Update on Thursday’s Assault at 14th and W St, NW

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Thanks to everyone who sent updates on Thursday’s assault at 14th and W St, NW from NBCWashington:

According to police, the man entering the building said, “Would you please pick that up? I live in this building.”

The suspect then responded, “Who the (expletive) do you think you’re talking to?”, and then began punching the man in the face. The victim suffered a broken jaw, a facial fracture, lost teeth and had to have stitches. The beating was captured on the buildings security camera and police are reviewing the tape.

82 Comment

  • pablo .raw

    the real video is not available, only advertisement for bwv…

    • Prince Of Petworth

      It should play automatically after the commercial – I just watched it again and it starts right after.

  • Thank you Jim Graham for adding nothing relevant to this story other than getting your mug on TV. A classic example of Grahamstanding.

    • At least the Grahamstander left his dog at home this time. When Oscar Fuentes was killed–the 9 year old boy who was in his home when a shot fired in the hallway struck him in his living room–Graham showed up at the press conference and stood behind Lanier and Fenty holding his little rat dog. It was the strangest show of disrespect I could imagine. The guy is so eager to get to wherever there are cameras he can’t even stop to drop his dog off at home.

    • he is our collective embarassment

  • Yikes! What a shame you can’t confront someone about littering without risking being beaten up and suffering serious injury.


  • I see folk young and old litter all the time. Each time I bite my toungue for fear of getting beaten up like this. I just go pick it up myself.

    Hey, PoP, it’s time for a spring clean up day! The streets in Petworth are lined with litter!

  • Unless this quote from Jim Graham was taken out of context, I think it may be time to get rid of Jim Graham and his “old-timers.” If the old-timers are going to beat up people for no reason and trash their neighborhoods, they’re not welcome in my neighborhood. From the NBC story:

    “Some residents say they’ve made complaints before about loitering and other crimes near the building, but that city officials haven’t been responsive enough. Ward 1 DC Councilmember Jim Graham says it’s a difficult balance.

    “We want people to feel absolutely secure in terms of being here and in terms of having their families here. And we want the old-timers and the stakeholders who have been here to feel the same way.””

    • A Vote for Grahamzilla is a Vote for Garbage Related Beatdowns!

      • From some of the comments here you’d think Jim Graham beat that guy. How about some outrage directed at the person who brutally beat a fellow human being for no reason?

        • How about because Jim Graham is one of the worst pandering politicos in DC and manges to promise everything and accomplish nothing?

          Jim Graham and his laissez-faire approach to his council responsibilities enable the infectious culture of laziness that spreads from the Wilson Building throughout the city government. And when the city government fails to do something about festering problems (e.g., littering, public drunkeness, lack of taxi regulation enforcement, etc.) people wind up hurt.

          • This post, and the TV news report, are about a violent assault, not Jim Graham. The hysterics by some of you over what Graham said should not be the story.

            And by the way, there’s nothing even wrong with what he said. Of course we should have a neighborhood where both the “old-timers” and the newcomers feel safe and welcome.

          • By your logic we’d have to limit our discussion about DC voting rights to that dastardly Constitutional Convention, since they’re the ones who disenfranchised the entirety of DC way back in 1787.

            Jim Graham loves showing up at the site of a tragedy, getting on TV, and then doing nothing to change the underlying factors that generated the tragedy. He’s more powerful in this city than all of the commenters on this site, yet can’t be bothered to ride herd on any number of issues that could improve the lives of his constituents.

            Yes, it’s outrageous some scumbag beat up a seemingly decent person who complained about littering. But it’s more than a bit rich to see Jim Graham pooh-pooh the situation as something he can’t help resolve when for years he’s turned a blind eye to such problems unless he can exploit them for publicity.

  • Local stakeholders? Like the local drunks that liter? What a dip-shhhhh…J Graham is.

    “I’ve been getting bombed in this part of town for the better part of 40 years. It is might right to trash it and disrespect everyone and everything including myself…”

    Not sure why Jim Graham thinks this is important. Those losers he is talking about probably can’t even vote…for numerous reasons. Clean the area up. I have witnessed numerous thugs and pushers hanging out on this corner in the past. Hopefully this incident, as unfortunate as it is, will help clean up that corner…and more of the city.

  • I hate how Graham implies that the “old timers” are a monolithic community. It’s statements and beliefs like that which result in much of the negativity towards affordable housing. Who would want to subsidize the housing of (let alone live near) people who have no regard for their neighbors and commit crimes?

    • And yet he manages to get TAFDC payments extended for another year, because 60 months isn’t enough time to find gainful employment. And what happens when that magical 72-month anniversary happens? At least have the balls to call it PERMANENT Aid to Families with Dependent children.

      • Monkey,

        would you be interested at some point in talking about TANF and its program requirements? It’s actually a subject I’m really interested in. Once people have the information then I realize they might come to different conclusions than me, but I don’t like it when there’s misinformation out there.

        First of all, the program is called TANF, not TAFDC. It’s only for very low income families with children. It doesn’t pay a lot–a parent and two kids gets $428 a month. I don’t think a lot of people would choose that over even a minimum wage job–which would pay about a thousand dollars more each month plus the Earned Income Tax credit (and still qualify a person for Medicaid, food stamps, and child care vouchers).

        There is a work activity requirement for TANF–most people have to be working, in school, or documenting job training or searching. The District doesn’t have enough training slots for everyone who wants them, but it is expanding its programs. The reason I say “most” is because there are exemptions–people with severe disabilities, survivors of ongoing or very recent domestic violence, and people taking care of infants or disabled kids can get an exemption from the work requirement. But for most adults, if you don’t do the work requirement, the adult doesn’t get benefits (there is a plan to cut the whole household off if the adult doesn’t comply; the District is working out the rules for it).

        The 60 month time limit, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same exemptions as the work requirement. About 300 families got exempted from the 60-month time limit (through a program called POWER); the rest of the people who’d been on TANF for over 5 years had 20% of their benefits cut last year and will have another 20% cut this fall, en route to a total cut-off of the benefits. Several hundred families facing this cut should probably be in POWER–the Department of Human Services admits this but says they don’t have time to assess people before the next reduction.

        Graham proposed not cutting a household’s benefits further until that household has been assessed, and extending the same exemptions from the work requirement to the 60-month limit (so if the District doesn’t require you to do job training for a couple months while you have a short-term medical issue, dealing with a very sick kid, are escaping domestic violence, etc., those months also wouldn’t count towards the 60-month cap).

        Sorry for the long comment; I just like people to know what’s going on with TANF so they can have well-informed opinions.

        • On the other hand, DC is beyond horrendous at enforcing the requirements of its public assistance programs. Hundreds, if not thousands of people live in Maryland and Virginia and receive DC benefits because no one bothers to check up on them.

          • let’s say that’s true. I don’t know that it is, but even if it is, does cutting people off at 60 months help?

          • That explains all the MD plates dropping kids off at Meridian Public Charter School. I am so sick of being ripped off by this city and it’s incompetent government.

        • Indeed, DC is ridiculously awful at enforcing its public assistance programs. There are so many abusers of the system, collecting TANF on top of other benefits, waisting away their days hanging out on their stoops, dealing drugs, stoned, reeking havoc, and letting their children run the streets. I agree that there needs to be a safety net for the poor and disenfranchised, but I’ve seen it squandered, misdirected, abused, and basically left to feed the festering cesspool of humanity that is at once “victimized” and victimizers. Meanwhile, there are those who are really in need (the children), but their uncle dads are sucking up all the government loot through their crack pipes. Yeah, a PoPville clean up day will really do wonders for the “littering” problem.

    • You raise a good point. There are plenty of “old timers” in the area that are not a blight on the community. Where I am in Columbia Heights, my block has a very high proportion of homes owned by african american families where the house has been in the family for generations. DC does have some good progressive policies on the books to keep property taxes down, even while the home values increase. The old timers are not the problem. The punks, thugs, and drunks are the issue that needs to be addressed and the city leadership is entirely tone deaf when it comes to this social ill. They don’t want to be cast like Fenty as pols doing the gentrifiers bidding. I have a news flash though – this type of behavior hurts everyone in the community.

      • That’s an interesting point, but I’m not sure it makes sense. If more “old-timers” truly cared about crime, wouldn’t they vote accordingly and kick Graham out? It’s a numbers game. It’s just not reasonable to suggest that only the thugs and criminals are the ones keeping us away from voting Graham out. Heck, the criminals probably don’t even vote in the first place. However, there are plenty of folks (including the sacred “old-timers”) who are just fine with the status quo. And that is why Graham remains.

        • Are the “old-timers” electing Jim Graham black or white? I don’t live in Ward 1, but I’ve always gotten the sense that the whites are his primary base. The question for me, then, is why they keep electing him.

          • Not sure if they are black or white, but race is irrelevant here. My point is that enough people are ok with the status quo that Graham stays. It is frustrating to me, but the voters have deemed the present situation as a tolerable status quo. Not sure what will make them consider it intolerable.

        • The old timers are partially to blame. While they aren’t the ones out carpet bombing the sidewalks with chicken bones and trash, holding people up or basing car windows in to steal a roll of mints, their kids and grandkids are. The youth who plague the neighbohoods are the one living / spending time in the neighbohood because gramps puts a roof over the kids and grandkids head.

          • Face it, 85% of eligible voters don’t vote in the primaries, where these elections get decided. You shouldn’t blame the small percentage of people who actually show up at the polls.

          • Well said.

          • Which epitomizes the three buildings in the middle of that block, shown on the video to be the residence the man was entering when confronted. I lived at 15th and W for 10 years (2001-2011) and those three mixed use buildings were the main source of agitators, for exactly the reason mentioned.

            Is it is too hard for the MPD to realize that posting a car nearest the alley by Fast Gourmet is a FAR better utilization of resources than letting them post up outside the 7/11 on 17th and Bourgeoise-ville, to text away and waste more tax dollars?

  • I don’t see what “balance” means. It isn’t the “old-timers” committing crimes, it’s punks committing crimes. I am pretty sure even “old-timers” don’t want to live in an area with violent crime.

    Graham’s response is absolutely atrocious!

    These types of crimes are way too frequent. If this type of violent attack isn’t enough for Graham to say “I will be putting all my resources into making sure something like this doesn’t happen again and this neighborhood is safe for everyone, the new-comers as well as the old-timers” then WTF is it going to take?!?!

    • I imagine the balance he’s looking for is between the barely concealed racism and classism of many commenters here, who would see all affordable housing removed from the area, and the status quo.

      It’s not a statement of support for savage, unprovoked beatings.

      • I am not sure that is entirely fair. I dislike public housing but I don’t think it is racist or classist to do so. For my part, as I have said before on this site, I think the experiment of concentrated public housing is a resounding failure. I favor set asides in new projects and other forms of housing support that help the working poor of this city.

  • Jim Graham is a disgrace

    • He has definitely over-stayed his period of usefulness on the Council. Vote him out people….

  • That jim graham comment was way out of line. So according to him, there are these 2 groups of people… just “people” and “old timers/stakeholders”. “People” must feel “secure”, but he’s implying what makes them feel secure wont make “old timers/stakeholders” feel secure by specifically mentioning two different groups.

    I dont think this guy punched the victim because he didnt feel “secure”. Nor, do I think this fellow is an “old timer” or a “stake holder”.

    Graham, perhaps your analysis is flawed. maybe there are at LEAST 3 groups of people… “people/stakeholders”, “old timer/stakeholders” and “criminals”. Pretty sure the first 2 would BOTH feel more secure if the 3rd group were not ignored by councilmembers spouting pleasant platitudes about everyone “just needs to feel secure so these things dont happen”

    • But we have to protect the rights of longtime criminals who had the foresight to stay during the tough times, knowing that eventually people with money would move in. Otherwise, the unique character of Ward 1 will be lost. Also the garbage-related beatdowns.

    • probably would be best to include all human beings under the descriptor “people”. smh.

  • Good thing the police chief is making $250k/yr. And a 40% raise in the past 5 years. If we can’t feel safe asking someone to pick up litter without risking getting beaten, that’s crazy.

    • Pretty sure there is no relationship between the chief’s pay check and this beating.

      At what salary would you be ok with the chief receiving in order for the occasional condo dweller to be assaulted in an improperly discarded beer can rage?

  • Jim Graham’s comments are totally reprehensible. I hope he was taken out of context because we have big problems if he actually believes that so-called “new comers” and “old timers” right not to get beat down needs to be balanced with those who should be taken out of our community.

  • If there’s anything good about this, it’s that crimes like this get noticed these days. Not too long ago, this kind of stuff barely got a mention in the news. People shrugged it off because it was just one of many crimes being committed. It was probably the biggest thing that made this city unlivable and sent even the staunchest Washingtonians to the burbs.

  • I don’t know whether to feel relieved that this wasn’t an unprovoked/random attack or depressed that somebody was beaten this badly for asking another to clean up after themselves. That’s not true, I mostly feel sad.

    I hope the victim is ok and recuperating well.

  • I’ve got to say, this is why I’m so in favor of stun guns and tasers being legal in DC, and why I’d never judge a friend for ordering one to another friend’s NoVa house and picking it up and bringing it in. Being properly armed with a (usually) non-lethal restraint device could have saved this poor guy from such a horrible experience. I’ve seen someone hit with a good, solid stun gun before – they just drop to the sidewalk and twitch for about ten or fifteen minutes and the only thing they can do is wet their pants. That’s more than enough time in an area like this for police to respond and cuff the thug, or for the victim to just run away.

    • Let’s say you have a stun gun. Let’s even say you carry it on your person at all times. Do you always make sure to have it in your hand whenever you talk to strangers? Short of a stun-first-ask-questions-later approach to everybody in sight, I doubt you’d have any opportunity to pull it out and stun the guy before you got knocked down.

    • +1,000 I want one! Thugs are thugs and don’t deserve more than a passing swipe with a stun gun. Good folk are letting the animals control the zoo.

  • Unfortunately, when (if) the person that did this crime is captured, he will be back on the streets within weeks (maybe even days). The courts let these thugs go with little or no jail time…..so they have no reason to change their behavior. This is nothing Jim Graham or Chief Lanier have control over.

  • Did this happen in an alley/back entrance or the front entrance? Looks like an alley to me…

  • Good lord people, this is local news. Who knows the logic of how they edited Graham’s comments. Probably NBC spent 2 minutes putting this piece together, by some video editor who was trying to fit in weather and sports.

    Why do you want to a deep textual analysis of each word Graham utters as if it conveys some universal truth or philosophy. Here’s what he said: nothing much of importance, but nothing to get your panties in a bunch about.

  • It’s the new Jim Crow folks!? Culture of dependence and the government dole. Culture of it’s owed to me, and if you don’t give it, I’ll vote in another cronie. Culture of prison and felons to keep the man down. Why else would we tolerate such lack of civility and proper manners and downright criminality across such a large segment of our society? At least no one is beating up on grannie!

  • Something to remember when you tell other people how to live.

    Agreed that they shouldn’t have littered or gone psycho and beat up the victim.

    But beware. Unfortunately you’re not entitled to be that bold unless you’re willing to deal with the consequences. Yes, in this case no one deserves those consequences. The assault was illegal, but the victim is still sitting there with the broken face.

    Tread lightly. What is right and what is real are often different.

    • Something troubles me in the way the above is expressed. “Real”? As in “keepin’ it real”??

      It also has a whiff of finger-shaking and “That’s what happens when you tell someone off,” which seems rather blame-the-victim.

      I’m also uneasy with the use of “entitled,” which gets bandied about to mean all kind of different things, but generally means “self-centered person someone doing something I don’t like,” or “someone who thinks he/she has a right to something.” Perhaps some people see the victim as a gentrifier who was acting “entitled” — imagine, the audacity to think that the people around you ought to obey the laws! Couldn’t it be argued that the litterer was acting “entitled,” expecting that he could throw his trash wherever he wished with no comment?

      I hope I’m misreading the tone. Maybe BW and I would agree on the overall point — it’s risky to confront strangers, because you have no idea if they’re going to fly off the handle.

      • I think you’re misreading the tone. Just my opinion.

      • I think you both (anon and BW) have points and are probably not thinking all that differently. I’m guessing that the “real” in BW’s reply means that being right and what happened IRL; I don’t think the “real” was about attitude.

        As for entitlement, I think you’re both right. People who litter probably feel some sense of entitlement because it’s the “I can toss it whereever I want” thought. I also get but I also think it’s a little risky and entitled to tell other people, especially strangers, what to do. Ideally, it shouldn’t be that way and even if you are “right” in thinking that no litter is better than litter, who are you to tell someone what to do. Don’t you think everyone has that choice when they walk around and either throw it on the ground or throw it in a trash can. It’s just what choice you decide to make.

  • I hope everyone who took the time to complain about Graham on this post also took the time to email him and complain directly to the source. I write at least one or two emails a month to him and that seems to be the only way to get anything accomplished. As for his base? It used to be all the low income folks, especially in subsidized housing. I think Ward 1 has changed dramatically since he first came into office and he may slowly be realizing that pandering to the poor is not gonna keep his butt in office indefinitely.

  • Lots of comments on this site.

    I wonder if many people who live in Graham’s ward will contact his office ([email protected]) and let him know how unhappy they are with what he said and why? If few to none do, you can expect nothing will change.

    John A. Wilson Building
    1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 105
    Washington, DC 20004
    Tel: (202) 724-8181 Fax: (202) 724-8109

    • And I hope Ward 5 doesn’t elect another embezelling thief.

      Looks like bloomingdale (and eckington) needs to increase voter turnout. I agree on the contact J Graham… but I’ll take 4 JG’s over 1 Delano Hunter any day.

      • God knows I’m not defending Ward 5’s voters or their choices, but it doesn’t surprise me that a ward that includes a sliver of NW and a whole lot of NE would vote in people like Thomas. If the vote were only from Bloomingdale, I’m confident Thomas and the like would’ve been gone long ago. And Bloomingdale residents through a major and vocal fit when Thomas tried to mess with our local ANC borders and divide us from the reservoir.

        The question in my mind is why the rep of Ward 1, which has a very different make up from Ward 5, supports policies as though he represents Ward 5. I suspect he’s either out of touch with his ward or hears more from the pro-crime crowd than anyone else.

        • Im pretty sure you crossed the line from ignorant prejudice into blatant racism with this one.

  • I live in that same condo building and littering on our property is a constant problem. The “loiterers” that live in the low-income housing next door sit on cars on the street that do not belong to them and constantly drop trash right onto the sidewalk without a 2nd thought. It’s hard to feel compassion when some have no respect for their own neighborhood.

  • Not sure if anyone saw this yet, but the “Guardian Angels” are going to begin a patrol as a result of this incident…


  • I hope the victim of this awful crime has a very speedy recovery.

    In the meantime let me drop a little wisdom about cultural integration. When one moves to an area with existing, long-standing, cultural norms one needs to become educated about potential faux pas (violation of accepted social norms). What may be considered acceptable in one culture can be considered a gross faux pas in another. Consider my comments ONE paragraph in your “Xenophobe’s Guide to African Americans” or “THE RULES for Gettin’ Along with Black Folks” or “The Stuff Black People DON’T Like.” Having laid the basis for my comment, here it is: In Black/African-American culture verbal respect — especially man-to-man — is paramount. The slightest oversight of this cultural norm (especially from one man to another) will likely trigger a visceral reaction — though not always violent. One grown man asking/demanding another grown man to pick-up a piece of trash is considered grossly disrespectful and unacceptable among many African Americans. (Perhaps the victim was unaware of this.) Thus the verbal response: “Who the (expletive) do you think you’re talking to?” (Meaning: “Do you think I’m a child deserving NO respect?”) This led to the violent (and extremely inappropriate) reaction: A beat down = forced submission.

    I’m in no way justifying this violent behavior, only educating about long-standing, African American, cultural norms. If you really want to integrate (to join with something else; unite) it’s important to know and avoid local faux pas (missteps).

    • “long-standing, African American, cultural norms” – Um I think not. Good effort to try and explain this behavior. As an African-American, I can tell you this is in no way a long-standing “cultural norm”. This is an act of a person who was raised in an environment to be violent towards someone he thinks is disrespecting him period. Black, white or anything in between. Perhaps you meant to say this as a sub-culture? But please do not paint this behavior as common in the African-American community.

      • +1000

      • I agree, a person likely raised in a horribly violent, unbalanced environment committed this despicable crime. Is violent behavior “common in the African American community”? No. Is a visceral reaction to perceived disrespect common in the African American community? Yes. One needs to be mindful of this cultural norm when initiating confrontation. I’m just sayin’… (And I’m black too.)

    • So you’re basically saying “Black people litter. Nothing can be done about it.”?

      Give me a break. There is no “culture” that teaches you to not pick up after yourself.

    • This post is so ridiculous that I don’t believe it’s real.

      Be gone troll. Fan your hate flames elsewhere.

    • I agree. Without our rights to be sociopaths just because we’re unemployed, what kind of society would we be? That guy deserved to have his jaw broken for the heinous crime of asking someone not to be an ass in public. Why, he might have asked people not to blair music from their IPhones at 7:00 in the morning. Quelle terrible!

      • was riding the 90 bus a while back – asked a kid in the back to turn off the lil’ wayne blasting from his phone or to use headphones. his reaction was to jump in my face and threaten me with a beat down. a woman sitting nearby egged the kid on, encouraging him to “beat his ass” but another nearby rider cautioned the kid against this course of action, saying “it’s not worth going to jail over.”

        someone asks you turn be respectful of others (use headphones on a bus, pick up liter) and your first reaction is to initiate physical violence while onlookers immediately think jail time. what can be done to help people like this?

  • These assaults will keep happening with alarming frequency as long as DC voters keep electing leaders like Phil Mendlessohn who insist on hindering efforts to punish juvenile and adult lawbreakers, and for as long as we let the President (through his unelected judicial nominations committee and Delegate Norton) give us starry-eyed Superior Court judges who mistrust cops more than they hate violent crime.

  • You can’t say anything to these savages because they will hurt or kill you. I see hoodlums trashing the Carter Barron playground at 16th & Kennedy Streets, NW all the time. However, I say nothing to them in fear for my life.

  • I’m sorry, but I’m blaming the victim. What inspired this guy to tell the litterer, who had clearly been drinking because he was tossing a beer can, to pick up his trash? You don’t do that in the city, any city. You are not the police. You are not a superhero. To be very frank, he probably told the man to pick up his trash in a catty, patronizing tone. (There are aspects of this story that no one dare talk about because we celebrate our diversity…) You don’t tell people what to do if it is not directly affecting you. He could have called the cops or picked it up himself while giving the litterer a dirty look. Shame would have been a better approach. The victim chose to confront a grown man on the street and tell him what to do, did he think that he was going to get a positive response? Was the litterer suppose to say, “Yes, Boss” and run to pick up the can. This is a prime example of the entitlement and privilege that the “newcomers” – and I’m using that euphemism intentionally – have. If you stare at people on the subway and somebody kicks your ass, whose fault is it? The other day, I was walking on H. Street behind four teenagers eating McDonalds. When one finished his drink, he literally just let it slide from his hand onto the sidewalk, just dropped it. Another took the empty bag and threw it up onto a storefront’s flat awning. I was disgusted. But did I say anything, HELL NO! These four 16-17 year olds would have kicked my middle-aged ass. Had it been one teenage, maybe I would have said something. But I understand that if I had said something, there was going to be a confrontation, a confrontation with the odd stacked against me. Why, because I know the rules of the streets! If people are going to live harmoniously in this town, they better wake the hell up. This is not Mayberry, or whatever suburb you come from. This incident is a result of the victim putting himself in a dangerous situation. To live in a city, you have to be able to assess situations and know when to pick your battles. Would the victim have gotten beat up if he had minded his own business — no.

    • ‘Nuff said.

    • Native Son-

      Why would it be ok for you to “maybe say something to one kid” on H St and not for this person to say something to one person on W st? Cuz you are hard? Cuz you grew up in DC? I grew up in DC too and yes you should use common sense but common sense dictates someone is not going to beat you bloody for asking them to pick up litter off their property. If this person was asked to pick up litter everytime the dropped it dont you think they would eventually jsut put it in the trash to avoid the hassle or you think they are jsut goign to beat every person they come across?

    • Your missing the point. Its not about blaming someone for this incident. Its the fact that someone had the audacity to beat up/taunt an older/harmless individual in the middle of the day. Also, basing your blame on the victim for not knowing the “rules of the street” is simply amusing.

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