Dear PoPville – Another Disturbing Assault in Logan Circle

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Dear PoPville,

I wanted to make you aware of a recent attack in Logan Circle, particularly after the mugging incident near 15th & Q a couple of weeks ago. A group of about 10 teenagers (approx. 13-14 years old) attacked a man on the north side of Q St near Kingman Pl around 5:30 p.m. last Saturday, May 12.

I noticed a group of teenagers standing near the corner of Kingman & Q on the south side of the street. I did not think much of it, as they seemed to be in good spirits and joking with each other. A few minutes later, I heard some unintelligible yelling from the north side of the street. I could not see what was happening because trees and cars on the north side of Q blocked my view, so I walked across the street. I found a group of neighbors helping a man who had apparently been attacked by the group. We could see some of the teenagers in the distance running east, near the skate park at Rhode Island Ave. They appeared jovial, as if the attack was for fun.

A resident of a nearby home offered the man a seat on her front steps, gave him some water, and helped him treat his scraped wrist. The man called the police, who arrived shortly, and an ambulance came a few minutes later. The man said he was headed toward 14th St when the group crossed Q St to the north side of the street where they quickly approached him. One group member punched him in the face, sending him to the ground where about half of the others in the group continued to hit him while the rest watched. It was NOT a robbery – they did not take anything from him. Neither did they say anything to him prior to the attack.

This attack is especially disturbing given that it occurred in broad daylight on a typically very safe block that has consistent foot traffic, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Furthermore, it was perpetrated (apparently) for fun. However, it was encouraging to see the quick response from neighbors on the block. I hope that spreading word of this incident will help keep people in Logan Circle on the lookout to take action to possibly help prevent future attacks. An area resident said he remembered attacks by smaller groups about 10 years ago and increased police presence put a stop to the problem. If the current trend continues, maybe a similar response is warranted.

163 Comment

  • Incarceration is not nearly enough punishment for mob violence.

    • I was not raised in this country, but if something like that happened to me in mi country, you can be sure that I put together another group of teens and look for them and beat them up.

      • sounds like an awesome country

      • Sadly, that’s the only way to seek justice in this city too, because the legal system sure as hell won’t stop them.

        • Yes, vigilantism and eye-for-an-eye revenge is the only way to make sure these teenagers get what they deserve. That and people who have dogs that kill other dogs, if you read the comments on yesterday’s post about the dog mauling incident.

          • Don’t worry, Denizen, unless vigilantes start targeting people for outrageously excessive smugness, you’re safe.

  • just kids having fun…

    • They were good boys…went to church every sunday

    • Just frustrated youth, protesting against gentrification.

      When did A Clockwork Orange become reality?

      • seriously!

      • I was walking down 15th Street with my boyfriend yesterday afternoon, and asked him not to cross over to 16 until we were downtown because I was aware of the potential danger at R. I started telling him it was like A Clockwork Orange, because he had never read/seen it. Would be a funny coincidence that you bring it up, but I think that just speaks to how reminescent it really is.

      • Yeah, I’ve also likened incidents like this to the ones in Anthony Burgess’s book (and what a dark book it was- one of the most disturbing I’ve read). Lord of the Flies also applies.

        • Is it wrong that that was one of my favorite books in high school? Probably.

          • Ha! Well, it is a linguistic masterpiece. It was amazing how he created another language for his futuristic characters. Also, the book, while dark, has a lot of important things to say about Burgess’s thoughts on human nature and state power, among other things. It’s definitely one of the more memorable ones I’ve read.

      • There is no gentrification, it is called capitalism. And, if there is a protest to be made, it should not involve terrorizing the residents of the neighborhood.

    • just the pre-cons, teein’ up a lil good-natured afternoon wilding . . .


  • A group of kids, without provocation, assaults someone for fun without a robbery? This sounds like it would meet the criteria for a hate/bias crime.

    • I hope you’re being sarcastic. Since there’s nothing in the information above to indicate either party’s race, you have literally no information about the motive for this attack.

      • Because there is no informatino at all about race is how we know they’re black and the victims white. If it was the other way around, it would be reported.

    • More, it seems, like a crime of opportunity. When I first read this account, I thought the man was elderly and they group preyed on him because it would have been easy. Much have been my mind filling in gaps because I don’t see anything about the victim’s description. How in the world could this be a hate/biased crime?

  • Attack — about the proximity to 1400 block of R
    Parry — about racism
    Riposte — just actual racism
    Coulé — about the history of public projects
    Stop Cut — about that not actually being affordable housing
    Quillion — about success of measures in NY
    Riposte — about how the teens are victim of the system
    Counter riposte — about how the man is the actual victim

    Okay, just wanted to take care of that for everyone. No need to comment further. School system. Vincent Gray.

  • Remember: when you cross the street to avoid teenagers, you’re being a racist. You should really be ashamed of yourself.

  • Just like an old tradition, random violence perpetrated by the juveniles of Washington, D.C. is as much a part of summer as going to the beach or pool. And this will continue until the fall so get used to it. Sometimes I daydream about moving far, far away from this hellhole.

    • so get used to it? seriously? ugh. i day dream of it often too. much more than sometimes.

    • It’s just a metter of time until we have our own Bernard Goetz incident.

      • Yep, gentrification virtually guarantees that this will happen someday.

        • I don’t see how gentrification should effect who gets all Bernie Goetz on criminal youth. Changes in one’s neighborhood do not excuse criminal behavior.

        • I wouldn’t say it’s that the gentrification guarantees it. I would say it’s the recurring, vicious, and unprovoked attacks by random kids in public places. One of these days, they’re going to mess with the wrong guy on the wrong day. It’s not like doing any of the “street smart” things — walk on the other side of the street, well-traveled throroughfares at well-traveled hours, keep with a group, etc. — are preventing this stuff from happening. Just as surely as the violence is random, so, too, will be the retaliation.

          • Sadly those of us who have experienced crime in this city can easily go from being kum-ba-yah liberals to thinking that maybe Bernie Goetz wasn’t so bad. And believe me, it can be a long, hard road to thinking like that–with quite a bit of angst over prejudice, stereotyping, etc. But do as I have done and live through a mugging and through four drive by shootings on my block in five years (one by a kid on a bike, for Christ’s sake!), oh, and a fatal stabbing, and you get rather intolerant of what could generously be called youth wilding. Come on, kids, prove us wrong (if you can read this).

  • This is awful! How come the news never reports stuff like that? Or is it common knowledge to Washingtonians that you might get jumped by a bunch of asshole kids for fun?

    • People getting assaulted isn’t news. It’s only on the news when there’s a corpse and a string of people with hammer wounds to their skulls.

      • Because news doesn’t report on news and has not for some time.

        Jim Vance rants don’t equal news.

      • At least the guy with the hammer was mentally ill, or so it seems from a Post article that there was a long history of untended mental illness. These kids are just evil, for which, child development experts will tell you, there is no cure.

        An old African-American neighbor of mine (who lived through white flight, neighborhood decay, and now gentrification) told me, “They need to bring back the chain gangs,” which only someone in her position could say out loud.

        • Forget chain gangs, I am thinking PINK underwear!

          I actually work with an older black man that thinks the only thing that will solve the youth violence issue in inner city america is more widespread use of the death penalty. One a month might get the message across that gangster thug murders just won’t be tolerated anymore. I don’t agree, but that is what he thinks is needed.

          • Hey, this mention of underwear makes me wonder—how does one run from a crime scene when one’s waistband is mid-thigh? Remember the tight skirt of Mrs. Wiggims from the Carol Burnett Show? This is what I’m picturing…

    • Probably because the victim wasn’t black or gay. The media tends to report only that which appeals to its odd sense of political correctness.

  • ugh. two years ago I was physically assaulted by a group of teenage girls and one guy while waiting on the Mt Vernon metro station platform at about 7pm. they didn’t try to rob me, either. just for fun. I think about it often. I wonder what is going on in your life when that’s what you do for kicks. must be shitty.

  • m_i_z_dc

    There should be a strict application process to get to have kids.

  • I think I could win in a fight against:
    1 male adult
    1-2 female adults
    3-4 teenagers (any gender)
    4-5 Little people (any gender)
    4-6 Tweens (any gender)
    10+ toddlers and infants (any gender)

    • depends if the teenagers are rapscallions or not, everybody knows that.

      • tip # 1. Do not cross the street, that shows you are afraid of them and gives them the courage to attack you. keep walking and think of them as toddlers.
        tip # 2. Always carry a baseball bat.

    • Lol I was just telling my wife this a few weeks ago. Cross the street if you can’t take em.

    • Dude – 3-4 teenagers would whoop your a**. I once saw a show on lion’s and they were talking about how many hyenas a lion can take on by itself. The number was pretty absurd – like 6 or 7. But once the scale is tipped in the hyena’s favor, the lion knows when it is out numbered innately.

    • gotryit

      how do your odds change for knives / blunt objects / suprise attack / reality?

    • My husband makes a similar claim when I tell him to take off his flashy headphones while walking around the neighborhood. I’m dreading the day he catches the wrong person’s eye.

    • Whenever I have to walk down the block alone at night I conspiculously carry a brick in each hand to reduce the chances of a group of kids deciding they want to entertain themselves with violence. You’d be surprised at the deterrent effect it has on a teenager — getting hit in the head with a brick leaves a serious mark. And I have plenty of bricks in my backyard.

    • don’t underestimate toddlers. they’re wily.

    • One of the guys that works for me is prior Special Forces. He has some pretty amazing stories and is always filling my head with little tidbits of wisdom. When discussing a topic similar to this he gave me this tip when dealing with multiple attackers in a mob situation. “Grab the first one that you can and hit him as hard and fast as you can. When you eventually get on the ground with him continue to pummel him. The others in the group won’t be able to get a hit on you with all the movement and will become discouraged as you focus on one of them. Eventually the rest will run because they don’t want to end up like their buddy.”

      I’m a pretty big guy and have been in my share of fights as a teenager… I will always keep this tactic in the back of my mind.

    • Not that I have a lot of experience or training in this area, but I think this type of comparison misses the most important factors.

      Maybe you could win a boxing match against someone where everyone squares off and agrees on the rules, but that’s not the same thing as a fight that starts with you being sucker-punched from behind.

      There’s also the issue of escalation. At what point do you hit someone who may or may not be about to attack you? He knows if he’s going to hit you, but you don’t. If you jump the gun, you could be the one in the wrong. If you wait until you’re certain, your attacked could have established an advantage.

  • Teenage anger. It’s rampant in DC.

  • I live right around the corner from that awful block. As a petite, young-looking female, I avoid walking on either side of R Street between 14th and 15th St, because I always, always get harrassed by the men or young boys hanging out in front of their buildings. A few times some have tried to touch me or grab my arm; I’ve been lucky and usually they’d just say obscene things as I walked by. After 4.5 years of getting harassed by the males and watching the teenagers and pre-teens harass other innocent people and kick cars, I would not shed a single tear if the housing complex were to be sold to developers and torn down for a shiny new condo building full of yuppies.

    • I think you wanted to type, “burned to the ground.” It’s ok… I understand and I want to say the same thing… but think what’s next…Where do they go? Do things get better for them? or their kids? We have created a competitive system and they weren’t given the means to compete. The cycle won’t break by making them disappear.

  • I was the person this happened to. No, John, you couldn’t have taken them.

    Thanks to the person who wrote in about the incident. Reading your account shook me up.

    • I hope you are okay! This is really scary and sad. DC is such a beautiful and small city it is insane the the police can’t do more to keep things like this from happening.

    • saf

      I’m sorry. I hope you recover quickly and well.

    • I’m so sorry this happen to you. I hope you’ll have a quick recovery

      • Thanks. A lot of people have been extraordinary, from almost the moment it happened. Thanks especially to the people at the scene. The guy walking with his wife and heroic young daughter didn’t run away scared but came and helped me.

        Here’s what I think I know: no arrests. But the police have some idea who the kids might be. But no detective has gotten in touch with me yet. I’ve placed two calls. Will try again tomorrow.

        What I’ll say about those kids: I have a lot of sympathy for their undoubtedly difficult backgrounds. Obviously, though, I want them caught and punished.

        • Im so sorry this happened to you. Please make sure you also contact CM Graham directly. He needs to know about this, the lack of response from the cops, the overall violence and fear brewing in the area of logan circle. Actually, I hope EVERYONE on this board is complaining to CM Graham.

        • When the police say they have some ideas, I’m guessing they think the kids were leaving the Boys & Girls club on Kingman.

          I live just a block further east on Q St. and once-twice a year I run into a group like this. It always makes me jumpy, but other than spitting at me over their shoulders as they walk by I’ve emerged unscathed. Just those few occasions — and a handful of terrible incidents like yours — are more than enough to make me reconsider living here.

          I hope you recover swiftly!

        • I live on that block of Q street and heard about this about 45 minutes after it happened. I’m glad that you are OK (relatively). Please do keep on top of the police. If they know who the kids are, they should grab the kids and punish them. Some of my neighbors saw the kids and probably could ID them.

          I will say that I noticed an increased presence in the neighborhood when walking to work today. Nearly a cop on every corner. Do you know if this is related?

          Best of luck to you as you recuperate and seek justice.

          • As you may have found out already, the increased police were due to President Obama at Taylor Gourmet.

        • Anonymous, I’m glad your injuries didn’t turn out to be any more serious. I can’t think why you said my daughter was heroic; maybe that was a misplaced adjective.

          Did the police offer you the option to drive past the park and try to identify the assailants? If not, it sounds to me like they didn’t want to be bothered with arresting anyone. I mean, for crying out loud, the assholes were visible from where we were standing!

          A couple of years ago, when a friend was mugged and pretty badly beaten up, he flagged down a cop car and the cop drove him around until he spotted his assailants. First the assailants were arrested, then he went to get medical attention. That’s how to do it right, IMHO, unless the victim is so badly injured as to be unable to make the ID.

    • rlaing – I deeply encourage you to continue to contact the defective on this case. They absolutely need to respond. The random assaults that happen in this city are just downright ridiculous.

      My friend and I were assaulted a few years ago in Adams Morgan, outside of my apartment. It was a group of 6 heavy set girls, no older than 18. It was a random attack, they ended up grouping me, and getting both of us on the ground and beating us until we were unable to move. We both ended up in the hospital. We had partial plates on the vehicle they jumped in and we called the detective on the case every day for two weeks and never received a phone call back. I seriously encourage you to continue to call and if you have their business card, stop by and demand some action.

      That being said, I live in Shaw now and have been having trouble with a group of kids that sounds exactly like you describe. They walk through the alleyways and end up hanging out in my backyard, sitting on the cars, tampering with the cars, and talking shit. Every time we (my boyfriend and I) confront them they are seriously ready to fight and constantly threaten us. The group is usually between 7 – 15 kids no older than 14 at the very oldest. We have called the cops several times and the cops are well aware of who they are. If these are the same kids, they hang out at the elementary school playground where 11th, S, and Vermont intersect.

  • Surprised no one else has posted this from google maps on the 1400 Block of R St NW

    • A picture says a thousand words, and that one sums up that block. Even better when pan to the right and realize there is a cop car right ahead of that googe street view car.

      • Anon or Anonymous, what, exactly, are you seeing in that picture? A guy in a white t-shirt giving devil horns to the google street view car while standing near a guy in a hat next to a postal van. Beyond that?

      • these are weird and stupid comments. what does flicking off the google cam have to do with anything? I’m pretty well-to-do, but I’d do it too. and what, are cops supposed to be policing the bird now? jesus.

        • I just thought it was humorous. Beyond that, it projects a “fuck you” attitude that is rumored to exist on this block from some of its inhabitants.

          Besides the obvious middle finger, I’m pretty sure its suspicious to be standing around an unattended mail van, with its windows down, peering through the windows. Especially considering, this is only a block or two from where the mailman was locked in his own van…

          Sorry you dont find anything suspicious/humorous/interesting about that screen capture.

  • these guys are animals. any arrests made? not that matters of course, thats basically three hours in a holding facility and then back to their “supervised” group homes. What DC needs is a massive/comprehensive birth control policy for all people on public assistance. Not forced but make it free and EASILY avaialbe to every single person in low income housing. Absolutely no increase in benefits for additional children. I say this as someone who was an AFDC caseworker back in the 90’s in another state. You would be surprised how many women do get pregnant on purpose for the check. as long we support bad parenting/bad choices this cycle of juvenile violence will never end. More importantly why can’t the victims sue the PARENTS of these underage thugs for gross negligence? I know thats who I would be going after.

    • I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but I agree with you. Completely free (including hassles) birth control; no jumps in benefits if you have a child while on public assistance.

      It sounds cruel (I would have argued as much until a few years ago) except for an experience similar to your own where I was shocked at the number of women who openly said they had children for the increased benefit. Blew my mind.

      • yea – my neighbor a couple of doors down has popped out three kids in the five years i’ve lived there – and told me that it was for the extra money and that what was the point in working if she could just get paid for having kids.

        • arg your post just angered me!! She really said that? Wow wow wow

          • she did – and here’s the thing – it would have still angered me, but not so much if she was a good mom. she ignores her kids, curses at them all the time, and takes no interest – at least from what i see – in encouraging them with schoolwork, etc. it’s sad, because the kids are nice enough and i try to do what i can, but there’s only so much influence i can have, you know? it’s sad all around.

        • Not surprised. My fiance treated a kid at Gtown hospital who was one of 7 kids. Mom on welfare. The mother openly stated that working was dumb because she got so much $$ from the govt.

        • Re having too many kids, a few weeks ago I was in line at the Columbia Heights Giant and heard two very overweight women discussing their kids. One had five kids, and decided that she was done–that five was enough, and how dare the case worker say her child was iron poor (or something, I forget what, but you can imagine the dietary deficiencies), that there’s nothing wrong with her children, that her baby eat everything (which, of course is surely the problem). And she gets so tired of her case worker asking, “Where they father?” “I said, ‘I don’t know where they are.’ Why she keep askin’ me that?” It killed me that I couldn’t look past the people in line between us to see what was in her cart, as if I couldn’t guess.

          • If I heard that conversation, I would seriously run my head into a wall. People are so ignorant and uneducated these days.

    • I think birth control is already free for people on public assistance, they’re just not taking advantage of it.

      • In Appalachia, where I grew up, there were folks with the same mentality–have more kids, get more welfare. If your daughter gets pregnant you build a shack in the corner of your yard. Now she has her own home, and can “draw a check” of her own.

      • and lets not forget that our awesome council OPTS OUT of the Fed mandated TANF limits of five years and continues to use our local tax dollars for about 30% of the folks to remain on assistance well past the five year limit that other states adopted with welfare reform back in 96. Can DCs standards be ANY lower?

  • Sounds like exactly what happened to me at 11 and R back in 2003. I’ll show you the scar on my face…. 15+ kids. Half surrounded me. One punched me in the face splitting my cheek open. They walked away laughing.

  • Absolutely fed up and sickened to keep reading about these events. Why aren’t the media jumping on this to expose these disgusting people for what they are? This is sheer, sick enjoyment at the expense and possible livelihood of innocent people trying to WALK though a, and potentially their, neighborhood. Come on DC, get your shit together and put these people away — give them psychological counseling, anything.

    • right. but you can’t put teens away, especially for assault. the problem is their parents. it’s a deep and wide problem that will take generations to fix… and at the rate we’re going, longer than that.

  • I consider myself a fairly tolerant person, but one think I can’t stand is teenagers in groups. They vary from annoying to dangerous and should probably be put on an island somewhere. Or allowed only in groups of up to three in which they must have no access to portable technology, can only whisper to each other, and must stand on all forms of public transportation, unless suffering from a disability.

  • This kind of unacceptable behavior really makes me want me to organize civil disobedience, like stop paying our taxes, or a peace march, or a take back our alleys campaign, or something, to get the message across to our elected leaders that we will not stand for this type of behavior from our fellow citizens. It’s those that act violent and have utter disregard to civility, not law abiding taxpayers, that have to change their ways.

  • Incidents like this are exactly why I’ve forced myself to get over feelings that I’m “that old dude” when I see groups of unattended teenagers on the street and just call the police to report something suspicious. And I’ve had to realize, a group of 13-14 year olds, with no adult supervision, who do not appear to be on their way to any type of destination, are, in fact, suspicious.

    Teenagers should hang out at their friends houses, in coffee shops, in parks, in rec centers, etc. They should not be hanging out on blocks they do not live on (and I used to live on that block not too long ago – there’s maybe a dozen kids of all ages from birth to teenagers on that whole block of Q Street), and to do so is worthy of having the cops called on you. It happened to me as a teenager more than once, and I remember thinking what jerks adults were that they would call the cops just because I was hanging out with my harmless friends nearby. Now I get it. And I remember that after I’d had the cops called on me somewhere, I never went back. So it’s effective.

    If these little punks keep getting disbursed by the police, they’ll realize they can’t get away with anything in our neighborhood and they’ll stay out of it. In the meantime, TAKE ACTION if you see groups of kids with no adult. Call the police and report a gang of unsupervised children. If you see them running anywhere, note where they were coming from and where they were headed and try to count how many there are, which genders, races, and anything identifiable about them. And if you see them attack one of your neighbors, run to their aid and pick the thugs up one at a time and start throwing them into traffic….

    • Essentially, what you are proposing is making it illegal for groups of more than one person of a certain age to be in a public space. That’s never going to happen – especially not in this City. I guarantee that the police know who the troublemakers in that area are (hence the “we have a good idea who they are” response). The solution is to focus on them, not to send a message to every black teenager in DC that they are presumed to be criminals.

      • @Marcus, first and foremost, you said “black kids”, not me. I’ve seen “Cruel Intentions”, I know white kids can be just as evil as any other race. Second, I’m not proposing we make it illegal for groups of teens to congregate. I’m saying we should start acting on the whole “see something, say something” campaign we’ve been hearing for over a decade.

        Groups of kids (i.e., all or most under 16yo) without any supervision, regardless of race, gender, or anything else, ARE ALWAYS SUSPICIOUS. We have been encouraged to report suspicious activity. The cops won’t arrest them for being in a group on the corner, but they damn well will stop, get out of the squad car, and ask them what they’re doing there, where their parents are, and where they live. Then let the cops decide how to handle it.

        If they all live within 100 feet of that corner, they’ll leave them alone. If they all live blocks (or miles) away, and none of them can produce a reason why they’re in this neighborhood at this time in this group and not going or coming from anywhere, s/he will ask more questions.

        I don’t know about you, but when I was 13-14 years old, if I was in a group of more than four other friends, without supervision, and more than two blocks from my house, I was up to something. Watchful neighbors (and living in an era when any adult would walk right up to you and demand to know who you were and where your mother was without fear you’d stab them for asking) kept me out of trouble because it became pretty obvious to me at a young age that I’d never get away with anything. In an era where neighbors can’t play that role, it’s time to let the police handle it. And trust me, they don’t mind. They like catching these little thugs. It makes them happy. They love getting tips about where these monsters are and what they’re doing and what they look like and who they’re with. So call em up and give em a tip the next time you see a group of them out and about and make an officer smile 🙂

        • I have to agree. As a white guy, I think groups of teens of any race are somewhat suspicious if they’re displaying the indicators of being up to mischief.

          I know that I got in the most trouble when I was a kid when I was unsupervised with multiple peers with nothing to do.

          I would never have punched someone, but we caused trouble nonetheless.

          In poor urban areas, the problems with unattended teens is worse, but unattended teens, no matter who they are or where they are, tend to get into trouble given the right circumstances.

          I grew up to be a law abiding, gainfully employed adult.

        • Let’s be honest – you and I and everyone else know that the congregating “teens” that are referred to in these PoP posts are black teens. Let’s not pretend these posts are about teens in general – because they are not.
          And when I was 13-14 and hung out with groups of friends I was up to something, but it wasn’t anything illegal. I don’t buy your assumption that a group of teenagers of any race is by definition up to no good or should be presumed as being up to no good. Should there be more police presence in places where teenagers congregate – absolutely. Should teenagers who engage in these kinds of despicable acts be prosecuted and subjected to serious punishment – absolutely. But criminalizing one teenager being in the presence of more than one other teenager is ridiculous, unless it’s a violation of a curfew – which DC used to have as I recall – is ridiculous.

    • Thank you for saying exactly what needs to be said and done without hysterics or outrageous language and assertions. All groups of teens “hanging out” in Washington DC should be reported immediately. How many more times are we going to read posts that start with “there was a group of teenagers but they didn’t seem dangerous…” and end up in an assault, mugging, sntaching, or any other random violence? Just report them, and keep reporting them. Maybe some of the time you’ll just be hyper-cautious, but others you might be saving someone from ending up int he emergency room.

  • You know that THEY know if they even were caught doing this…nothing would happen to them. They are teenagers. They know that far worse has been done and as long as they are underage they can get away with just about anything they want. And most of the time they won’t even be caught. If we want to work within the law, we need to lower the age where you can be tried as an adult so all these “kids” can stop being babied, and they know there are real consequences to their actions.

  • what would happen if all the residents in Logan Circle/Columbia Heights and other crazy Ward 1 neighborhoods staged a protest outside the Wilson building with Grahamzilla’s name on a bunch of signs and demanded more police, more foot patrols, real punishment for juveniles, real accountability from their “parents”, and true deconcentration of public housing? Holy cow, thats an occupy protest that might actually accomplish something. This blog is great for venting but seriously, we have to take this to elected officials. Enough is enough. I hope we have a Goetz moment soon enough DC. I really do.

    • I think this is actually an excellent idea…

    • Absolutely. I’ve been saying that for a long time – until the citizens in Wards 1 and 2 put the kind of pressure on their Councilmembers that Mary Cheh gets when crime gets out of hand, nothing will change. If Graham and Evans get voted out because of unacceptable crime, you’d best believe that their successors will put pressure on the police so that they avoid the same fate.

      • Of course, voting Evans out because if crime would be next to impossible considering that relatively safe neighborhoods comprise the bulk of his ward. Better to make an example of Graham.

  • Another idea I just came up with…because thinking off the top of my head must be better than anything the lawmakers can come up with (sarcasm).

    If we can’t lower the age where you can be tried as an adult, why don’t we at least make a law that if 2…or maybe 3 or more people, are together when certain crimes are committed, they will be tried as adults.

    • Start first with — stop protecting the identities of repeat violent juvenile offenders!

      My attorney friend in LA said that in LA, when stuff like this happens, their leaders pass emergency laws that make for very tough penalties. Call on DC Council to pass emergency law — any gang of juveniles caught mob beating a citizen will face 10 years mandatory minimum. That might get their attention. (though apparently they only get 15 for murder when they plead to second degree)

      She also said, it’s not illegal if we want to form a private group to track these individuals, share photographs and MOs etc. I could document most of the thugs on my block in pretty short order and make their dossiers available on a private site.

  • The same sort of thing happened to me Friday night around midnight. The group in question was older probably between the ages 16 and 20. I was walking across the Duke Ellington bridge sober as judge when one of the teens bumped me and knocked my cigarettes out of my and to the ground, I bent over to pick them up and as I stood up one of them punched me square in the mouth. I looked at them and realized this was a no win situation and continued walking. The guy walking behind me with his teenage son seemed more outraged by the whole incident then myself. He called the police and I ended up getting 7 stitches in my lip. The sad thing is while I was in the ambulance another call came in that a group whose description matched that of my assailants had struck again and the victim was unconscious and severely beaten. The cops never even left to look for them while I was talking to the EMT’s.

  • Bide your time. Thats what i keep telling myself Dc is rapidly improving and soon enough theeae youths will not be able to afford this side of the river, additionally the statistics pertaining to income and education levels are increasingly improving, soon we may even get a mayor who knows there ass from their elbow. Personally I have always maintained that the second Marion Berry got a second term the district should have been declared unfit to govern themselves and been hovered as a military state by the federal government.

  • This isn’t going to end until residents of DC throw mass fits, as one of the other posters said. Venting online is next to worthless, and the cops don’t seem to think they have a mandate to go after these losers. Also (and this will drive some people nuts), it’s also going to continue for as long as we have significant amounts of public housing. If you doubt that public housing breeds violent types like these, read “American Murder Mystery” in The Atlantic. (You can read it online for free simply by Googling it).

    Personally, I think people aren’t protesting because they are reluctant to be seen by some as racists. They’d have to say in public that it’s basically black teens on the rampage and something needs to be done about this demographic.

    For now, being beaten and robbed is the price we all will pay for our political correctness.

    • AMMEN! I am SICK AND TIRED of political correctness getting in the way of safety. I happen to have lived and been friends with more ppl of different races than I can count, this is not a race issue and it’s not a class issue it’s an issue of thugs ( who come
      in every color). Unfortunately the statistics in this city mean these thugs are likely always black and Bc dc is probably
      more segregated than Alabama the racial tension is too delicate to be upset by addressing this openly. The minority groups who remain in control of the city (for now at least) refuse to elect anyone who thy feel “caters to the whites” which really just means a candidate who wants to address the crime issue. Case in point Fenty vs Gray, though the issue there was education, it is similar because he wanted to improve our city which was apparently to “white” of a platform for the African American base. So
      My point? Let’s all put aside racial baggage and address the issue openly – harshly punish those who do this, put in measure to prevent them from happening again. Just Bc a mandate to prevent loitering effects one race more than another doesn’t make it racially biased! I would say the same thing of it was a band of 12 yr old blond girl scouts commuting acts of violence against community members! I call for STRICT RULES TO PREVENT LOITERING AND A STRONGER POLICE PRESENCE!

      • Bc, I agree with your comment about political correctness. POP sometimes supports political correctness on his site. Discussing race is an sensitive issue for some. However, blacks and whites need to have a serious discussion on race relations.

      • Yes, us black folks love crime and being victims of it.

        • rozcat way to be the problem not the solution. You failed to read what was written. I actually was saying that this issue has to do with the fact that both white AND black community leaders are so nervous to appear to favor one race over the other that NOTHING gets done. No one likes crime NO ONE, it just happens that crimes are being committed and because they are being committed by a race that has deeper roots in the district nothing is getting done. Anyone who followed the mayoral race between Fenty and Gray understands that being seen as the “white mans'” candidate is sure to lose with the majority of DCs longtime residents who happen to be black. It is sad that they seem to be the residents who cannot look beyond race for the greater good of ALL of out residents — whether it comes to crime, education, or infrastructure (public transport etc). The hard truth is that these crimes are being perpetrated against the new, mostly educated hard working residents (who are of ALL races) but the previous residents who happen to mostly be black. It is BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU – who become defensive and make it an issue of race that nothing gets done because community leaders are too scared of offending their base.

  • Guaranteed…

    The first time one of these teens or teen mobs tries to pull their crap on an off duty armed (insert name of one of the tens of thousands of law enforcement agency employees in the DC area here) person, or someone who is aware and capable of physically dealing with them, and the teen gets injured or killed, “then” will you see District officials come out wailing about the poor kids and crying about the indignity of it all.

    Frankly, I can’t wait. Nothing like getting a full on ass kicking as a teenager to give you a little life perspective.

    • That day will be a long time from now.

      Most law enforcement folks are in MD or VA when off-duty – heck, the majority of MPD lives in the suburbs. And most commute by car, since they get to take their patrol vehicles home. So the likelihood of any off-duty cop/special agent/cia assassin/etc. getting accosted by a gang of marauding teens is slim.

      • What annonny said. Every one of those law enforcement officials knows the way to avoid these incidents is to be in an area that doesn’t have them. So they live elsewhere, and drive as quickly as possible to and from work. People need to face the truth, this is a bad area, full of criminals.

  • Let’s add Never walk on Q or R St.’s East of 15th to the list of obvious things you should never do. The list includes:

    -Don’t walk through alley’s at midnight at 4th and Q.
    -Don’t open the door for strangers at 3am
    -Don’t tell the angry crackhead in the alley not to litter next to your fancy condo building
    -Don’t walk on quiet streets after 9pm.

    This dude encountered some bad luck, but these reports are generally so easily avoidable. If you can’t defend yourself, don’t walk around shady places and definitely don’t talk shit to crazy strangers.

    • really? the guy who was attacked was walking on nice block in the middle of a sunny Saturday afternoon, minding his own business. how was his attack easily avoidable??

    • Agreed with Anon 1:34.

      It’s one thing to avoid certain blocks after dark, avoid saying anything that might incense a hot-tempered person… but this guy was walking on Q Street IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, with people around.

      I don’t see how this compares to the other situations at all.

    • Let’s add your reply to the List of Things that ARE the Problem. If you have ever said that:

      -Guy had it comin’ to him because [fill in the blank]
      -Poor kids just don’t know any better
      -That’s just what life in the big city is
      -It would be icky and racist of me to be suspicious of a group of black teenagers who obviously don’t live in this neighborhood, are slow-walking and sizing up passers-by

      Then you are, in fact, the problem….

  • what’s f-d up about the string of violence by juveniles in this system is that NO ONE – from the parents to the goverment – are willing to say that these ‘kids’ are problems. they don’t want to admit it and they sure as hell don’t want to deal with it. instead, they duck their heads and keep doing the same shit – ignoring it, letting the juvenile ‘justice’ system remain status quo, putting dyrs in charge of these kids, etc. – and pretend that it will eventually fix itself.

    • Here’s a thought, we know we can’t go beat up grandma, or even fight these punks directly, but we could en masse each time it happens write very long demanding letters to each of the elected officials in DC demanding a written response. Could include very specific complaints about known alleys, known blocks, known thugs, known drug houses, known crews, etc. The headache of actually having to think about something, do work, and respond, at least get their attention, especially if there were hundreds of letters from us each week. Do they have an obligation to respond to public demands for information on policy response to an obvious crime problem that plagues this otherwise pretty nice city to live and work? Nice time a gentry jaw gets broke, I say we do something, because this just sucks.

    • You’re absolutely right, but who is going to organize the gentrification community — which is basically the one that is going to have to be mobilized — to lead an effort to pressure the City Council and mayor?

  • MPD should hire some police from Brazil to patrol the streets. They know how to handle young offenders over there!

  • That area is “not” that safe. I was hit on the head once at Java House (17th and Q) by a young teenager on a bike. I was having a coffee and he smacked my head as he went by. A friend of mine had a rock thrown at him near the skateboard park.

    • seems like according to you any area that has had an assault ever is not safe… which means the entire city is not safe. shit happens. it sucks, but dupont isn’t a dangerous neighborhood.

      • Definitely a good point. I lived at 17th and Q and then 16th and R for years. As others have noted, going west is typically not an issue (although of course, I would advise people to be careful late at night). It’s going east that’s a problem. I would prefer to either walk down to P to cross over to 14th or up to S, particularly late at night.

      • I mean assaults of the sort the post highlights are not new to that area. There have always been these sorts of assaults (by kids) in that luego.

  • Dear outraged PoP readers:

    This is not Graham’s Ward (1).

    This is Jack Evans’ Ward (2).

    You are welcome.

    • Evans might care even less than Graham….unless this shit went down in G town or CityCenter or Penn Quarter, he knows he can’t be voted out of office. Dang, sucks to be in the “bad” part of Ward 2. At least most of Ward 1 is crap, so Graham can’t really hide can he?

  • who is the ANC Commissioner for this area? Start emailing/calling them and demand they set up a community wide meeting specifcally inviting Graham/Lanier and the district sargent to come and very specfically detail WTF they are going to do about this area. I never thought this area of Logan would become as dangerous as Columbia Heights. Even better, reach out business associations and let them know this random violent crime makes you nervous to come out. Many council members are more responsive to businesses than community folks.

  • “Q: What’s the name for a pervasive pattern of violent black-gang-on-white-bystander racial attacks?”

    A: “€œrandom”€.

  • This is completely fcuked up. As a resident of this gorgeous and ridiculously expensive street, the amount of crime here continues to disturb me. There have been no less than 10 smashed windows, 6 bike thefts(that I know of) and these recent attacks. Funny thing is there are cops here all the damn time. I don’t know what to do but it has to stop.

  • pennyworth

    a grown man cant / wont defend himself against 10 thirteen year old kids?! i’d be sending those kids flying like it was the royal rumble!

    • gotryit

      Did you really mean to compare it to fake wrestling?

      That’s either really funny because you didn’t mean it, or you’re not very good at conveying sarcasm.

    • Are you serious? How do we defend ourselves against roving gangs of kids without moral compasses, and who, if they don’t have guns, knives, and police records, are well on their way to getting them? How do we defend ourselves against kids who aren’t above following us home another night, seeing where we live and where we park our cars, and doing damage?

  • This is an horrible incident to read about. I am a middle aged black man living in Ward 4 and I have brought up black on black violence with the mayor and the black D.C. Councilmembers. My Jewish neighbor was copied in the email. He responded, he felt uncomfortable discussing this issue because he’s white. Mayor Gray and Councilmembers Bowser, Kwame Brown, Michael Brown, Marion Barry, Yvette Alexander, and Vincent Orange didn’t respond to my email.

  • I’ve had the opportunity to teach at a not so great DCPS high school for 2 years, and observed first hand that the teenagers I worked with responded well to any encouragement and support I gave them, even if they continued be difficult to control at times, and even though they fought the support in the beginning.

    While I acknowledge that there are kids doing horrendous things on the streets of this city, the majority are not, and the ones who are, are doing so for more complex reasons than because they grew up poor and hate rich people for moving onto their turf. They may feel disenfranchised, they may be desensitized to violent and aggressive behavior because of their experiences as children, and they may one day grow into adults who turn into career criminals, but the onus is not merely on our government to intercede or make us feel safer as a community.

    We talk about increasing criminal penalties for this sort of behavior, and argue that public housing and bad parenting is to blame, which is well and good. But that sort of dialogue doesn’t lead to a viable solution to this problem. To discuss this issue in a meaningful way we should also be addressing the role of community building and public outreach in the lives of these children. They need to be made to understand that despite whatever the circumstances of their upbringing they are capable of doing more with their lives than causing trouble. It’s not enough for communities to reject their behavior with stricter laws, or to drive the lower-income people from this city by getting rid of affordable housing. We need to get out there and volunteer our time in the places we regularly criticize, and let these kids know that they have value and that we expect more from them than perhaps even their own parents do. Juvenile offenders need to develop a sense of hopefulness and self worth if there is any hope of changing them. If not, they will most definitely become adult offenders.

    I’m not religious, and don’t endorse any particular faith-based organizations or find them to be the best way of coping with troubled kids, but check out “Faith in the Hood” for a more nuanced view of the issue.

    • I think we should remove concentrated public housing, reform welfare to remove incentives to having children for personal financial gain, and have strict penalties for violent youth offenders.

      I hear you and the point that you are making. I just feel that my right to feel safe in my neighborhood comes first and foremost and I think that we should make the reforms I have suggested. We can do some outreach to the kids too if you like.

  • Why does these mob attacks seem to only happen in the swath of the city from U Street up to Columbia Heights? Also, why is there so much youth violence here.

    I live in an area of the city that is viewed as being “high crime” by most people but its almost unheard of to have this kind of an assault. All of my neighbors and I routinely walk around, walk past large groups of young kids, etc. Sometimes they’re not that friendly, but they’ve never even harassed us. Its not even a “thing” – no one in my neighborhood has even raised this as an issue at community meetings or list servs. As far as I can tell, it happened once and there was an uproar from everyone and the police literally freaked out.

    We have a handful of robberies and burglaries, but of all of the 20 assaults or so in the last year on the crime map (plus the 50-60 over the past 2-3 years), only one was ever talked about.

    In fact, the young black kids in my neighborhood dont try to intimidate people, they’re not overly rude (there are the occasional chip on the shoulder youngsters), and I dont think I’ve ever seen one of them be more than just a bit unruly.

    Its the 18 to mid twenty year old men that bother me. They walk around like they’re ready to fuck up the next person that looks at them. With all but the most egregious body language aggression I look them in the eye and say hello.

    I figure if I’m going to get sucker punched, I might as well be looking my attacker in the eye.

  • All – Last night around 11:45PM on Q St. near 15th, another mugging at gunpoint occured. Apparently, a suspect jumped out behind a car and held up two adult males. Luckily one of the men did not have his wallet so the suspect stole his iphone. Before he could take a wallet/iphone from the second guy, he took off running down the street. Fortunately, no one was hurt but this is getting out of hand. We need increase police presence NOW!

  • Something very similar (but fortunately with no actual physical wounds) happened to me last year on 12th Street, NW, between U and V. It was about 5:15 p.m. and I had just left the U Street Metro Station, walking to my car. Plenty of people on the street. I was attacked by 5-6 black kids (young teens if that), who punched me in the face, knocking my glasses into the street) and kicking at me randomly, while laughing their little asses off. They attempted to steal nothing, even though I had a brief case and a gym bag on me. When I started swinging at them, they ran off, still laughing. I spoke to a cop who I found nearby and he did take a report, but they were never apprehended.

  • Wow, this one really brought out the racists!

  • I witnessed part of this attack. I would say the perpetrators were more likely 15-18. They looked adult-sized, not bar-mitzvah-guest-sized.

    The victim was a small white man in his 20s. I did wonder if it might have been a gay-bashing, but nobody heard the attackers say anything along those lines. The first one to hit him was a girl.

    One of the neighbors who came out afterwards immediately voiced his suspicions that the perpetrators were from R Street.

    Possibly the most disgusting aspect of the attack was the nonchalance of the attackers as they “fled” the scene. They slowed to a walk by the end of the block, then proceeded to hang out at the skate park in clear view well after the cops arrived. I will say that they arrived quickly, but they seemed to have no interest in taking the victim or witnesses the two blocks to identify the perpetrators. Thus proving them to have been totally right to be nonchalant.

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