I was the victim of a violent mugging last Friday night, and am trying to get the word out about the increasing violence in and around the Ledroit Park neighborhood. It was the night the storm hit. The storm had just passed, actually, when I was on my way home from the Shaw/Howard University Metro station. I walked across the new Howard Theater at around 11:30pm that night. It was still raining a little bit. After I crossed U Street and started to head into the neighborhood, I realized I was being followed by 4 or 5 young men. In a panic, I didn’t know what to do. They closed in on me on U Street NW (between 4th and 5th). They tackled me to the ground, punched me in the face several times and stole my wallet. Once they had my wallet, they ran away. I ran home, bloody, leaving my flip-flops on the street and flagged down a police officer who was near my apartment building at 2nd and W NW. I filed a police report and, all told, was extremely lucky not to have been more seriously injured or hospitalized.
A few lessons I learned the hard way:
1.) NEVER wear flip-flops after dark. I would never have thought of this, but you simply cannot run or escape in flip-flops, especially if it’s raining.
2.) I will not walk home alone after dark again, and would encourage anyone (male or female) not to do so either.
3.) NEVER walk further into a neighborhood if you feel like you’re being followed. I’m not sure how I could have done anything differently as it’s very difficult to turn around and walk toward a group of men who are following you. I will likely carry pepper spray from now on.
Ed. Note: Another violent incident nearby was recently shared on the Ledroit Park listserv here.