Dear PoPville – Woodley Park Mystery

Dear PoPville,

I’m a Woodley Park resident that lives in one of the apartment buildings in the row-of-three along 29th street between Woodley Rd. and Calvert St., NW. On Monday night, I went for a run around 7:30-8:00ish and on my way out, I was just crossing CT Avenue right by Open City when a ton, I mean, a TON of police cars, a fire truck, and some ambulances were rushing back towards that area by my apartment. Not thinking a lot of it b/c the local precinct is in that general direction but farther up past the Cathedral, I continued on my run. Getting back around 8:30, I was walking up Woodley Rd. from Connecticut Avenue when I noticed a ton of police tape and squad cars blocking at the 29th St. intersection. Curious, I along with some local residents, walked up. From Woodley, you couldn’t walk down 29th, and from Calvert St. at the bottom, you couldn’t walk up 29th – the whole block was cordoned off. And there were a ton of police officers, detectives, and EMTs walking around. Asking the beat officer at the intersection what was up, he said “he didn’t know” but they weren’t letting even foot traffic proceed down 29th – even if you were a resident. From the intersection – it looked like the focal point was the Delano Apartment building – the building situated in the middle of the 29th street block. After some hours, their investigation finished, but it was impossible to see at that time what, exactly, was the focal point of their investigation.

Fast-forward over the past couple days – slowly, some information has leaked out, none of it confirmed. On Tuesday, I heard that it was in response to a body found on the block – but no more information beyond that. And last night, additional word: police were responding to a naked body found, dead, on the front entryway outside the Delano. Allegedly, some unidentified person who didn’t live there had gotten in, gone up to the roof, stripped, and then committed suicide by jumping – but police didn’t know who he was or any information about him. And that’s…pretty much the last I’ve heard.

I’ve enclosed some of the clips from the DCPD twitter feed confirming the incident, as well as a Google Maps screenshot of where this occurred.

“DC Police [email protected]

1/2 The 2700 b/o 29th St, NW is closed in both directions until further notice (Police activity) Use Calvert St and Cleveland Ave as alternate routes.”

Would love to know more about what happened.

20 Comment

  • sounds like an event that will affect a small number of family members and a handful of community folks (i.e. it doesn’t sound like a neighborhood crime issue)… my advice, which no one asked for, is that you will be a happier person if you just enjoy the clouds and don’t concern yourself with this.

    • And yet you took time to read and comment. For someone that seems to have complete emotional detachment and not care about life in general, you sure spent time caring about posting about not caring.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone being interested in why an entire city block was shut down for multiple hours. I think that having more information is better than having misinformation spread. Happiness and curiosity are not mutually exclusive.

      • and isn’t this kind of info PRECISELY why blogs like this exist? stuff the news won’t cover, but what we as residents in this city want to know.

      • Perhaps there is confusion over whether the OP wants confirmation that in fact there was a suicide, or wants more information about the suicide itself. An official ruling of suicide won’t occur until after the police and medical examiner rule out foul play. That could take days or weeks. As for details on why this particular person committed suicide, if in fact he or she did, I don’t know who would be able to help you on that one.

  • Yeah. I know this “hit” close to home for you. Pardon the pun. But it sounds like a troubled person committed suicide. What more do you want to know?

    • Why not call the division sergeant at MPD or ask your apartment manager to find out from the police?

      Suicide, especially violent ones like this, are traumatic to lots of people. That’s why newspapers generally don’t report on them. Same reason you might want to put away your harriet-the-spy sleuthing kit.

      • I was going with Inspector Clouseau, but this is better.

        News media do report suicides especially when a public figure is involved or other public impact is made. Generally though they’re not reported because they don’t have wide-ranging impact or ramifications/indications.

      • there also follow copycats when they report suicides, which I think is mostly why they don’t.


      hahaha. lol. 😉

  • Prince Of Petworth


    MPD confirms via email:

    “Yes, sad to say that a young man committed suicide by jumping to his death Monday evening in the 2700 block of 29th Street.”

  • I live in Cleveland house next door. This story is so strange on several levels because a couple of times last year we had a very similar issue in our building. Seems we had a resident that had, on multiple occasions, gone up to our roof deck and threatened to jump. She is the same one that had been pulling the fire alarm in the middle of the night because she “smelled fumes”. Just a strange coincidence.

  • Nice to see that a suicide brings out the jokes. Stay classy, PoPville.

  • This sad incident happened not long after a somewhat disturbing episode of “Alphas” had kids jumping off buildings was broadcast (Monday night):

    (Why they thought this was a tasteful/good idea for a TV show you have to wonder.)

    • Not that this comment deserves much response, but the incident in question actually occurred before that show aired. The man was found around 7:45pm on Monday and I believe the show you mentioned is on at 8pm.

  • They had someone jump at the Delano a few years back – I think they talked her down. There was a jumper — a man with a baby — at Windsor House, too. The baby’s death-fall was stopped by the awning by the front door. And someone jumped off the Calvert on Mt. Vernon. I’m sure there are other cases.

    Tough times, people, tough times.

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