MPD 1D Listserv: Reports of a Biker Assaulting Elementary School Child

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

From the MPD 1D listserv late last week:

“Hello Neighbors:

I received the below email from my very Dear friend who drove thru our neighborhood/community early this evening. The assault happened at the corner of 12th & D Street NE (near the abandoned red brick building).

Of course I asked the obvious, “did she call the police” and she stated that she would make her complaint but at that moment alarmed, shocked and appalled at what she witnessed, she immediately went into mother mode and addressed the assailant. She recalled there was a woman standing across the street with a baby stroller watching as well, but said or did nothing to offer any assistance. (please see her complaint below):

Submitted by Witness:

Elementary age boy assaulted by adult male biker this evening around 6pm

Today, while driving, I witnessed an adult male biker dressed in a yellow and black bike outfit jump off of his bike and viciously attack an elementary aged boy. The man, a white male with dark hair and glasses, chased the boy, pushing him up against a wall and proceeding to hit and choke him. Once he released the boy, he grabbed the boy’s school books and proceeded to throw and kick them around. He then picked up the child’s notebook and throw it into the water.

The boy was walking with a schoolmate, both dressed in uniform attire, a burgundy shirt and tan pants.

I pulled over, confronting the man by repeatedly asking “Are you an adult?!” Eventually, as he seemed to register my presence and what I was saying, he agreed, saying “You’re right,” and then he picked up his bike and rode off.

The attacker was a white male, between the ages of 30 and 45 years old, 5’7” to 6’ tall, dark hair, with facial hair and glasses.”

The following note was also submitted but I have not seen any further updates:

“My kids and au pair witnessed the event as well. Apparently the children threw something at the biker which they said appeared not to do any harm to the biker, but that was what triggered the biker to stop and assault the child. When I returned home a couple of hours afterward, I collected some of the school papers that had been scattered with the idea that if I could identify the school, I would return the papers to the child. The child’s name was on them, but nothing to indicate what school he attended.”

224 Comment

  • Over/under for comments is 125. Takers?

  • Am I horrible for not really being super upset by this? Actions have consequences. Yeah, the dude appears to have taken it too far based off of the description, but the student in question will probably think twice before throwing something at bikers in the future.

    • Yes.

      But clearly the biker had a screw or two loose, so it’s not really any worse than a crazy homeless guy attacking someone.

      • Has anyone ever actually been attacked by “a crazy homeless guy”? Had gibberish yelled at me, sure. But “attacked”? I’ve never heard of that happening.

        • A crazy homeless guy (I’m assuming he was homeless) in Dupont Circle sort-of attacked me by cornering me on the sidewalk and ramming a bike into me. No joke. And this happened in broad daylight with lots of people around.

        • Only in Paris, and it was more of a grabbing-and-shaking than an attack. I came close in DC once, I think, but I could run way faster than she could.

        • I got cold-cocked by a random crazy homeless guy (or at least, a guy I assumed was crazy and homeless) while walking to work with my wife one day. As I passed the guy on the sidewalk, he out of the blue punched me in the head and shoved me up against a wall, then took off running.

          I would rank that event up there as one of the stranger things that’s happened to me in the city.

          • Did this happen recently? Along Georgia Ave or in the Petworth area?
            I ask because yesterday, while walking home with my wife from Petworth metro up Georgia, a young man (in a group of three) proceeded to walk right at us and mumbled something. While there was no physical contact and was more so just an immature show of mischief, I could imagine this individual doing the same thing, but physically accosting someone!

        • Does being spit on count?

        • a friend of mine had her jaw broken by one. he just sucker punched her out of the blue.

      • I see your point. Crazy homeless people have better moral restraint than this guy.

    • +1 Perhaps a DC feral Youth in the making will find a different path.

    • Yes…lets teach them not to be violent by being violent…makes TOTAL sense. Clearly you should be the one to teach the DC youth how to behave…

    • Yes, you are.

  • I live very close to this area and if the kid had on a burgundy shirt and he was elementary school aged, then he probably goes to JO Wilson on 6th and K NE.

  • The biker had every right to stop and verbally confront the child, but NOT to put his hands on him. The biker will be in a world of trouble if he’s caught – pretty sure this is a felony.

    • Yep. I hope he does– someone that volatile and violent should not be loose in society.

    • On the other hand, throwing something at a cyclist is also a felony. Not advocating an eye for an eye, but let’s make sure to call a spade a spade on both sides.

      • True dat. But felonies committed by adults and felonies committed by elementary aged kids are not equivalent, particularly in the eyes of the law.

      • he’s a kid. you don’t get off your bike and put him in a choke hold. commenters on this blog are SO predictable

        • absolutely so predictable. and it’s actually really sad. I’m sure the tone of this response thread would be totally different if a.) the biker were white and the attacking child were white (which it definitely could be – there is no mention of what color the child was) or b.)the biker were black and the child were white.

          Reading the comments on this blog (not the actual blog, PoP keeps us really well-informed about DC’s goings-on) makes me sad about the state of race relations in our city.

      • austindc

        Unrelated, but my former coworker said “call a spade a spade” is a racist. Is that true? If so, pretend I just didn’t say it. Or pretend I have a wicked cool shovel collection.

  • Good for the biker. Should we just let kids throw things at us for fun? Maybe hitting the kid was a bit much but, throwing his books in a puddle is fne by me.

  • from the sound of it, I’d like to by that guy a beer.

    • Agreed. The punk kid got what he deserved.

      • Seconded.

        I had two kids from the projects on North Capitol lean over the rail when I was on the underpass on my motorcycle and spit on me. I would have shot them had I had a gun. Waste of human beings.

    • Are you all kidding me? Sure, the kid shouldn’t have thrown anything at the bike, but he had a right to get violent? I don’t CARE that this happens and if it happened to you you’d get pissed, you should NEVER ever turn to violence, especially towards a child. NEVER.

      • I disagree. We’ve got a lot of armed and dangerous children in this city and in certain cases violent self-defense could be a justified response. In most cases violent self-defense is likely to result in more harm to yourself, but in cases where it is not likely to it is entirely justified and the right course of action.

  • Crazy white people – watch out for them! Especially on bikes!

  • Stopping and yelling at a kid who just threw a rock at you = kid thinks you’re an impotent target and easy prey in the future.

    Stopping and slapping the taste out of the little miscreant’s mouth = lesson learned and a big smile as I sip my coffee this morning.

    • Welcome, Tubbs. I’m glad to see that you’ve spread your wings and decided to grace more than just Frozen Tropics with your insights on life and love

    • If the report of the kid throwing something at the biker purposely is accurate, and the kid was over 10-11 years old, I think the brat got what he deserved.

      • you CANNOT beat a CHILD!!!! jesus, there are a million other ways to teach this kid the lesson, but beating him is not one. it’s totally sick.

        • Wronngggggg, you can’t beat your own child….other peoples kids is completely acceptable. j/k. If my kid did that to somebody and got pushed around for it I would say…lesson learned. Punching the kid is a bit much though.

    • stopping and holding the kid until the police come = less likely to get you arrested or have the kid’s family just brush off the issue as a crazy white guy doing something to their precious baby.

    • Stopping and holding the kid…yeah right, you’re going to hang out there and get more and older kids really ruining your day.

      Good for the biker. Hope he gets away with it.

  • This is a cage match waiting to happen…

    feral DC biker with personality disorder vs feral DC youth with personality disorder

    both populations are numerous around here, so it may become boring quickly.

  • austindc

    I was riding my bike in Boston and some kid pegged me with a rock. I was pretty pissed, but I didn’t choke the kid. He and his friends ran off as soon as I stopped. I have to say, that little asshole had great aim. Anyway, back to this dude. No, you shouldn’t attack people. Especially children. That being said, I know that MPD can’t help you in this situation, so you’re pretty much helpless. I understand the frustration and the desire to retaliate. It sucks out loud, but you have to ride on and let it go.

    • No. What you mean is, MPD won’t help you in the situation. MPD has complete disregard for any crimes against a white person on a bike.

      • austindc

        No, that’s not totally what I meant. I have seen MPD be very helpful when a cyclist needed help, and when I call the police, they usually don’t ask me what my race is. I was thinking more of a time when I saw kids throwing bottles at buses. I called 911 from a short distance away, and they saw me making the call and started to walk away, so I followed. The 911 operator asked if they were still doing it. I said no, but that I was following them and that I could identify all of the kids. The 911 operator said they can’t do much unless the police officer actually observes the kid throwing the bottle at the bus. hen he gave me some confusing explanation about how these things are different with kids or something. Anyway, he told me flat out that no one was coming, so I gave the kids the ol’ stink eye and went home in a huff.

  • oh boy here we go

  • Lots and lots of details missing here and before I jump to some DC9-ish conclusion I need to know:

    1. How old the kid was. Big difference between a kindergartener and a sixth grader.
    2. If and what the kid threw at the biker.
    3. What is meant by “hit and choke” the kid.

    As a sometime cyclist, I would think the proper reaction would have been to detain the kid and call the police if what was thrown endangered him. But not cool to hit a kid. Although damn it sure is tempting at times….

    Luckily this description only describes 83% of all cyclists in DC….

    • “Detaining” a kid as a citizen sounds nearly impossible to do without introducing other legal liabilities… I’m thinking that the best option may be to take a photo of the offender, make a claim to police and give the photo to the suspected school’s principle?

    • Based on how overwrought the description is, I would question if the biker legitimately “hit and choked” the child.

    • really? ’cause I weighed 70lbs in 6th grade. did that make me old enough for an adult to beat me?

  • I have a very distinct memory of being a bored youth and throwing stones at passing cars. I grew up to be a productive member of society, I even have a real job! For the government! And a college degree!

    Before everyone jumps down my throat, I am not endorsing this child’s actions. Yeah, he was acting like a little shit, but that doesn’t mean he deserved to be manhandled by a grown ass man. All kids do dumb shit, and they *should* learn a lesson from it, BUT – that lesson usually is learned by being grounded or scolded, NOT by being choked and assaulted by a stranger.

    • Exactly. You might think you’re teaching the kid a lesson, but in reality you’re making it that much more likely that he’ll grow up to assault someone the same way.

    • Agreed. I totally have memories of throwing things at cars and spitting on people from balconies. And I am like the most wholesome person on Earth.

      If anything, this is going to make the kid more violent and angry. The guy could have yelled at the kid and gotten in touch with his school.

      People in DC are assholes sometimes.

    • I totally agree. I spend two hours on a hotel balcony one time with my cousins trying to peg bicyclists with grapes. I was 8 or 9. Not one of my proudest moments, but…I was 8 or 9.

    • Yup, they’re just kids so just let them do what they want. When I was 8, if I’d thrown something at someone and they grabbed me, I would have been scared shitless and never done it again. I also would have thought long and hard about why this person was so upset. I wouldn’t have gotten more angry and moved on to more violent acts. But then again, maybe that was because I was taught from a young age that you don’t throw things at people and understood why.

      • I didn’t say I wasn’t punished or didn’t face consequences for the stupid shit I did. I definitely was and learned lessons. But no one punched and choked me and threw my stuff in a puddle. At least, no one over the age of 10.

      • Well, werent you just the deepest thinking youngster. Not all of us were graced with your skills of introspection at such a young age.

    • Throwing rocks at cars and throwing rocks at an exposed person on a bicycle or motorcycle are not comparable actions. If you cause the person on the 2 wheeled conveyance to wreck then the likelihood of injury is far higher, and the child knew that.

    • a person is not a car.

  • I hate cyclists…but I hate obnoxious item throwing youth too…I’m so conflicted!

    • Cage match. Kids with rocks in the middle, with cyclists riding around the outside. If a kid hits you with a rock, you get a chance to get off the bike and go after him.

  • Are you people serious? Had OP said teenage or even pre-teen youth, I would agree he had it coming to him. But if you beleive it’s OK to beat a child under 12 (Elementary age) than you all are worse than the biker,the kid, and the passerbys that simply watched…Damn shame.

  • This would not have happened if that was still the hood. Something might get thrown at the biker. But there is no way the biker would assault the child with people there. Just saying. Guess the kid learned a hard lesson. If you throw things at people, you risk that they will lose their temper and do something inappropriate. Best to just not throw things at people.

  • I’m gonna need a more detailed description of the cyclists “yellow and black bike outfit.” It’s quite possible he deserved to have something thrown at him.

    • He obviously didn’t deserve it, but I do think you make yourself more of a target when you look like you’re participating in the Tour de France. I like in this area and bike to work down 11th Street, but I wear normal clothes and ride a junky old bike. I’ve never been harrassed, and I think it’s because I don’t stick out as much.

    • + 1. Wish I had caught that.

    • Was he wearing bike shoes? Even if they kid is in elementary school, if he couldn’t outrun Floyd Landis in his kit and cleats, he has little hope for escaping future crime scenes. They always catch the fat one although he’s rarely the ringleader…..

  • It’s sad that it has come to this. A Bernard Goetz type situation (at a less dramatic level, of course), but basically, when law enforcement response (or lack thereof) makes people feel impotent, there is a danger of escalation. I’ve predicted before that at some point, a bicylcist will get killed by a thrown rock, or will pull out a gun and shoot someone down, and this is heading in that direction, alas.

    I, too, would like to know more facts, although it is hard to imagine ANY fact that could ever justify those actions by the bicyclist, particularly if the kid was under 14 as seems to be the case. But if this was a guy who had been hit multiple times, maybe even hurt, by kids throwing rocks, and feels like he has no recourse other than self-help since law enforcement is disinterested and most likely, so are parents, I kind of understand the desire to take matters into your own hands — but you have to stop short of actually laying hands to a kid, that is insanity and this guy needs to be prosecuted if he can be tracked down.

    • Agree, this appears to be a case of vigilante justice. It’s not right, but it’s understandable given that rocks thrown at bicyclists seems to be the latest punk kid fad in DC.

      I agree MPD needs to track down this cyclist and straighten him out. The last thing we need is further esclation that results in a kid getting killed.

  • not knowing the details i suspect that kid got what he deserved.

  • even though the kid is in elementary school, he could be anywhere between the ages of 5 and 20.

  • I’m not going to advocate violence towards children, but since the deed is already done, I’m just going to express hope that this kid and his friend were sufficiently impressed to never throw shit at others again. And that they’ll tell their classmates about the experience, discouraging them as well.

    • No kid who got beat up is going to admit it to his classmates, and if he does, he’s certainly not going to tell the story accurately. “There I was, being an angel on the sidewalk…” His peers will not learn from his experience.

      • I’m thinking more of a situation where the chastised kid sees a friend about to throw a rock, or responds to the suggestion of some recreational rock-throwing, “nuh-uh. White people be crazy.” We would not be ill-served by a retaliative reputation.

  • I live right near here and have seen “students” throw rocks at bikers (one time a cop actually got involved), hassle joggers, and hassle the shop owners at the DC Supermarket (utilizing racial slurs)

    A lot of them are pretty terrible human beings, but the biker should have just rode on..

    /just saying.

  • The “biker” should have held the kid and called the cops.

  • I wonder if all the pro-biker posters would be as understanding if the their little “angel” came home battered and bruised from a run -in with this biker. Before, you even start the “my child would never do something like this”….let’s be honest here…little boys throw rocks. This is not a new phenomenon but this idiot biker has to know that it’s not even remotely okay to assault a child. This incident could have ended very badly for all involved, if someone in the neighborhood decided to intervene physically.

    • Yes, kids (and not just boys) throw rocks. But by the time they start elementary school, kids with even halfway-decent parents have learned not to throw rocks at people.

    • I threw a rock at a car when I was younger. Guy got out, whooped me, and marched me to the front door. Mom apologized for my behavior, whooped me a second time. I was done with rocks.

      • Huh, I was never whooped, and somehow managed to grow into a functional, moral, responsible adult. Crazy stuff.

    • If my little angel had come home bruised after throwing a rock at a cyclist, I would have slapped him around myself for good measure.

      That being said, he’s not little (and certainly no angel) any more and feral Philadelphia youth concussed him with a rock to the back of the head the other week.

      I’d buy our bicyclist a beer or two if I met him and suggest that if yuppies don’t like stuff thrown at them, more of us need to hit back. Hard.

  • I’m really appalled that so many commenters are endorsing the violence inflicted on this kid. I don’t care how old exactly he is, nor do I care if this behavior is “typical,” he’s still a kid and adults should know better. There are a million ways to get your message across without assaulting someone. Kids do dumb, harmful things all the time but they never deserve to be hit by a grown [wo]man. Pick on someone your own size.

    • +128732958734958734534

    • But how many of those “million ways” would have ANY effect at all. A stern talking-to? (Sure, while the kid and his friends laugh and continue throwing.) A chat with his parents? (Yeah, if you don’t mind getting threatened by grown people who claim you are “disrespecting” them, or “telling them their business.)

      Seriously. Name two ways to get your message across to a feral child without getting rough.

    • Damn straight. Just a simply white-person-freak-out would get the message across, but damn, manhandling a little kid? Uncalled for.

    • ‘Pick on someone your own size.’

      if i were in this situation i would just be screwed: most of the kids are bigger than me, so trying to remand a kid until/IF a cop/parent showed up would be impossible and probably worse for me. also, if a kid is brazen enough to throw shit, well, you see where i’m going. there are probably worse consequences for remanding a kid than for throwing shit at ppl. the complacency of ppl to think the kid should just be let alone, well, this is very reason it will continue.

      see, i never threw shit at ppl, i knew i would be spanked. i, in fact, was spanked on occasion and grew up to never throw shit at or attack others. i also know ppl that weren’t spanked that grew up to be adult versions of the kid-aholes they once were.

      whether or not you ‘believe in’ spanking, these kids should be harshly ‘dealt with’…good luck using reason and logic with yobs (who probably learned it from the parents).

  • this kid has probably thrown rocks at hundreds of people, and this was the first guy to make him suffer the consequences. i hope the lesson was learned.

  • Let’s say the projectile thrown by the kid hit the man in the eye and the bicyclist got ran over by a car.

    Excessive? Probably. But the kid got what was coming to him. If parents aren’t going to teach their kids how to act then society will.

    • Since we’re dealing in the hypothetical…let’s just say that a male family member of this child saw this situation and decided to beat the biker to a pulp…would that have been society teaching the biker?.

      All of the behavior in this scenario is equally childish but only one of the participants is a CHILD

      • I would hope the male family memeber would have stopped the child from throwing rocks at bikers.

        The CHILD factor is really a none factor to me. Adults in prison were once children. I am not condoning violence against children, but a lesson needed to be taught for the wrong. I agree it was probably excessive.

        I’ve been beaten by my parents for a lot less, and trust me they didn’t care I was a child.

      • A rotten CHILD.

  • bfinpetworth

    I have an old acquaintance that was biking and a stick got entangled (it wasn’t thrown, but still…) in her front wheel, sent her flying over the handlebar, and she is now a quadriplegic.

    Throwing stuff at people on bikes can have dire consequences. I might lose it if someone did that to me too.

  • And ADULTS who were raised by “half way” decent parents don’t attack children…

  • I’m reminded of an afternoon several years ago where I went to the theater at Union Station to see “Cradle 2 the Grave,” the Jet Li/DMX classic. Seeing a movie there was always a great experience, because of the ceaseless shouting and commentary the black ladies would provide while the movie was playing. For example, when I saw the Passion of the Christ, this lady in front of me just kept shouting “oh, Jesus! oh, Jesus!” over and over again during the flailing scene. I complimented her on her emotional candor and character recognition skills.

    Anyway, back to Cradle 2 the Grave. There’s a scene toward the end where DMX is being all awesome and DMX-ey, and the crowd is really loving it. But then this sinister looking white dude in sunglasses pulls some little mini uzis out of his trenchcoat and proceeds to just generally mess folks up fun time. There was a collective gasp that was easily equivalent to the crowd reaction when I saw Empire Strikes Back as a kid. At this perfect moment,one of the black ladies in the audience shouts: “don’t be messin’ with white folks. They crazy.”

    So, I guess it’s too bad that kid didn’t have that lady as a mother. If he had, he could have gotten that message drilled into his head with something other than the fist of a white dude in spandex.

    • bfinpetworth

      As a crazy white folk, that made me lol.

    • Love this post!

    • And this is why that movie theater closed. People would go once for the comedy entertainment effect, and then realized that it is better to go elsewhere and oay 14$ to actually be able to watch and listen to the movie, not the crazy ass people that feel it their right to talk throughout the entire movie.

      Mystery Science theater is funny. Union station patrons were not.

    • Ha.

      (I’m surprised that you had the Passion of the Christ experience, though. That was the ONLY movie I ever saw there — and I saw quite a few — during which there wasn’t a peep from the audience, and it was a full house in the big theater. I walked away more shocked by the audience discipline than anything in the movie.)

  • I’m not really sure how I feel about this situation because with today’s societal norms, I don’t really see how the cyclist can legally ensure the child is punished. I also agree that silence is acceptance of the child’s behavior.

    This raises a good question – How would this situation and the comments in this thread reflect norms 20 years ago? 30? 40?

    How would the situation/comments change if the biker was struck by a rock, knocked unconscious, ran over by a car and killed?

    • I think when most of us were kids, if an adult had come to our parents and said, “Your kid threw a rock at me,” our parents would have scolded/punished us.

      Now the parents are more likely to take the “My little angel couldn’t have done that” stance… or, worse yet, “So what if he did?”

  • Even though I fully expected it, I am nonetheless very surprised that so many people would think it’s okay for an adult to “viciously attack an elementary aged boy . . . pushing him up against a wall and proceeding to hit and choke him.” And this was for throwing something at the adult that according to witnesses did not harm the adult? This “adult” is lucky he’s not in jail. Stop, confront, yell at the kid. But hitting and choking? Seriously?

    • I don’t think anyone actually thinks what the cyclist did was OK (at least I hope they don’t). But it’s clear that people are fed up with the abuse (which ranges all the way from annoying to life-threatening) that we take from kids in this city on a regular basis, and the fact that no one ever does anything about it.

      • No disrespect but if you don’t think anyone actually thinks what the cyclist did was OK, you need to reread this thread. It’s clear that many if not most of the posters think this was OK.

    • How do you confront the kid without physically restraining him? Think he’s just going to chill there while you explain to him that throwing shit at people is wrong?

      I completely agree that if the kid was actually violently choked or beaten the bicyclist went too far, but a little roughing up of a kid throwing rocks at people isn’t something I’m going to lose sleep over.

  • This is a common, dangerous occurrence. Anyone remember this?

    At least it wasn’t a brick this time. Wonder where the kid got the idea?

  • I for one, commend the biker.

    A few years ago I was biking through U St and biked near three kids, age 10-12. As I biked by one nailed me with a golfball size rock right in the side of the face, knocking me off my bike, opening a gash in the side of my face that bled so profusely so passerby thought I had been shot. When I looked up, they were all three laughing hysterically.

    I chased the slowest one down, the one who had thrown the rock and gave him an open face slap that I am sure he was feeling for days, and let him run home crying.

    Kids in this town generally grow up consequence or responsibility free, thinking they can do anything, regardless of how damaging or dangeous it is, so I am glad a small percentage of them are occasionally reminded that actions have consequences.

    • i’m surprised this wasn’t a scam to get you to leave your bike during the chase and then another kid steals it.
      though, i’m sorry this happened to you.

    • a slap in the face is not choking. sorry this happened to you.

  • Child throws something at biker.

    All I needed to hear. Spare the rod, end up with a child with a taser on MBT.

    Beat them young and they’ll learn to behave in public.

  • Bravo to the bicyclist!

  • I have three questions.
    1) How old was the child?
    2) How big was the rock?
    3) Open hand/does choke mean holding him agaist the wall by his throat..or really choaking him?
    D) How often does this biker get rocks thrown at him?

    I’m against vilence-but I fail to see the proper response being just riding on…I think he should of detailed the boy-called the cops and waited. The cops probably would have never come. If the answer to question 1 is 14+. “eh, you shouldn’t have done that, wanna go get some chili”

  • andy

    I may have missed something – was this biker a bicyclist or a motorcyclist?

  • Adult choking and punching a kid = NOT ok

    Adult grabbing kids shirt and giving him a good teeth-rattling shake = very ok.

  • Am I the only person for whom Nicholas Cage’s movie “The Weatherman” came to mind? “People used to throw things at me. Now I carry a bow and arrow. People don’t throw things at me anymore.”

  • Someone needed to teach the kid a lesson. Was the biker the right person to do it? Not even close. The parents should have done it. But they didn’t, and they won’t. The police should have done it. But they didn’t, and they won’t. So better the biker than no one at all.

  • See what I did there? Lol. Basically these kids need to be told/shown actions have consequences. The biker should be aggressive- at least scare the kids AND report/escort to an authority figure. But nobody should be assaulting children. The biker should be beaten for assaulting kids. circle of life Hakuna matata. At least they’re throwing shit and not shooting people. Yet.

  • I think it’s totally fine and I think the first letter is pretty exemplary about what’s wrong with some of these parents. Actions have consequences – it seems unfair to immediately go blaming the biker, it’s hardly as if he “viciously attacked” the child with no reason. The kid tried to kill him first.

    And yes, it’s full well and obvious that a biker can get seriously injured or killed if you throw things at them. Even a child knows that.

    And further, unless you’re looking forward to another heart-wrenching candlelit vigil due to the capricious violence in this city that makes you feel “so connected,” addressing these actions firmly when they happen isn’t a bad thing.

    I support the biker. I’m sure someone will call me racist now.

    • It’s “totally fine” for adults to attack ELEMENTARY AGED children?! Are you kidding me?! Your opinion is absolutely unacceptable.

      Unless we’ve gone Beyond the Thunderdome, there is never, ever a reason to physically attack a child. The kid threw a rock, he didn’t try to “kill” the biker.

      Every child, and I mean every child–you included–did stupid shit at ten years old. I know I did.

      If it was a teen, I would have a different opinion. But this was a child you sick fuck. You don’t hit children.

      • If you can’t argue better than calling me a “sick fuck,” I would argue that you’re the one who is unacceptable.

        And yes, I do. Actions have consequences and that rock could very easily have killed the biker. Hence, trying to kill him.

        I also think the description was incredibly overwrought, so it’s rather unclear to me that the biker was out of line.

        • Also – for clarification – *I* didn’t hit any children.

        • I missed the part in the initial letter where it said the kid threw a “rock” at the cyclist. I’ve looked again and still don’t see it. Rock or brick or similar item might equal “trying to kill.” Empty plastic soda bottle, paper carton, bottle cap does not equal “trying to kill.”

          • I was just thinking the same thing and I actually posted earlier that “kids throw rocks”. I admit that I made the same mistake as 90% of the other posters…think everyone just assumed it was a rock.

          • Yes, I’m sure that the cyclist lost it and went after the kid because the kid threw a bottle cap at him.

            Get real. We don’t know it was a rock. But it seems pretty safe to assume that it was something dangerous.

          • I suppose I assumed rock because everyone assumed rock. Maybe it was a cinderblock or a brick as per those cyclists on 11th street – including the person that the DCPD refused to help.

            In any event – throwing anything at someone minding their own business is malicious, and if the cyclist had been knocked off their bike they could easily have been killed. Given the fact that this is a repeat problem in this city, I am not at all surprised – nor outraged – that the cyclist reacted the way that they did.

            Ignoring the problem clearly hasn’t helped.

        • If you can’t resolve a dispute with a 10 year in a manner other than physically harming him (which was clearly described in the OP) than you are unquestionably the one who needs to reevaluate her position. You are part of the problem.

          Your argument that the kid tried to “kill” anyone is absurd hyperbole. Drop it before you make a further fool of yourself.

          To POP – sorry for the language. People who openly advocate violence against young children enrage me, and should enrage everyone. But I will certainly watch the language from now on. Apologies.

          • Pretending this is just going to go away, when it very obviously HASN’T, is a problem. It’s ongoing, or are you missing that?

            In fact, it’s been addressed with both the POLICE and the PARENTS of children in the district before, and neither of them did a thing (see City Paper article).

            And throwing things at a cyclist can cause them to fall off a bike, which can kill someone. Whether that was the child’s intent or not is irrelevant, because they still assaulted someone and put them directly into a situation where that sort of thing can happen. And any child old enough to walk city streets home from school without an adult is old enough to know that this behavior is completely inappropriate.

          • Who is “pretending this is just going to go away?” Your tactic of ascribing beliefs and traits to me that I have in no way espoused exposes a weak underlying argument.

            Violence *against* young children is really your default solution to violence perpetrated by young children? That is a terrible, flawed solution that only fuels the problem.

            I simply cannot fathom that, as functional adult, you would became so viscerally offended and upset at a completely commonplace curse word when used against you, yet physically attacking a 10 year old elicits an “atta-boy” to the adult conducting the crime. I mean, wow. I have nothing else to add to this. Have a wonderful evening and please stay away from children.

          • Classic. You can document children doing stupid things all the way back to …. 2006?!?!? Wow. That’s some crack research. Next you’re going to tell me that you can prove that kids have liked candy dating back to 1997!!!!

            An adult attacking an elementary aged child is NEVER okay. I don’t care that you have empirically proven kids in Columbia Heights throw rocks, as if they don’t do that in Iowa and Japan and EVERYWHERE. Some day, you may have kids and you’ll learn they do all kinds of dumb stuff, but lot’s of them grow up to be decent adults anyway–the kind of adults who would never attack a young child.

            And I’m from DC too. Sorry, your trump card doesn’t play here.

          • I thought you said you had nothing left to add to this discussion.

            I merely pointed out that this is a long and ongoing problem in THIS CITY that has been unaddressed. Since, you know, you asked about it being ignored and all. If you would like, I can also find you some examples from other cities.

            There are not excuses for throwing rocks at other people. You need to stop making excuses for them “doing stupid stuff” and recognize that they are committing a dangerous crime, REPEATEDLY. These children are not the victims here.

            If their parents won’t parent, society winds up having to. I would say it totally has a social benefit, because I bet those kids won’t throw rocks again.

            And given from the response on this thread, I’m hardly the only person that feels that way, yet you appear laser focused on me. I’ve clearly upset you very deeply, and I’m not even involved. Have a cupcake.

            You can keep going on with the shrill whining about “NO EXCUSES!” and “VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN!” and name calling (srsly?) if it makes you feel better – the only thing I can picture is an angry toddler stamping her feet. But I’m not going to agree with you, and that’s the bottom line.

      • Pop, this reply is very clearly out of your guidelines for allowed comments. She’s personally attacking a poster for an expressed opinion. And using rather vile curse words in doing so.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Yes sorry I missed this – I’m leaving it up because of the replies but yes – please don’t leave comments like this.

        • So a common word offends your great sensibilities, but advocating violence against elementary-aged children doesn’t elicit a comment? I’ll watch the language for sure because I respect POP and his rules, but Trixie’s post is the truly vile and offensive thing here.

          • Violence against those who committ violence. That’s the key for me – not the age. I can’t possibly evaluate what was justified here, having not seen the incident, but, in at least some circumstances, where there are no other good options, a reasonable level of violence against someone who initated violence can be justified. And no, age is not a defense because it’s not a moral question, it’s a practical question – how can an individual put an end to unprovoked violent behavior.

          • And yet, you’re the one who broke forum rules with unreasonably nasty personal attacks and the use of profanity.

            Your very comment shows you respect nothing, since you’re the one that knowingly PoP’s forum rules and are trying to justify it with “BUT I’m RIIIIIIIIGHHT!”

            I’m sure you could have managed to sufficiently make your point without the spewing, perhaps?

          • The solution to “put an end to unprovoked violent behavior” is *more* violent behavior? That is some of the most circular, corrupt logic I have ever heard. The biker did the exact opposite of preventing future unprovoked violence, he taught a young child that violence against those weaker than you is acceptable and should be expected. Great lesson from an adult.

            And age absolutely must factor into this scenario. We are talking about an elementary-aged child. Do you really not understand the developmental and physical differences in adults and young children? It’s a good thing everyone else does. Because our laws and accepted social norms disagree with everything you wrote.

          • Actually, clearly NOT everyone else does.

          • I’m not sure how much you know about logic, but it’s not an example of circular logic. The key is violence in response to UNPROVOKED violence. And yes, punishing a person for a behavior, through violence or another means, frequently has the result of deterring that behavior – in children and adults. Now that’s not to say it was justified here, I simply don’t know enough about the situation to judge. But certainly it’s a tactic that can work.

            You seem to think that all violence is the same and that the “wrongness” of the violence depends soley on the age of the perpetrator. That’s fine. In my opinion though, unprovoked violence is the problem, and the important question is what available solution will best prevent future unprovoked violence without being drastically disproportionate to the original violence?

          • Your position is based on what you *think* instead of what is *known.* You’ve placed the crux of your argument on an entirely irrelevant factor – whether the violence was provoked or not. You think this somehow morally justifies beating children. It does not.

            Whether the biker’s violence was provoked or not has absolutely zero affect on whether the child will commit future bad behavior. The biker’s violence is merely revenge that satiates his own emotions. It has no social benefit whatsoever.

            All I can do is implore you to read any sociological study (and I literally mean ANY study) conducted by an expert on either child development or violence as a deterrence to bad behavior. There is near unanimous agreement that not only is violence not a deterrent to bad behavior, it actually increases the likelihood the perpetrator will commit violence in the future.

          • I think it is semi-ridiculous for you to say that violence against a kid is “never” okay. If a 10 year old pulled a knife on myself or my wife, you can trust I am going to put a big time hurting on that kid. Way worse than a light choking and talking too.

            Previous posters have indicated that to them, throwing a rock while riding a bike is similar. I am not sure I 100% agree, but the kid was the one who decided to throw the rock/item, not the other way around.

    • Wow…talk about “taking a piece of lint and knitting a sweater” – now we have escalated the incident from rock throwing to attempted murder. Not sure how that connection was made but at any rate, kudos to being the first poster to play the reverse racism card.

  • Unfortunately vigilante biker justice is the only recourse here. Lets be real. Cops won’t blink if you call this in. Parents won’t discipline these kids. The angry biker is almost guaranteed to be the only real responder to this situation. Systemic problems.. And PSA to bikers: WEAR A HELMET!

  • I think what others aren’t mentioning about the original post is that the biker clearly seemed out of control. It would have been one thing to grab the kid, scare him, threaten him, even give him a good shake to teach him a lesson. But punching and choking? Going to the trouble to then kick around his books and throw them in a puddle? I think this guy sounds totally unhinged and like he has huge anger issue.

    • So you mean he doesn’t like it when he’s minding his own business and someone throws a large chunk of hard earth at him? WHOWOULDATHOUGHT?

      • Of course he should be angry. A normal reaction would be to yell and rant and even grab the kid and scare the crap out of him.

        I think it sounds like what this guy did goes beyond normal anger, though. Just my opinion.

    • I have a feeling that the report of what the biker did was just a wee bit exaggerated.

      • I’m wondering about this too.

        I guess I _hope_ it’s exaggerated. It seems like it would be reasonable for the biker to grab the kid’s collar and give him a stern talking-to… although wouldn’t even just grabbing his collar qualify as assault?

      • why would the OP exaggerate? for your benefit?

  • Bike lanes just facilitate escape for the people who love to beat children; I have read it on the internet. Why must my tax dollars promote express lanes for escaping child abusers?


  • The child. The biker. They should both be hanged. Only sure way to teach them both a lesson.

  • Just an idea, next time just take the athletic shoes off the punk kid. The little rascal isn’t going to feel the pain of getting his school supplies tossed in the air. But wait to he gets home and explain how he lost his AF1’s. It is a costly lesson for the kid to learn.

  • Nothing (other than dog-theft) gets the P o P commentariat more riled up than incidents involving bikers. Death to those who threaten dogs and bikers! Clearly, if the kids threw something dangerous at a biker, they were wrong & he had every right to be pissed. But beating up a small kid? I don’t see how that solves anything.

  • I’m officially done reading PoP. The comments on this blog are out of control, and as someone who works in Child Welfare Policy I find it appalling that PoP is allowing people to say some of the things they are saying about physically assaulting anyone, let alone a CHILD.

  • All of these comments are insane. I’m unsure under what circumstances it would be acceptable for an adult to act this way towards any child. I know I would never do this to my own child and there would be MAJOR problems if I found out another adult did this. Terrifying.

  • I have been craving arancni all afternoon.

  • It’s the same hysteria from the Safeway dog-napping where people were sure that little Fido was taken to be torn apart in dogfighting training. After all, why stop at rocks? Maybe the kid threw a grenade! Are we going to let kids throw grenades at innocent cyclists?
    Making assumptions is not a good idea, but it creates the melodramatic and visceral yet usually foolish comments I’ve come to love from this blog – hardly thought provoking, but entertaining.

  • Herewegoagain – that would cause PoP commentariat Armageddon.

  • A few years back three younger teens – 14-15ish – dropped a cinder block off an overpass at my as I passed under on my motorcycle doing about 60. I got dusted with little chunks of disintegrating block but they missed, mostly. Because they were idiots they didn’t take the cloverleaf into account, so I quickly spun up the exit onto the overpass, got off the bike and beat the piss out of two of them. The other ran away before I could get to him. What they did to me was attempted murder. I don’t care what the law is, I am not going to tolerate that.

    Did the bicyclist over-react here? Maybe, I don’t know what he was hit with, but he was right to at least stop and hold the kid. If nobody confronts kids who are pulling evil crap, they aren’t going to stop doing it. It takes a village to raise a child, right? As for violence never solving anything, it actually is pretty good at stopping other violence, at least if you bring enough of it with you to do the job. See, e.g. Libya.

    • austindc

      Scary! I wonder if it’s the same 11th street building where they were shooting at cyclists with bb guns. I hope not.

  • NO ONE knows what really happened here! ONE person emailed her own account of what she perceived, filtered through her own perspective, of which we know NOTHING. Assault and choke? Or maybe grab the kid by the shirt and jostle? Don’t know. Throw a notebook into the water or just fling it away where it landed on a damp sidewalk. Don’t know.

    Silly 7 year old kids tossing pebbles or hulking 15 year old hoodlums hurling bricks? Don’t know.

    We do know someone has papers with the kid’s name, and we know what school he went to. Chances are the biker has talked to people or even read this blog. How about we take some time and discover what actually happened?

  • Cyclists should carry water guns… super soakers of course…

  • When I was about 11, a friend and I spent an afternoon throwing snowballs at cars. One stopped, the guy got out, chased us down and pinned friend against wall by throat. We never through snowballs at cars again. And no we were not traumatized and no we did not “learn to hate”, etc, etc.

  • One of many reasons to fear folks in spandex. Alas, this goober’s reaction was superfluous…..I think a wedgie and a ‘there’s no Santa’ would’ve sufficed.

    • I agree.

      I was actually once “assaulted” by a kid who unloaded a water cannon and threw a water balloon on me while I was riding my bike, which could have easily knocked me over (not so much by the spray as by the surprise/increased wetness of the ground). I proceeded to dismount my bike, jump the fence he was hiding behind, grabbed all of his water balloons and proceeded to soak him completely.

      I could have physically hurt him, but I and his friends basically ended up having a huge laugh over it, and while the kid was initially embarrassed, he seemed relatively amused at the end. I then asked that he be more careful as he could have knocked me over, and I could have then been run over by a car.

      Granted, he’s probably still doing the same thing….

  • Sounds like the cyclist needs to shave, throw away his jersey, get a new kit, change his route and ride a different bike from now on. Lots of blog vigilantes here ready to call him in if they see him.

    Cyclist overreacted, but having objects thrown at you is assault. A little while ago, a cyclist in NYC was nearly killed when some kids dropped bricks on him from an overpass. Irresponsible kids can be a real hazard to life and limb.

    • It still doesn’t seem to have been established as to what was thrown.

      I mean, the cyclist could have run a red light, almost hitting the kid, who then threw a pencil at him. Not that throwing anything is justified, but many cyclists give people reasons to hate them.

      • …many cyclists give people reasons to hate them…

        True what with the lycra and the entitlement. Same goes with women, what with their short skirts and noses in the air.


  • if the kid didn’t throw something, none of this would have happened.

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