Another Assault on Metro Branch Trail (MBT)

From the MPD-5D listserv:

Another resident was attacked in an act of random violence on the Metro Branch Trail last evening around 6:30 PM between the NY Ave underpass and the R St exit on the trail while walking home from work. The victim was punched in the face by a 14 year old boy (in the presence of his 8 and 10 year old siblings?). No attempt was made to take any of her belongings. Your officers apprehended the suspects, so your team deserves credit in that regard. The situation is sad in so many respects and it is likely that since the assailants were juveniles they will likely not be punished in any meaningful way.

My issue is that there has become a pattern of violence and theft in this area of the trail in recent weeks. Even after the shooting in the area there was little discernible uptick in patrols or police presence on the trail (aside from a cruiser with no officer present that was parked at the corner of the trail and R St. for about a week). This is NOT ENOUGH. Residents use this trail daily to commute to and from work and it deserves regular patrols from officers and proper sense of safety for those who use it. Honestly at this point, the trail has already gotten enough negative press (rightfully so) that many of my neighbors that I know are afraid to use it and find other, less safe and convenient from a pedestrian or cyclist standpoint, routes through the area. This only makes the issues on the trail more pervasive because with less regular pedestrian traffic the trail becomes more of a target to would be thieves and thugs who can now single out victims.

MPD-5D has to seize the opportunity to turn around the rash of recent violence and make the trail safe for the community and hope that people return or watch as it devolves into a missed opportunity. This will likely only lead to more issues for your officers. This is a tipping point for me and likely many of my neighbors with regards to the trail.

MPD responds:

The recent violent activity on the Metropolitan Bike Trail has been on our “radar” and at the forefront our course of action.

While the officers were not able to prevent this offense from occurring, they were on the trail at that time and coordinated to cut off the escape routes of the individuals as they attempted to flee.

The safety of the citizens on the trail is paramount to the Fifth District. As such, we have tactics that are not being disclosed to address this problem.

As officers continue to patrol this trail on mountain bikes, we are convinced we will eliminate these incidents and will place a few more officers on the trail in order to spread out and cover the entire area.

I appreciate your concerns and hope you will contact us with any future matters. Thank You.

We last spoke about crime on the MBT on Jan. 26th.

23 Comment

  • Put the cameras up

  • Do that and also put a plain clothes officer around there on bike that patrols up and down the trail

  • What in the world would lead a 14 year old to do such a thing in front of two young siblings? Showing off? Did Mom and Dan teach him this non-sense.

    At 630pm I believe it is dark so why would anyone risk walking alone, expecially a woman, along this trail at night?

    Scary for the victim for sure and just so sad for all three of these children. I suspect their home life and future is not so bright right now.

  • ride the trail twice a day at the busiest times. Haven’t seen any, and i mean not one, indication of police presence. Good job MPD.

    As I have said before, I am ready for one of these punks

  • I commute by bike up the MBT. Last year, the two morons who were attacking and robbing cyclists attempted to rob me, trying to pull me off my bike. I managed to stay on my bike and pedaled away. They were caught later that week.

    I bought a rather sizeable bike chain that I now carry with me. I’m ready to go if it happens again. The cops don’t do a very good job protecting us. I really want to go home to my family at night and will do what it takes. It’s a pain to carry this chain, it weighs a ton, but it’s better than being helpless and getting robbed then shot. Yeah, I’ll get shot if I fight back. But from the sounds of it I’m going to get shot anyhow, so I might as well not be a helpless victim.

  • When DC thuglettes punch people in the face, I wonder, do they get some sort of street cred with the local crew?

  • I’m avoiding this trail, it’s just not safe. How many times has this happened?

  • I hope nobody is surprised by the crime on this trail. When it opened, it was obvious to me there would be crime. Now there is crime. No surprise.

  • brookland_rez

    No 14 y/o boy would get a punch in on me. I’d kick his ass. But then he probably would look at me and not attempt it in the first place.

  • albany

    I used to run on this trail around dusk when I got out of work. I used to pick-up bricks or large rocks when I saw suspicious characters approaching – but once these hoodlums started bringing guns out, I stopped running here.

    Frankly, I don’t see the rash of crime ending anytime soon, large segments of the trail are just so completely isolated that they lend themselves to criminal activity.

    Further, it’s absurd that this otherwise perfectly enjoyable trail is ruined by juvenile trash.

  • Police were on the trail last night. Two at the s-curve and then one driving his car down the trail, which was odd, but an improvement? I still run here all the time..staying away is not the answer, more use is the answer.

  • This city needs more vigilante justice.

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