Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC
Last Thursday around 5:30pm, I was waiting to park my car at 13th and Q Streets NW. I had just turned my hazards on and was anxiously awaiting traffic to pass so that I could cut into the parking spot. As soon as traffic abated, I backed into the spot and then I began rounding up my belongings to ensure that no one would bust out a window while my car was parked overnight, I noticed that there were streaks of a black viscous substance on my driver’s side window. I got out and inspected the damage: someone had flung pudding at the driver’s side of my car while I was waiting to park. I was floored – why would someone do that to me? Why would someone deliberately throw pudding of all things at my car when I was patiently waiting for traffic to pass while my emergency flashers were engaged?
I got out of the car, inspected the damage and popped open my trunk. I rooted around and uncovered an old t-shirt – which I used to wipe the pudding off of my car. As soon as I had cleaned it off the best I could (black streaks were still quite abundant), I proceeded to grab my sunglasses from my car and leave; however I was immediately blocked in by a grey Chevrolet Malibu. Three plain-clothes police officers stepped out of the vehicle and identified themselves as the Vice unit of the MPD. They stated that they had witnessed a car drive by and fling pudding at my vehicle and that they had stopped the occupants a block away.
MPD stated that they witnessed the passenger of the vehicle throw the pudding at my car. When MPD asked the man why he would do such a thing, he replied: “I was just playing a prank on my friend.” The police had the passenger in question walk up to my car for me to identify him. To no one’s surprise, I had never seen this scared-looking mid-twenties man before in my life. The police then asked me what I would want to happen to the pudding slinger and noted that they could easily take the man to jail.
I let the police know that a fine or stern warning seemed more in line with the crime and the last thing I wanted to do was to burden an understaffed and ineffective legal system.The police then asked me how much a car wash would cost – I told them $12-15. The police stated that the suspect was going to pay to have my car washed and they instructed the man to walk up to my passenger side window to apologize and hand me money. The man apologized and from the look on his face, I didn’t think that he was going to sling pudding any time soon. He handed me a wad of cash – which came out to be $30. I protested to the police that this was more than a wash would cost and they told me to go wash my car and tip the attendant as well. The police left and that was the conclusion of my experience with them.