“Props to My Shaw Neighbors”

Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

Dear PoPville,

A brief story that makes me so proud of my neighbors in Shaw. A guy was walking home from 7-11 on Monday night when he was assaulted by two or three teenagers. They jumped on him and started beating him in the face and body for no reason. He stumbled out into the street, screaming for help. A neighbor who happened to be driving down our street at the time stopped and honked, frightening the attackers. They took off sprinting down the street.

Another neighbor who was apparently in his front yard heard the commotion and jumped out into the street to see what happened. Bravely or stupidly, or both, he chased down the attackers, tackling one from behind putting him face first into the sidewalk. The guy doing the tackling looked like a former linebacker.

A number of other neighbors immediately called the cops, who showed up within one or two minutes and put the guy in handcuffs. Thanks to everybody for helping to make our neighborhood a safer place.

70 Comment

  • So scared of the violence some of our teens foster in this town. Is it just boys will be boys, or is it something specific to DC?

  • Score one for the good guys. Thanks for sharing. People may talk about slaps on wrists for the perpetrators, but the neighborliness displayed here warms my heart.

  • Thanks for sharing, I hope the kid that was tackled into the sidewalk has some bruises to make him think twice next time.

  • If this kind of citizen response happens just every now and then, it will change the calculation of punks. These budding thugs must have been totally shocked to have the tables turned on them. Bravo for the people who intervened!

  • Good. Now we just need to force Phil Mendelson to send these rascals to real prison and not art therapy at DCYRS.

    • It’s DYRS. And judges determine the sentences for juveniles as they do with other criminals.

      Phil Mendelson put in place legislation so that citizens (THAT MEANS YOU) can file community impact statements with the prosecuting attorneys which go directly to the presiding judge for the *sentencing hearing* so that the “revolving door” doesn’t come into play and judges can justify giving these criminals the stiffest sentences possible AND send a message to their “friends” that this behavior is not cool and wont be tolerated by communities. CISs have been very effective in Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights and Shaw and take no more time than pithy little blog posts.

      If the attackers are indeed teenagers, it would be helpful to know which school(s) they attend — local or from another community. You can get the published arrest records (that include the arrested’s home address) at the local Police District HQ. These guys don’t deserve to remain anonymous. If you find the arrested’s info, you can probably find his friend easier. They both need to go to jail.

  • Why don’t we just called it brave? He acted with a lesser regard for his own safety, and in doing so caught one of the perpetrators – for that we should laud him, not suggest it was stupid.

  • I bet the guy who tackled one of the thugs gets sued for assaulting and injuring him.

  • Glad to hear nothing happened to the Good Samaritan and that he could put his size to use.

    People, please don’t try something like this unless it’s clear that (A) you can clearly the control the situation and (B) are bigger than the assailant. Had they not been frantically fleeing due to the neighbor in the car, these three guys might have all turned against the linebacker-sized Good Samaritan. The right set of circumstances all came together to enable a good outcome, but things can go downhill very quickly if you’re not careful.

  • Concealed carry would not mitigate your liability in this instance. Having kids beat you with their fists isn’t enough for you to be able to shoot them. Castle Doctrines, while varying from state to state, almost all require you to retreat, give a verbal warning, and you must PROVE that they were using “deadly” force (i.e for all practical purposes, they were armed with weaponry) Furthermore, you must show that you were in retreat when shots were fired.

    Random kids punching you on the street doesn’t give you the license to open fire.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      The same guy leaves the same trolling comment about concealed carry whenever there is a crime post. Please ignore it.


        That’s some next level trolling.

        • i aim to please 🙂

        • Usually PoP just quietly deletes them, like the Chinese government does with dissenters.

          But to the topic! That guy definitely has the right stuff, we should have 2 on every block from 7th St to North Capitol, teaching these kids lessons by the scruffs of their collars.

      • At some point, can’t this post be considered spam? Delete! That’s what I’d do. It is the same reason why The Capitol Deal and Groupon now appear in my spam email folders.

    • T

      This is not accurate if you are not able to safely retreat.

    • This is a dangerous misstatement of the law. I am not going to give criminal defense advice on an internet forum, but I would not rely on the statements posted here.

      • The fact of the matter is that you can’t carry a gun in the District, nor do we have a Stand Your Ground Law in effect here. Blasting away these goons would only bring legal headaches upon yourself, at the very least. And if you end up hurting bystanders, you have even more issues. The best bet is to retreat.

    • I’ll second the notion that the above comment contains many misstatements of law.

  • pennyworth

    another perfect example of transplants and, “haves” misunderstanding locals and have-nots.

    the cats beat this guy for, “no reason?” there’s always a reason. i don’t care if you’re a senator’s son beating some homeless guy or a stickup kid beating some yuppie on a scooter. there’s always a reason behind it.

    people are just far too afraid to explore the reason behind this type of violence.

    calling it senseless violence is the easiest way out.

    • It’s a volatile mixture of race and class conflict, imho. Which is a story that’s been played out many, many times in various locations around the world. DC is hardly unique in this regard.

    • The only kind other than senseless is self defense, which this was not. Stop defending this bullshit.

    • Doesn’t matter if there’s a reason or not — there’s no excuse for someone being robbed or beaten up or attacked. It’s not acceptable. It shouldn’t be happening.

      • pennyworth

        it absolutely matters why they do it. if you don’t know why they do it, you can’t get them to stop.

        • Stop blaming the victims. There is no excuse, nothing that can justify why anyone chooses to enact violence on an innocent person.

          • He is not victim-blaming. Acknowledging a reason is not the same as excusing the behavior. It’s not right to commit murder but saying, for instance, “He killed her because he perceived she was cheating” is not excusing the murder; it’s explaining why he did it.

        • Exactly Pennyworth. I agree wholeheartedly. And nowhere in your statement do I see you defending the perpetrators.

        • They will stop when they no longer live in the area. They will either be in jail or priced out. Then they can be forgotten again.

          • pennyworth

            they will not stop. they’ll just do the same thing in a different place.

          • @ Denizen Charles: None of the perps who beat up that man near to death on Capitol Hill around Eastern Market actually lived in that area. They all were from MD. So either you are being naive or you are new around here. You can sweep the dirt under the rug and forget it; however, it will still exist.

          • Do you really believe that people only commit crimes in their own neighborhoods? People have cars and can cause trouble wherever they want to. The recent well-publicized attack on Capitol Hill is just one example.

          • “They will not stop. they’ll just do the same thing in a different place.”

            The reason there are attacks by thugs from Maryland in DC is that those thugs have family and friends in the area. So they come here to make trouble. You’ll notice they don’t drive around McLean hitting people with baseball bats. Or in Bethesda.

            Right now the unemployment rate in DC is nearly 9%. In the DC/MD/VA region it’s 5.37%. We need more poverty in the suburbs and less concentrated in the city proper. That’s the only way it can be addressed.

        • You don’t need to know ‘why’ kids are committing these crimes in order to get them to stop.

          That’s why we have prisons.

    • what a rediculous comment, misunderstood the locals and have nots? what a joke. You’re part of the problem if this is what you believe.

      • pennyworth

        yes, to assume this happened for, “no reason” is to completely misunderstand the young people committing these types of crimes.

        • You’ve obviously never ridden the Metro and been accosted by a gang of youths for simply just sitting there. What “reason” did they have to do that? Would love to hear your response.

          • pennyworth

            no, i’ve never been accosted by any teens on the metro … ever. but, i’m 6’2″ 230lbs.

            the reason is because of what you represent to them.

            do you think they view you as an honest hardworking american?

            you are the other. the scapegoat (whether or not you deserve the blame).

            you are the bad guy. you’re the occupier of their holy land.

            you tear down their homes to build your own. your police persecute them. your teachers belittle them. your citizens ignore them.

            and we assume they wont turn to violence?

            violence is all they have left.

        • Pennyworth, the difference between the words “reason” and “excuse” obviously are not well-understood around here. I applaud you for trying to raise the uncomfortable, larger issues involved.

    • The real reasons are uncomfortable. The kids could be assholes, the kids can correctly understand that there is no future for them in this country. We as a society expect people to take it on the chin with a smile and we act surprised when they act out. Or the kids could just be assholes.

    • The reason is they think it’s fun. Ever seen A Clockwork Orange?

    • Educate us as to what the reasons may be. Then we can decide if this incident is senseless or not.

      • pennyworth

        the reason is because you are the other.

        • Why try to explain on a blog? Whatever explanation given will just be pounced on by the commentariat (for reasons I care not to explain). Your explanations will just be perceived as feeble excuses for criminal “savages”. When threads like these occur its best to grab some popcorn or sweet potato tater tots and sit and read the same pointless arguments presented every time. No culture has any desire or care to understand the other for whatever reasons.

        • I call b.s. The vast majority of the crime perpetrated by black youth is on other black people. Are black folk the other? Did other black folk send their police? Did other black folk tear down their homes? Give me a break.

    • 1. If someone attacks me without provocation, their justification for doing so is irrelevant. There are no legitimate reasons to attack a person with physical violence, apart from self-defense.

      2. Honest citizens don’t care what false logic criminals use to justify their criminality. The fact *that* a particular person is a felon is much more important than *why* that person chose to commit a felony.

    • One could make the same argument about Southern lynchings in the ’50s. When we say it’s “senseless” that’s a euphemism. Of course there are reasons. Of course they’re driven by xenophobia and hatred of “the other.” This is nothing new.

    • Disclaimer – I never respond to posts on this blog or other boards point by point – but this post had be furious. Not only because I hate this attitude but especially in light of recent crimes in our city and what has happened to my loved ones. Please excuse my soap box rant.

      “another perfect example of transplants and, “haves” misunderstanding locals and have-nots. ”
      No where in this story does it say that the victim was either new to the neighborhood or a ‘have’ nor did it say that the perps were have-nots.

      “the cats beat this guy for, “no reason?” there’s always a reason. i don’t care if you’re a senator’s son beating some homeless guy or a stickup kid beating some yuppie on a scooter. there’s always a reason behind it.
      people are just far too afraid to explore the reason behind this type of violence.”
      First, these are not cats – they are scum, violent criminals, and general menaces to society. Second, reasons are things that justify an action – nothing justified what these three scumbags did. I doubt you’d be singing the same tune if your sister, mother, friend or loved one was assaulted like this.

      “calling it senseless violence is the easiest way out.”
      No sir, pushing this aside as this is what should be expected when new and/or rich people move into neighborhoods is the easy way out. Just as tolerating racism, sexism, homophobia and any other bigotry is the easy way out. Standing up for justice, tolerance and civility is the hard thing to do.

      The neighbors in shaw did the hard thing – you Mr. Pennyworth revel in taking the easy way out!

      • way to totally miss his point.

        he’s not excusing criminality.

        • Re-read what I wrote. I never said he was excusing the violence. I said he was trying to justify it by saying there was a reason (reasons give justification for actions). Attacking an innocent bystander is not just, right or worthy.

          Using words correctly is essential if we are to communicate our ideas.l

          • Andy2: “reason” as a word may be used to justify actions or it may be used to explain actions. Both are valid uses of the word.

            Using words is important, I agree.

    • Yes, their may be an underlying issue of jealousy or racial hatred. I won’t refer to it as senseless but rather BARBARIC.

      While I’m concerned as to why, I am not sympathetic nor to I offer excuses for cowardly punks that do this. I was once a larger than life wanna be thug and if I got the crap beat out of me for doing something like this I deserved every bit of it

    • Sick. Sick. Sick.
      That you can even begin to defend someone randomly jumping someone and beating the hell out of them for no reason.
      Remember the guy who was jumped by ghetto trash at Lenfant Plaza a year or so ago? His crime…quietly reading a book.
      Stop defending worthless hood rats who have nothing better to do than beat up others for fun.
      My god..what the hell is wrong with people?

      • +1
        I would take Zack for a neighbor over Pennyworth any day of the week!

        I find Pennyworth identifying haves as a motivation distrubing. Where is the same level of scrutiny on perhaps a culture that embraces violence and values material possessions over education?

  • There are no excuses for this behavior, but there are explanations. They include: fatherless homes, indifferent parents, a violent and/or anti-intellectual culture, a long-lasting cycle of poverty with government dependence through the generations, etc… So long as people grow up in chaotic homes, you’re going to have more of this. But in the meantime, I say throw the bad apples in jail or prison. Government will have to discipline them when their own families have failed in that department. We really need to encourage the growth of intact, married families. Statistically, children from those homes are healthier mentally and physically, and less likely to suffer from poverty.

  • Dear pennyworth…thank you. I’ve kind of given up on POP bc it seems Denzien’s point of view is overwhelmingly how many POP followers feel. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  • I took “for no reason” in this instance to mean “without provocation”.

    Though I see Pennyworth’s point, how do you explain the proportion of youths (or even adults) who feel the same way about “the other” but don’t act on these impulses with violence?

  • I live on that block and I’m happy to hear, but not surprised that our neighbors stood up for each other. If the “tackler” is the guy I think it is he is former law enforcement and always the first to help during one of these rare incidents. We’re really lucky to have him as a neighbor.

  • I’m thrilled that one of them got caught. And I wholeheartedly support the idea of publicly executing him in front of one of our local middle or high schools, with all of the youth of the city watching live. Now let the pile of comments start about how that isn’t the answer, that there’s reasons for this kind of crime, that they can be rehabilitated, blah blah blah.

    You don’t see any gum on the sidewalk in Singapore. There’s a reason for that. Take a look at a DC sidewalk sometime. See a difference?

Comments are closed.