying Subsidy
          How conservatives learned to love the federal food stamps program.”

    • Sorry but you are giving this “feral youths” a pass.

      Not all kids do what you so naively describe as – behavior is typical of all teenagers.

      This is a problem that needs attention. What will you say when the next – high hormone leveled and not fully developed brainless teen pulls a gun out during one of these – minor incidents, and you, your mother, or a child is hit, by accident of course.

      Get a grip! I grew up in a dirt poor white trash family and was carefully taught to hate, but along the way I realized it was not good.

      That came to me as a teenager and I certainly didn’t live a – privileged lives with complete family structures.

      Dad died when I was four and Momma was an alchoholic with 7 kids)

      You see how I pulled apart your silly praise for ignorance and violence.

      For the life of me, I cannot understand why small crime is acceptable to the people on this blog.

      JOE – be careful with these ideas or you kids might be the next topic of dicussion since it is ok with you that this happens.

    • Joe, I think we spend more than enough money on education in this city, among the highest per student in the nation consistently, with pretty much the absolutely worst results. How is this “depriving the schools of proper funding?”

    • Joe,

      You are making excuses for severe lack of civility and humanity in the DC “community”. It is not the responsibility of the schools to raise your children. It is the responsibility of the parents. The only way this issue will improve is when “parents” in the area start to take responsibility for themselves instead of blaming the “privileged” people.

      By the way, does privileged mean being a productive member of society to you? If so, I am not sure why you use the word with such animosity…

    • Don’t feed the trolls!

    • What a sadly naive post from Joe. Admire the heart, but the understanding of cognitive development is lacking, as is the understanding of the issues facing DC.

    • “This behavior is typical of all teenagers”

      Really?!?! I was never in a fight as a teenager. Never. During my teenage years I saw one fight among teenagers during a beach trip. My HS had over 1,900 students. Self control comes from discipline at home.

  • >>“Until METRO assigns uniformed police to every train and on each platform, these incidents will continue”

    And what would that cost? This is a large system with many stations and trains. let’s assume there are 150 trains and 86 stations. To keep police on each all day it takes 2 shifts. And then let’s assume the cost of an officer is 75K/year. ((150+86)x2x75000)=$35.4 million/yr. I wouldn’t want to spend that much tax money just to ensure a few less fights happen and a few less iphones are stolen. The crime risks on the system are very low. Could we use a few more police? I’ll buy that. But to have the system saturated with police – waste of funds.

    • Well, clearly, you’ve never been attached by these kids in a station (I have, and received no help at all from the station manager). And, you’re assuming that METRO currently spends nothing on station security, in order to arrive at your figures. The question that I raise is HOW they spend that money; and their usual response about having “undercover” officers does nothing to deter these gang attacks in the system.

  • The use of the terms “feral” “creature” and “urchin” are extremely unnecessary. I’m honestly shocked that PoP would post such a hate-filled letter.

    No one- not even people who would dare to get into a fight on the metro- deserves to be referred to as animals. Have we learned nothing from the past?

    The first step to healing class tensions in this city is for everyone to regard each other as worthy human beings.

    • LCM – This post is not about “class tensions.”

      This is about dangerous out of control kids who endanger the lives of all Metro customers and citizens for that matter.

    • Just playing the devil’s advocate here. I’m curious as what people think we should call problem kids. There has to be some term to differentiate them from other teens.

      • What’s wrong with calling them “problem kids”? I agree with LCM, The author of this post seemed unnecessarily provocative with his/her terms for these kids. It’s degrading. Of course I don’t like their conduct, and I don’t take issue with differences in opinion with how reasonably deal with issues of youth violence/social ills. But why don’t we just call them a pack of monkeys while you’re at it? I also agree that PoP should have screened that post better.

    • Kingdom: Animalia
      Phylum: Chordata
      Class: Mammalia
      Order: Primates
      Family: Hominidae
      Genus: Homo
      Species: H. sapiens
      Subspecies: H. s. sapiens

    • So….Urchin references children growing up in the streets, a creature is an organism (humans included), and feral refers to something (or someone) who was once domesticated and is now wild or somewhat wild.

      While these terms are more conventially used when describing animals, I don’t think they could be possibly described as hateful.

      On another note…I was surprised at the amount of posters who seem to be okay with fist fights…??

  • Agreed with Joe’s comment above. Please, please figure out a way of describing people that doesn’t include the words “feral” or “creatures”. Since you’re aspiring to be a person who knows how to “conduct yourself in society” you can start there.

    • You see, you did the same thing he did but with nice words.

      No better.

      • Franke James, can you please explain your point to me? Mine’s pretty simple, I think: Don’t call people “creatures”. It’s gross and stupid. I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s accomplished by calling someone a creature. I honestly can’t.

    • Feral is appropriate.

      •A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to a wild state. …

  • There is a huge different from an obnoxious, loud kid who might be yelling or otherwise making a scene that we can all ignore, and the predatory violence displayed by these kids and so many others with frequency on metro.

    I don’t know if folks like Joe aren’t local or don’t take the metro with any level of frequency but the distinction is obvious and frequent.

    I find myself breaking these things up on metro every 4-6 weeks and I feel relatively safe doing it because the ones I’ve had the “privlidge” of kicking off the train or pulling off someone else on the platform have been relatively young (less than 14/15) and physically smaller than me.

    That hasn’t stopped them from threatening to come back and “shove a nine” down my throat or “gut my cracker ass”.

    I’ve been pretty lucky so far that none of them have pulled a gun or knife on me but I expect it every single time.

    Yes, these kids are as “feral” as it comes.

  • The “feral” term is unfortunately quite appropriate in these circumstances. What we’re witnessing is a regression of human civilization to a degree.

    • I have spent the last 18 months in the DRC, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. I think Washington has a long way to regress to drop down to the level of sheer madness that passes for daily existence for most of the world.

      I have had gun in my face walking home on 12th St NW and would love to return to DC.

      Yesterday I watched a man pay the equivalent of 300 dollars to buy a 16 year old girl. His first act upon receipt was to smack her across her face. You don’t even want to know what passes for life experience in Eastern Congo.

      I don’t begrudge your frustration level for feeling uneasy during your commute but maintain some perspective.

  • I just love how anyone who says that we need to control youth crime in DC is then accused of being a “hate-filled” (code for “racist”) gentrifier. And that people try to rationalize this type of behavior.

    I’m from Chicago and lived in that city for years. These types of fights don’t occur with any of the same frequency that they do in DC. In fact, I can’t remember this type of situation ever happening on the L.

    DC is completely, irrevocably f-ed up.

  • Joe –

    “Forgive them for their youthful transgressions and help them get through this difficult phase in their life with the understanding that hurting others is wrong.”

    What you are describing here is the parental responsibility not the onlookers or victims.

    Clearly you are confused.

    • Anyone and everyone should practice forgiveness.

      • you forgive them once they realize their path is wrong an they become decent people. not before.

        • Making forgiveness contingent is neither forgiving nor gracious, both of which are hallmarks of genuine forgiveness.

          • i feel sorry for your kids.
            heres a tip. don’t say you are forgiven until they say they are sorry.

            do not say you’re welcome unit they say thank you.

            it’s more than mere etiquette. its a life lesson

    • i would love to see joe caught up in a situation like this.

      recently i had the privilege to witness urban-civility at work while i was waiting in line at 7-11 on 14th and columbia in CH.

      a group(5-7) of young gentlemen (13-20yr old) walked in and took turns blatantly stealing form the store. any attempt by the clerk to disrupt the youth did not register. it was a highly out of control and unpredictable situation.

      the really worrisome part of this was that it was done in plain sight of everyone at the store with complete disregard to authority.

      the main issue is that the youth are very confrontational and enjoy inflicting fear into innocent bi standards.

      when i was growing up teens would steal but did it out of sight of adults and authority. these kids simply dont care!

    • People don’t operate in a vacuum. We should all be helping each other.

      • so we don’t live in a vacuum. so when thugs bother innocent people or create an air of violence that threatens any of us, we should all be concerned.

  • so typical of this board that people respond to calling the kids bad names, rather than respond to the real threat of violence that holds this city down.

    i’ll call them whatever the fuck i want to. fighting on the train is illegal and dangerous.
    you morons that attack people for just calling people names make me sick.

  • I live for these PoP discussions so let me throw my hat into the ring. Yeah these kids are messed up. It takes a village but the community is fractured. What people don’t understand is that poor youth is nothing in the DC metro area. Area the difference is that the community change. There was a time if you acted up in the presence of grown up that adult had the right to beat and if your parents found they would do that as well. There was respect for ones elders but those times have changed. Things have changed. The once tight nit community has been ravaged by drugs, moved out, or replaced with people of a different background, race or class. Until we all can come together on common terms and bring back the community these problems will continue.

  • Here’s a New Year’s resolution – How about resolving not to turn ever post about a criminal incident into yet another empty rant about race, education and/or class in DC.

  • I wonder if the guy who broke up the fight was the same guy that retrieved the stolen cell phone last week or so from the U St. metro. Could there be a superhero in the U St. metro? Super-U? Or more accurately, Super U St./Cardozo/African American Civil War Memorial.

    • One thing’s for sure–it’s not me! I learned my lesson a few months ago at that stop, when I merely asked a youth–sitting in a seat reserved for the elderly, I might add–to kindly refrain from hocking a lunger on the side of the seat. He had been working on this thing for a number of stops–very loudly, as if he was proud of his LOE–so it was particularly viscous and multi-hued when it emerged.

      The look on his face when I asked him to please refrain from doing so in a public space where others might choose to sit was complete shock. It took a few seconds, but the indignant thug pissed off at the world soon emerged, at which point he jumped up and threatened to punch me in my face in the middle of a very crowded rail car.

      The use of “feral” was entirely appropriate, as some of these kids lack even a fundamental appreciation of the basic tenets around which any society need be organized. I was a punk when I was that age but always retained some fundamental respect for authority, which would cause me to react with shame when I was called out for my shenanigans. Shame is a good thing–it is the thin line that separates us from anarchy.

      • problem is, when your parents have you to get more $ from the government, or completely by accident, so you’re wanted for the monthly check or not at all, you really don’t learn any values whatsoever that might lead you to either respect authority or feel shame; maybe he would have felt shame if you knocked him out but then you’d probably end up in jail…very sad

        • very true.

        • I’m a pretty big guy too–6’3″ and 225. I couldn’t believe how quickly he got up in my grill. I guess he rightly gauged he had absolutely nothing to fear, as I was not going to get drawn into his ghetto drama bullshit on my way into the office on a Tuesday morning.

          • exactly; you would have spent your morning in jail, most likely, if you engaged him physically; it’s maddening. not sure what can be done in public but at home i have a Mossberg 500 just in case

          • those kids run on intimaditation and fear a lot of its front you have to put on to seem strong not to get fucked with. I wouldn’t let those punks think for one second that i was push over or feared them any matter. At the same time I have more to loose and their life is going in the shitter anyway, so that’s probably why they are so aggressive but if they just worked hard and stopped blaming everyone else but themselves they got have a shot at a good life.

  • Guess Chinatown is too cold for these kids to hangout and start their fights. I was there on Monday and it was so quiet and peaceful, wish it could be like that everyday.

    But these kids, as it seems have found warmer places to keep up with their crap.

    After all, not everyone was built for cold weather, genetics to come in to play!

  • My father is a bastard,
    My ma’s an S.O.B.
    My grandpa’s always plastered,
    My grandma pushes tea.
    My sister wears a mustache,
    My brother wears a dress.
    Goodness gracious, that’s why I’m a mess!

  • HAHA!!! Spot on!!! It really gets my blood boiling when we forget about the victims, and start sympathizing with the criminals. These kids know very well what they are doing is wrong, yet they do it anyway. This goes beyond simple ‘kids being kids’ to putting people’s lives in danger. Who cares what they are called? If what to call these kids is your biggest issue then you really need to have your priorities put in order. There is no excuse for their behavior. Stop making excuses for these PUNKS and learn to look at the real problem here: their out of control behavior!

  • I don’t mind saying it. And some people aren’t going to actually take the time to think about this messages and blindly jump on it. I recommend you take a deep breath beforehand.

    Throughout much of the history of this nation, black residents have been dehumanized in many legal and social manners. A common theme of such disrespect is to compare blacks to savages, and animals, such as primates, horses, mules, etc. For no other reason other than their race. It was widespread and took standardized as well as casual forms.

    Of course, I am not going to assume that any poster on this board is reacting with racist motives when they use terms like “feral” or “creature” or whathaveyou. However, to use such terms in such a pejorative sense against a group of (assumed) black kids simply ignores the sensitivities to the history of this line of comparison.

    And even if you don’t particularly care about disrespecting these particular troublemaking kids, you should honestly know that I personally feel disrespected by it. As a black adult, who was once a teenager from the hood, who got into my share of trouble (not like these incidents though) and was never helped by the glaring judgement of anonymous strangers on the internet, but rather by friends, family, and other caring individuals (of all races) that sought to take time out to deal with me thoughtfully as person.

    Maybe it doesn’t hit home for some individuals because they aren’t used to these terms to be casually thrown out about them or people that look like them. All I am saying is, to use these terms either represents an unfortunate lack of perspective, or in worse cases, a deliberate attempt at being provocative and incendiary.

    I also, as a sidenote, fail to see how one can provide literal definitions of words to justify their proper use(implying a certain level of intellect) but still fail to acknowledge the contextual and syntactical ramifications of the same terms.

    Like I said (more like alluded to) in an earlier post. We all need to take aggressive and proactive action to curb youth violence. It involves more than simply listening to their feelings and coddling them. However, if posters on this board fail to see any connections between the disrespectful ways that we treat/refer to kids in this city, and the disrespect that they display to seemingly everyone around them, then you are contributing more to the problem than you realize.

    • That’s why I asked for an alternative. It has to be somewhat insulting, but not in a way that echoes our nation’s history of racial violence. Call them scum, punks, brats, whatever — we know it’s not going to be a nice term.

      Scum is okay. Punk makes me think of Sid Vicious. Thus far, the most fitting word by definition alone if we disregard race as a consideration altogether is “feral”. What word do you use to describe the most violent members of society?

      • Well, answer this. do we need to find a term to adequately describe “them” or are we looking for a term to make us feel better the more we use it.

        Either way, I’m down for the term “bad-ass kids.” not to be confused with ‘kick ass kids” which would be more positive.

        • Bad ass is something I want people to call me. There has to be a stigma attached to the word, a strong one befitting the violence these kids dream of and enact. You kill, rape, or look up to those who do — there’s not enough sympathy in the world for people like that. We’re not talking about loud kids, we’re talking about the dangerous ones, who’ll shoot you and sleep soundly that night.

      • “Unsocialized.”

        Some people don’t need to be “rehabilitated,” but “habilitated” for the first time. I think these guys can recognize that successful people don’t act (or speak, or think) the way they do, but they clearly don’t have the ability to perform the behaviors in a sustained way. I’ve worked with juveniles in prison and a big thing is the tragically undeveloped sense of empathy. It really prevents them from being self-referential in any meaningful way. They actually lack the capacity to see their behavior though other people’s eyes.

        There is really zero hope for them to become productive without learning patience, moderation, empathy, and the rest of the kindergarten skill set, which is pretty hard when you’re already a 19-year-old drop-out father of two, two different women, living with Mom and 5 siblings at Potomac Gardens. Plus the facial tattoos, inability to pass a drug test and functional illiteracy.

        You can throw money at job trainingor diversionary programs, but really, they each need a kindergarten teacher and a police officer to follow them around until age 40. Also subsidized day care for the kids, then Head Start. And TANF, for the diapers and formula and such. And food stamps for themselves. Subsidized housing and transportation. Don’t forget the Medicaid…

    • We as a society need to get back to more “glaring judgments.” Continuing to look the other way and hoping that a parent/role model will correct this pathologically antisocial behavior–and that is what we are talking about here, not kids just acting out–only emboldens this nonsense.

    • OK, Trenton, what do *you* prefer we call these little “misguided/unguided youths” so as not to offend you and them?

      Because, after all, it’s much more important to worry about making sure we don’t offend these kids while they’re committing crimes.

      • Yea, not to be an asshole or anything, but I thought I took the time to address my nuanced point. I never claimed it was more important to be respectful of the kids than to address their actions. I’m really not the PC police, believe it or not. This isn’t as much about political correctness, more so a fundamental observation about small tools to help break the cycle of disrespect.

        I have a hard time believing that all of the smart and smartish types on this board can be so married to using needlessly provocative language to describe kids. How about we just call them, “kids.” I’ll provide some examples:

        All of a sudden [s]these feral youth [/s]were beating up on this other kid and this guy dove right in and broke it all up and kicked the [s] urchins [/s] kids off the train…

        Perhaps Metro should do something about large packs of [s]these creatures [/s]KIDS traveling together, since they obviously don’t know how to conduct themselves in society.”

        I hope the html formatting works. *crosses fingers*

        • Apparently, you don’t want these kids to be called anything derisive, which is not going to happen. You’re going to have to accept the fact that people are going to badmouth bad people. Every culture in every society in every age does that.

          Let’s just go with “non-stabbily challenged” and be done with it.

  • “All of a sudden a [group of kids] were beating up on this other kid and this guy dove right in and broke it all up and kicked the [Group of kids] off the train…”

    Perhaps Metro should do something about large packs of [kids] traveling together, since they obviously don’t know how to conduct themselves in society.”

    • I think we should call these kids what we all know them to be: “over exuberant rapscallions.” Why, who amongst us has not stepped to some punk a$$ b1tch and smacked the ever-lovin’ $hit out of them for disrespectin’ us in our hood? OK, well I may have never done so personally, but I recall a time when I could get the devil in me whenever I had a few too many Werther’s Original candies–those things were nearly the death of me, I tell you!

      I recall this one time where I had such a Werther’s sugar-high that I–get ready for it–threw a dodge ball at Marie Katherine when she wasn’t even looking. I’m not proud of it, I assure you, I merely include this anecdote to show my empathy with the plight of these kids today and what they are going through. Over exuberant rapscallions everywhere, I, Phil Mendelson have your back! I of all people know it’s hard 4 a kid in da’ g!

      P to the M to the Son out, son!

    • These …um … kids are constitutionally allowed to congregate. Plus the city has no laws on the books against hanging around. Loitering allowed.

      What needs to happen is that the parents are held responsible. Kid get all stabby and car jacky? You lose TANF. Write into the lease for the apartment that I’m paying for that if you assault me, rob me or light my freaking car on fire, you lose your lease. Sell drugs from Grandmas porch? Nuisance property – Taxes go up. Why pull sweet little grandma into the whole thing? She didn’t raise her kid right either.

      • parents held responsible? do you live in reality? oh my hahaha you must be joking man this is one of the stupidest most naive posts on this string; wake up man

  • okay looking back is a waste of time; being sensitive and cautious is a waste of time; race has nothing to do with it; the first person to mention/ assume this string is referring to black kids was a black man; go figure; I’m from Seattle and for all i knew before mr. let’s treat this whole issue sensitively spoke about the kids being black i might have thought they were white or Asian or Latino; i don’t work for the government but the economy brought me here; I’d love to leave as this city and its people are either too conservative and boring, belong in Brooklyn so their pissed that their here, lame and robotic, or straight up belong in jail; DC SUCKS and over the hill black men that try to defend those who remind them of who used to beat them to a pulp are racist!

  • The commenters on this blog really amuse me…teens in this city can be bad, really bad indeed. But when you sit back and think about it, would you rather deal with the teens in Bmore? what about Chicago? NYC maybe? LA? Not looking to hand out Get Out of Jail Free cards to the DC youth but when you compare them to some of the youth in other cities its not nearly as bad.

    • Yeah, I would like to say that the word “feral” clearly means black. I’m not against calling them out, but using terms like this from people who are anonymous is dumb. Just say what you want to say.

      Second, I don’t know how many of you have worked as a transit cop. I did for a month during training, before being mercifully assigned to patrol. It sucks. There’s never enough of you and if you’re not at the station where the problem is, guess how you have to get there? No, not police car. You take the Metro. So usually by the time you get there, the perps have left. The smart ones do.

      And let me say this. I hate kids. I hate all juveniles. Black, white, asian. Kids are awful. Because they know they’re kids. And they know you can’t touch them…literally. If they’re 15, they usually get let go. And yes, the parents if they’re present, don’t usually care.

      But please let’s not talk about this like this is the South Bronx in the 70’s with wild dogs roaming the streets. Kids from the inner city are tough and they’re loud and macho. And they get into fights and they strut and like to put people who have much more than they have in positions of weakness. It makes sense. I don’t condone it. I think they should be locked up. I think that cops should be able to taze their asses. But it’s just the way life in a city works.

      I’m sorry you have to soil yourself by taking public transportation and possibly interacting with these savages.

      • “Yeah, I would like to say that the word “feral” clearly means black.”

        The Feral Kid in The Road Warrior wasn’t black.

        • people read into things what they want to read into things.

          once someone claims that someone else is speaking in codewords, you can’t argue that out of them. the’ve already lost sight of the issue.

          that this thread is now about semantics shows you that most people don’t really care about quelling violence.

          • I’ll speak for myself. I put my energy where my mouth is to help reach these kids. I volunteer regularly with kids. I mentor kids from difficult backgrounds. I coach, I tutor. I’m no teacher or social worker or police officer, but I’m not going to get challenged about my commitment to bettering this city for these kids.

            the conversation dealing with what we call our neighbors is a byproduct of the original author needlessly using inflammatory terms. I have never claimed that name calling is the root of the issues in this city, but the need for people to use disrespectful and loaded language to describe issues that bother them is counterproductive.

            I’m sick of arguing with nameless, faceless trolls on these issues. I feel I have adequately laid out my original points, and have basically had unrefined straw man challenges, foolishly claiming that we can either discuss quelling violence, or how we refer to kids.

            It’s funny to me to have a bunch of (presumed) adults on this board who are stubbornly unwilling to consider their own role in helping create a more open and respectful dialogue on these issues, and then to quickly turn around, to call kids hopeless, to assign adult level culpability on them like they’re criminal geniuses, to shake your head in disgust as when children make poor, childish decisions, and plea for aggressive action from everyone else involved as you throw your hands up and refuse to consider the simplest changes possible for yourself. That’s a weakminded position. Step your shit up.

            If you want to discuss this issue further, click my link and DM me. I’m not (fully) anonymous on this shit. And I’ve paid enough of my dues to not be intentionally misrepresented.

            Happy New Year.

          • Trenton, the time to talk has pretty much passed. Talk gets nothing done. You’re working on an adjective while these snots are staling everything that’s not bolted sown, shooting each other and just causing genuine mayhem. This is a generational institution that has been permitted to continue far too long.
            Talk is what got us into this mess. I don’t want dialog anymore. I want this shit ended.
            Sometimes, it takes a village to kick a little ass . . .especially when it is the villagers that are being assaulted regularly.
            We may not be the original inhabitants of your beloved city, but we seem to be making up a fair chunk of it.

        • i get so worried for my fingers every time i see one of these kids with a boomerang

    • we live here.

  • we need a strong leader who will unite the decent people and cleanse the undesirables from the land. The decadence of democracy has left us in a lawless hellhole where there is not a police officer at every corner. One city, one leader! We need action before the vermin breed and overwhelm us!

  • If these were drunk preppy kids acting up in a wealthier part of the DMV area (or the same area for that matter) we would be describing them as “anti- social”, not “feral”, “urchins”, “savages” or “creatures”…

    I agree that their behavior is deplorable and should be punished and their parents should be inconvenienced (or punished) for their childrens behavior, however i try to draw the line at language that presents a human being as less than a human being even if their actions warrant it.

    The easier it is for us to use this type of language to describe one another the easier it is commit subsequent inhumane acts against the people who wear those labels and we open the door for those labels or some other undesirable label and treatment to be aimed at us..the cycle will not end…

    Something has to be done, but degrading people is not the answer especially because at some point it will be your turn to be degraded

    • I still call’em fucking animals. They’re called anti-social, because they know what social behavior is and they chose to ignore it. They also know that society will fall on them like a ton of bricks if they keep it up. Everyone knows their limits. The feral urchins know they have none because this little part of society condones it. Society has a lower standard of expectations of these people
      Want it to change? Raise the standards. They can toe the line too.

    • you’re so dumb and ignorant; wealthy preppy drunk kids are f-ing annoying but they don’t mug and/or intimidate innocent people on the metro during rush hour! you dumbass

  • When I see a group of people acting in a manner detrimental to society; I will call them whatever the hell I want. When I see a hard working person who is contributing to society and trying to make a living for themselves; I will place them on a pedestal above myself.

  • On behalf of all the young adults attending Benjamin Banneker AHS, I can assure you that all teenagers do not act in such a manner. If you believe this is untrue, why not visit out institution. We have had only one fight in the past 4 yrs since I have attended Banneker. The kids that you see on the metro acting wild have lost their sense of direction. They should come under scrutiny but do not label all kids feral because that is a vicious insult to all the young adults who are trying to make it out of the ghetto. Those kids who are doing right, fail to be mentioned in this blog, in order to call all kids feral you have to argue on both sides of the spectrum.

    If you would like further explanation of my philosophy i would gladly explain it to you. You (whom ever this may concern) can reach me at [email protected]

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