Dear PoPville – Mugging on H St, NE Sun. night at 10:15 PM

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“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to report a mugging/assault on H St. NE Sunday night. I was assaulted by a group of teenagers at approximately 10:15 p.m. Sunday night across the street from Rock ‘n Roll Hotel and near the new Pho place that opened up. I was walking home from dinner (at Sticky Rice) and as I was passing a group of about 5-6 teenagers, one of them sucker punched me in the face and as I stumbled and turned around to face them another of them punched me in the face.

I realized there were about six of them so I ran across the street and sought refuge at the Rock ‘n Roll Hotel. I told the bouncers what happened and they were extremely helpful and nice- gave me a bottle of water, ice, and let me stay there until the police came to take down my statement (it took the police 40 minutes to show up after I had called 911). I suffered a bruised nose and chipped my tooth in the altercation.

I don’t have dental insurance and have spent the better part of the day researching dental options. It’d be great if some of your readers could offer up suggestions or if a dentist would like to help me repair my chipped tooth by letting me pay on a 3 month payment plan or something”

I’m so sorry to hear this. We have spoke about some general dentist recommendations here and yesterday we spoke of some options for finding a doctor without insurance. Does anyone know a dentist that would accept a payment plan?

124 Comment

  • Serious rule of thumb: do not walk past or through groups of teenagers. Cross the street or go the other way.

  • Props to the cops for getting there within the hour.

    • I hope that this is sarcasm. The police should have been on the scene immediately. Actually, in such a busy corridor the MPD should have had an officer stationed there.

      • Not sarcasm. Based on my experience with much worse crimes it takes them over an hour to arrive, so this is pretty impressive. But you make a good point that there were probably some nearby already.

        • Actually, the three times I’ve called the police on my neighbors they have been there in under 5 minutes.

          • I think it just depends on luck. I remember having to wait nearly two hours for someone to come when I discovered my home had been burglarized.

            Luckily (since it was the middle of winter and I had no idea if the criminals were still in the house or lurking nearby) I had a car to wait in.

          • Agreed. I caught some punks (10 and 11 years old) trying to get into a car w/ a screw driver. I called the police and they were there in 5 min.

          • That’s great! You were lucky and someone was available. I still think 40 minutes is relatively rapid response time, all things considered.

          • 40 minutes is sh!t. If you think that’s okay, you might as well not even call 911 in the first place. Cops should be on the scene within minutes, if for no other reason than to present a show of force to lingering thugs. If it always takes 40 minutes, thugs are going to be significantly more brazen.

            Besides, how much is really going on at 10pm on Sunday, that a single squad car wasn’t free?

  • I had two chipped teeth capped by Dr Abramson at Modern Dentistry, up Wisconsin Ave (with no insurance). Good experience, I’d recommend him. I don’t know if he does payment plans, but it was relatively affordable.

    • I’d also recommend Modern Dentistry. They were great when my husband needed emergency dental work. They do offer payment plans (or did a few years back) and can get emergency patients in right away.

  • so was this a mugging or an assault?

    • all muggings are assaults, not all assaults are muggings. unless one of the kids said “give us your wallet/watch/phone/ipod” we can only conclude assault

    • Sounds like a straight up assault to me, unless s/he forgot to mention something being stolen.

      • um the tooth…somewhat stolen.

        also in high school if someone got sucker punched the parlance was “he got stole” usually “in the eye.”

  • technically this is just an assault, not a mugging, as we don’t know that they were trying to steal anything from you. but damn that’s messed up. I live just south of there, and I hate when these things happen because I’m always telling folks about how nice it is. I’m surprised it happened on H St itself though. usually the various things that hit the police blotter are in the alleys off of H or the cross streets

  • I had this same thing happen to me near 13th and U a few year’s back. The piece of shit cold clocked me right as he got out of my peripheral vision. I had my eye on them the whole time and it was 7:30 PM with tons of people around. I spun around and a few of us gave chase but they weaved through full on traffic to get away.

  • This is why we need concealed carry to be legal in DC.

  • Or at least a crossbow. Man, I’d love to step in and fire a crossbow at one of these jokers if I saw that happening to some innocent on the street.

  • Try Dr. Rose Palabrica – practice of Finnerty, Lavecchia, Palabrica and Wu. Drs. Wu & Finnerty are great also. They do cosmetic dentristry, and have payment plans. Might be sympathetic to your cause. At Rosslyn Metro, 1500 Wilson Blvd. So sorry to hear about this! FWIW, I was in the H Street mini-golf bar (can’t remember its name)for an hour or two, walked out only to find somebody’d robbed the drycleaners across the street at gunpoint. Seems like it’s still a bit Wild West over there?

    • It’s not just H St. It’s everywhere. We all know that. Two people on my street (in NW) were punched in the face by some guy just walking around looking to hit someone. In front of tons of people. It’s pretty depressing that the violence is so random. You aren’t safe anywhere.

      • It’s not everywhere. Violence can happen anywhere, but it happens with far more regularity in some parts of the city. No one benefits from the fallacy that crime is equally present in every neighborhood. When we dispense with that fallacy, we can deal with the real issue – how to make places like H St. NE safer.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          That is true to a certain extent. But just saw this on the Cleveland Park listserv this morning:

          “On the evening of Saturday, November 19th, my friend was maced and mugged by two people on the corner of Garfield and Cleveland Avenue.”

          • Like I said, crime can happen anywhere, but the regularity with which it happens is not at all uniform. Muggings in Cleveland Park are much rarer than where the OP was attacked, and that’s not an insult to H St. NE. It’s just a fact. The question that continually comes up and is never answered ( because it’s very difficult and complicated) is, how do we make all neighborhoods safe?

          • Is it a fact? It’s only a fact if you can cite numbers of cases/incidents for your different areas. I’m sure they exist; find them and use them before making facts out of feelings.

            (You’re probably right. But not necessarily. Let’s check!)

          • Wow – irony is not dead! Although you might not want to believe it, it’s a fact. Feel free to check the MPD website if you’d like verification. You can get crime data for any location in the city. I’m not out to convince you – if you believe Cleveland Park and H St. NE have the same crime rate, you’re probably beyond convincing.

    • I second Dr Palabrica – although i have insurance, I have been going to her for years and she is extremely professional and considerate. the kind of dentist that will wait until the next year of my insurance if something can wait so i don’t go over; have to pay out of pocket; etc. She even suggested I get work done when she found out i was changing jobs because my old insurance covered things she never thought my new one would. I think you’d have a chance at a payment plan; sliding fee scale at this office.

  • I’m so sorry for the OP. This sounds like a horrifying encounter, and now he/she has to pay the price out of his/her own pocket. This same thing happened to some friends of mine near the Petworth Metro a few years ago – one of them got knocked out stone cold, while the other suffered permanant hearing loss from being hit so hard. Even though there was evidence on the Metro security cameras, apparently police felt it wasn’t enough to bring about any charges.

    I read this article last night in Slate regarding how to deal with particularly bad innercity crime. I wonder if it could work here:!/slate

      • I just finished his book, Don’t Shoot. MPD reports they tried the approach here and there was too much community pushback. High time they try again! But since so much of our shooting and mugging is carried out by kids, a little bit different challenge, bringing down the main groups responsible for violence is hard when you have 1000 DYRS wards running this town day after day.

        Apparently it’s totally cool to sucker punch gentries.

        • Then I’m going to start advocating for reform schools 🙂 Where they can get a good education AND be removed from the environment that causes them to be criminals.

          • you mean where they become institutionalized? i worked in a residential treatment center for years, and most of the teens ended up worse off in the end from the constant influence of their negative peers. what a shitshow!

          • No, not that. Not juvie. School. Where they can learn, and maybe even get some discipline (like military school)? This would probably work for only petty criminals though, not murderous thugs.

    • I read the article. I think that the “neighborhood group” thing could work in an area where the interests of the neighborhood and the interests of the criminals doesn’t have to intersect. In the story, the criminals wanted profit, and the neighborhood wanted safety. In DC, I feel like the gentrifiers want safety, and the criminals want to put pressure on the gentrifiers. How can we reach an agreement in this case?

  • Howard University has a dental school. I believe they offer low-cost dental care, as long as youbdon’t mind getting worked on by a student. You might want to check it out. Sorry about your bad experience.

  • So sorry this happened to you. I was jumped a few years back and also needed dental work- lost a tooth in the altercation. While I had insurance the DC Crime Victims Compensation Fund payed for all other expenses- deductibles and even Metro fare. The people that work there are very nice and you should be able to get reimbursed for all expenses.

    • Hi,

      I was the one who was assaulted on Sunday night. I just came back from Howard Universities Dentistry Clinic. The students were great, but unfortunately told me I needed to see a different dentist because my tooth has a fracture and may or may not have to be replaced. They could do it, but because they are closing for the year suggested I go to a new dentist. Because I’m an unpaid intern at the moment I have no dental insurance, and the link you shared for the Crime Victims Compensation Program is just amazing! I really want to thank you for sharing that link- I really hope they can assist me.

      Also, I’ve been reading some of the comments and I just wanted to point out that I’m not white- I’m also a minority. I realize I’m a gentrifier, but these kids don’t care about your ethnicity- this is a problem we all need to come together on and address.

      Lastly, thank you so much to the POP Community for your leads and advice- and I mean that in the sincerest way possible- thank you so much everyone.

      • Sorry Howard U didn’t work out, but glad you found an alternative. Have a great Thanksgiving.

      • You’re very welcome. I remember for me it was the one bit of solace over the entire experience that I wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for being a victim. It may take a little time but in the end you should get reimbursed for every related expense. Best of luck for a speedy recovery.

  • this makes my blood boil. I want to be a fly on the wall when one of these punks sucker punches the WRONG dude and gets his little ass WHOOPED in the streets for all to see…. I wish we could bring back the days of public humiliation. when the whole community goes to the town square to rotten tomato the criminal and hurl slurs, spit and mucus at them while they are trapped in one of those wooden things that hold your wrists and your neck. It would be the best

    • orderedchaos

      Makes me so angry, these piece of crap drains on society lashing out at honest citizens. If only the police could catch the criminals and castrate ’em — they’d be less aggressive without all that testosterone, plus it’d be comforting to know they couldn’t breed.

    • Except that will never happen because these kids specifically pick targets that they know have no chance against them. You think they are going to go up to a group of 15 jacked guys with USMC t-shirts on and punch one in the face? You think that even if they punched Brock Lesnar he would stand a chance with 10-1 odds?

      No, they will continue to attack lone white guys and get away with it.

      • except for when they attack the lone white guy who’s a black belt in tae kwon do….

      • Not always the case… My boyfriend got punched from behind and then attacked by 4 idiots. They also tried to steal his laptop and run into a car that pulled up. He was able to fight them off and keep his bag. Not always the safest idea to fight back but may be worth a shot.

  • This happened to me Friday night, 10:30pm, just outside CVS at Petworth metro! Two kids walking by sucker punched two of us in the face as we walked by! Looked like the kid who did it was stoned or something (walking funny before he hit us). We fought back, though as that started my first thought was “s**t, I hope one of them doesn’t have a weapon.”

  • Until these kids have to deal with real consequences for their crimes, these things will continue to happen. People (small children, teens, grown adults, everyone) NEED consequences to be kept in line. That’s why laws come with penalties for breaking them. And the legal system seems to be failing us here. These kids go home to their parents, and that’s that. I’m not sure what the answer is. Concealed carry, a harsher juvenile justice system, or some neighborhood group – something needs to be done.

    • Agreed. Because they return to homes where they are not disciplined or the parents/guardians are totally absent. I think actual consequences for these punks would be a step in the right direction. From what I know/understand, half these kids don’t spend any time in jail and/or are released to the youth services program (and we all know how well that’s run).

      Unfortunately, there seems to be a theme in the homes of these kids…that, according to their parents, they’re innocent! They’re good kids and never get in trouble! The cops are making a mistake!

      But I’m not sure this is going to change anytime soon. God forbid the mayor and council piss off the people that continue to vote for them no matter how poorly they run this city.

    • I agree – if there are no consequences – legal, familial, or personal – this crap will continue. As the elected officials will never do anything – not one of them will give up church/family votes to effect any kind of change, and the police are so stretched as it is, I have no idea what could be done.

      It’s infuriating to be told to cross the street, don’t use your phone, don’t listen to music, stay out of this area, avoid people you think might do something (i.e., use profiling) – and, as a bonus, have people claim it’s your fault for moving into a neighborhood.

      As dangerous and foolish as it may sound, I’d LOVE someone to just turn the tables and beat the crap out of every one of these kids.

      • Well said. The people who advocate living in fear of being attacked miss the point. And don’t get me started on the whole, “Well, it’s life in the city” garbage. The changes that have to happen need to come from the citizens, but the start would be voting out the council & mayor and getting people who would take crimes (other than murder) more seriously.

  • I simply don’t let them near me. I keep my eyes on them and cross the street. Hurt their feelings? Too d*mn bad.

    • You are right to do that; I know 3 people who had weird feelings in similar situations, but they didn’t cross the street or do anything to avoid the situation because they didn’t want to “look racist” – 1 was held up with a knife, 2 with guns. Follow your gut. You’re not responsible for anyone else’s feelings.

      • Agreed on following your gut — see Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.” It’s not about being paranoid; it’s about paying attention to your instinct instead of ignoring it.

        And “instinct” isn’t a sixth sense or anything like that. The book explains how things you observe but don’t consciously take not of contribute to a gut feeling of “something is not right.”

      • It’s not a faultless strategy. Two years ago I tried to cross to avoid a very large group of teenagers on that very block (north side of 1300 H) and within a second I heard some hubbub and got a large rock thrown at me. It hit my foot, but it could have done some pretty serious damage had it hit my head.

        Being brown I can tell you I have also crossed the street (in a NoVA strip mall, not DC) to avoid a large group of scary-looking white guys back in high school. I get irritated at the notion that it’s only black criminals or only whites are victims of random crime like that. (though, admittedly, my fear back then was of ethnically-motivated violence, given it was 2002 so it is a “race thing”)

        • also, I see people cross the street on me all the time. I would imagine at least a few of those are due to fear. I’ve also heard people audibly questioning my presence and in one case an elderly white guy literally running away from me while staring back at me a few times while walking quickly to try to pass him. (all of this is in DC proper) Yeah, it sucks and it’s sort of offensive but I also don’t blame them at all. Like I said, I do it myself.

          People in very homogeneous societies do these things too.

  • This is simply race warfare in DC. Get used to it, it’s going to be around for the next 5,6, maybe 10 years. The blacks cannot stand the gentrifiers and the parents teach their kids to hate the whites moving in and taking over their turf. From Adams Morgan in the 90’s, to Logan, Columbia Heights, Petworth, Bloomingdale, Hst currently.

    Dc is dramatically changing it’s demographics in a record pace. Just like when you expose hot glass to cold too quickly the glass shatters…DC IS BREAKING. But it will be over and DC will be a better world class city for it.

    • “The blacks…taking over their turf”. Really? Generalize much?

      -DC home owner, aka one of “The Blacks”.

    • “blacks cannot stand the gentrifiers and the parents teach their kids to hate the whites”

      Not only is this a hate filled remark but I think a big leap into an imaginary, hoped for war.

      Buddy, Dwayne… its over. Stop feeding it and start preventing it.

      How embarrassing for you.

    • I know this is just some nice trolling by throwing in the race card so I shouldn’t respond, but I will anyway.

      While there are racial components of DC’s gentrification, the two biggest factors are culture and economics. Keep in mind that the Ethopian population on the U Street corridor was not a welcome addition to the neighborhood, partially because of the culture differences, but also because they had the means (and motivation) to make things better for themselves.

      Today, the gentrifiers are people who have well paying jobs and are seeking a house closer to work to avoid the hell that is I-495, I-295, I-395, I-66, etc. A lot of these people are white, but many others are not. Contrast this with the incumbents that are economically disadvantaged and see no way of making things better for themselves. Some story as above, just a different neighborhood.

    • until everyone moves back to the burbs… it’s cyclical.

    • what we need is a tough on crime politician

      unfortunately, with the elected leaders in this city, that is too much to hope for.

    • Donald Trump, is that you?

  • me

    I will recommend Dr Vajdi, who is right next to the Foggy Bottom metro. When you come out of the metro, make an immediate right U-turn and walk through the park for a block- his office is directly in front of you. I know that he took payment plans a couple of years ago, and he is also a pretty good dentist. I liked him.

  • My husband used this when he had to have a root canal and crown…..

    It was 0% financing for 6 months I think. He went to a dentist in Silver Spring. It looks like you can look up providers that accept it.

    • I needed some pricey dental work recently and got 0% interest for two years from CareCredit. Of course then they try to convince you to use it as a regular credit card for all sorts of other health-related expenses, but as long as you can resist that, it’s a great deal.

      • Actually, I continue to use my CareCredit account for dental expenses (since I pay out of pocket and get reimbursed after), and each time you put a new charge on it they offer interest free for 6 or 12 months (might depend on your credit? not sure). Anyways, it’s a helpful thing to have if you’re un/under-insured and i’ve never paid interest on it.

  • As far as “props to the cops” goes, it was my friend who was assaulted and he called 911 minutes after, then 25 minutes after that just to make sure they were coming, and then another 15 minutes after that to ask WTF? So finally the third 911 operator is responsive, and asks a bunch of questions that the first two operators didn’t, and two cop cars come racing up with their lights on while he’sstill on the phone with 911. The cops start asking all sorts of questions like what were they wearing and which way did they go, etc. before they eventually realize that it happened 45 minutes ago. Turns out the alert didn’t show up on the cops system until the third operator took the call. The cops were very nice, but the 911 system did not work at all. I have had a couple of other bad experiences with 911 as well. Doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • We have also had bad experiences with dispatchers. I called 911 when 3 teenagers were crouched down sneaking around the cars in our alley and into our back patio area. Our neighbor’s dog barked and they got on their bikes and rode away. The dispatcher told me to “call if they come back”. Did not want to know description, direction they went it, nothing.

  • So sick of the violent children in this city. Just yesterday I was ranting about how they beat up the white guys on R St because it’s their block and now this! Really makes me want to stop paying taxes and insist that DC govt get real about their huge cadre of violent children. I hope Neil’s parents win that $20 million lawsuit, but I suspect the DYRS fiasco won’t change one bit because of it.

    • R Street does blow. I’ve had glass bottles (and homophobic slurs) thrown at me from across the street for no freakin’ reason. Luckily they couldn’t aim for #%(. The shooting there last week and reports of gunfire this week did not inspire any confidence.

  • I like living in DC but all these stories make me want to flee to Bethesda…

  • If I were you, I’d flee to the countryside where they let lions loose and manufacture crystal meth in their kitchen. There are problems everywhere, why not try to be a part of the solution somehow?

    Anyway, as for dentists: community of hope in the marie reed school (adams morgan) has a dentist, sliding scale fee.

    • To be fair, there’s a reason why those things make the news and some guy getting assaulted on H street doesn’t. Just because “crime happens everywhere” doesn’t mean places like DC don’t have it on the high end.

  • Why does everyone try to be so politically correct? Are the gentrifiers the ones bringing this city down? Are the home owners attacking people on the streets?

    It is the “old school” population of DC that resent what is happening to their city. They rather have a filthy, crime ridden place to call home full of public housing projects than a beautiful, litter and murder free city if it means keeping the gentrifiers out.

    And lets face it, the old school poplulation is mostly black and the gentrfiers mostly white. You cannot argue with this fact so get over it. The people trying to make this city a better place are being attacked left and right, so should we just sit around and take it or OPEN OUR MOUTHS call a spade a spade.

    • Yeah! You tell those old school people how it is and how you’re not going to put up with their shit anymore!

      (…on an anonymous internet forum)

    • I love “call a spade a spade”, this is what my sister once said over and over while explaining why homosexuality is bad.

    • “The people trying to make this city a better place are being attacked left and right….”

      Ahh yes, I forgot that only the people who moved here in the last few years want to make DC better… I really have to keep that relevant memo handy to remind myself.

      The “old school” residents do not resent improved city services, better schools and increased police presence. They do resent being told that only the new kids care about this city.

      The old school lived through shit you couldn’t fathom. The old school wants to ensure they can live here during the booming good times, as they were the ones who kept this city afloat when the middle class fled.

      BTW: tyour racism is showing. Be a good suburbanite- turned-citydweller, and close your mind to such stupidity.

    • You are wrong, the black people on my gentrifying block are GLAD that the neighborhood is getting better and safer and they say so. They are friendly to me (white girl). They like telling me about how it used to be. The man next door told me his grandmother bought the house in 1944 for 13,000. I almost fell over. His aunt, who lives there now, is protected from higher taxes by a grandfather clause. She has a reverse mortgage though, and is elderly. Other residents have offered to loan ladders to us, info about DC services, whatever. We mow the lawn of our next door neighbor because she cannot anymore.

      The people who are hostile to me around here are young and poor. They like to act all in-your-face. They sometimes stare straight ahead when I greet them. Some cuss their own babies for crying – they just have issues and it has nothing to do with being black or white. I wish I could rescue the babies and children sometimes, being dragged around and cussed at at 11pm at night.

  • Dr. Helig on 18 & Eye St NW is great and he accepts payment plans — I’ve paid this way. 202-467-5553.

  • Time for an emergency meeting of the United Gentrification Front (UGF). Apparently we missed the memo and open season has begun. Watch out for your girlfriend or wife, they could be the next victim of the now infamous random beatings for no reason in DC.

    • Keep your wives and daughters inside! Those evil blacks will do horrendous sexual things to them, and then go smoke weed and listen to jazz!

      • Alright, that was funny. “the lustful nubians after our virginal blonde daughters” etc. Good call. Let’s not kid ourselves though… black 12-21 yr olds (mostly males, but young ladies too — or as Monique calls them: JQ’s (jumping off queens)) are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to yuppie trauma and jacking.

        Of course, it is not their blackness that is punching you in the head. There is something to be said about their teenager-ness — that transgressing for the sake of getting away with a transgression — that is punching you or throwing bottles at you. There’s definitely some existential baggage: yuppies seem to live in a whimsical unserious stakes-free universe where their biggest concerns are when to grow ironic moustaches and how soon Fat Tire beer will come to DC. There is an optical illusion that, something fundamental in a yuppie’s behavior guarantees that person a good job and happy days for life. I reckon it is hard for a 3rd+ generation DC black person to watch that, watch their friends and family get pushed to PG and Carol and Bmore and not feel like they are being erased from existence.

        Ultimately, poverty line parents in America raise their kids to knuckle — the girls and the boys. They aren’t using Dr. Spock approved parenting methods. If a girl wounds a girl’s pride, Aunty tells her to ‘steal that bitch in the face.’ That goes double for the boys. We Washingtonians can only assume this is a black problem, because we don’t have a substantially large poor white population near the metroplex.

    • What I don’t understand is why comments like this pretty are all over this blog and pretty much go unchecked by the masses (makes you wonder really) but yet when others (me) say something about how DC has changed and such or something very real, one(I) gets accused of “bigotry”.

      This place can be so backwards sometimes.

  • anonymous 1:09 – not that this matters but you do understand that this level of violence is not new…DC was known as the murder capital of the U.S. not so long ago. So, please don’t elevate this to just an issue of race…it’s a problem that is much larger than the “racial” box that you are trying to squeeze it into. The vast majority of crime in this city is Black on Black so don’t turn this into an issue of gentrification. It’s an issue of overall safety and not just protections for Gentry.


    Similar thing happened to me, DC has a ‘victim of violent crimes fund’ they will cover any medical or dental cost up to $20,000. So long as you are a DC resident and have a copy of the police report.

  • sucks, bro but …

    i really don’t understand why so many grown people don’t carry weapons. you’re in a major high-crime city … get a knife, pepper spray etc.

    i carry a kubaton, two tac folders and a karambit.

    i know it seems wrong, but if a cat attacks me, he’s losing some blood.

  • great… meanwhile we have people like pennyworth on our street…

  • Hey Prince of Petworth – Reading stuff like this makes me feel really sad and pissed off. I know I’d feel better if I could do something about it. Is there any way for us to paypal donations to you to help out with stuff like this? If a bunch of people gave $5 we could pay to fix this guy’s tooth. I know there’d be a lot of blind trust involved, but it’s worth a few bad apples to help people who need it. Any way we can help like that?

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