“Bloomingdale – Handsy Creep at 3rd and Rhode Island”

Bloomingdale- Handsy Creep at 3rd and Rhode Island:

“In the interest of protecting other local ladies, I wanted to raise awareness of a potential creep in the neighborhood. Those who live in the area are familiar with the spot on Rhode Island Avenue, between 2nd and 3rd street across from the gas station, where a group of men (and sometimes women) sit and hang out. I’ve walked by this spot more times than I can count, however, while passing the ledge last night, a man (one of three present) made an attempt to grab my backside.

I calmly turned around, told him no, and walked away. He quickly backed off. I would not have interpreted this to be an aggressive situation, but the advance was unwanted. I told a friend today about the interaction and she said something similar happened to a female friend of hers while she was waiting at the Shaw Metro. Regardless if the two incidences are related, I felt this was worth sharing. For those that frequently cross this hang out spot, I’d advise crossing the street if you’re passing after dark.”

44 Comment

  • The “handsy creep” sounds like the bad guy in a kids book. How about “sexual harasser” or “sexual assaulter”.

    • Yes, thank you. Putting “cutesy” names on this just takes away from what is actually happening.

      • I don’t know, I think I got a pretty good idea of what happened. Some guy, without any sort of invitation, attempted to touch the backside of a female. I don’t think the “cutesy” names took away from the seriousness of it. Are you focusing on the wrong thing?

        • Thanks for the mansplaining, but no, they’re not focusing on the wrong thing. You are. Groping random passersby for the crime of being in public while female is sexual harassment, full stop. And they are, quite reasonably, bristling that the cutesy name minimizes the seriousness of the incidents. Like that creeper who broke into women’s houses and got into bed with them who was called “the Cuddler,” like what he was doing was cute and not horrifyingly violating.

          • People who use the term “mansplaining” are not really worth interacting with, particularly if one is a man.
            Fight sexism with sexism, amirite!?!?

  • houseintherear

    Please call the police and report this.

    I was walking the dog past 3rd and U this week and a bike patrol officer was talking with some people who appear to live in either the old funeral home apartments or the houses right next door, and they were talking about that group. From what I could hear the officer is trying to get some “ammo” of complaints to be able to kick then outta there. The neighbors were not happy about that group.

    I used to walk that way a couple of times a day and stopped because of the constant sexual harassment by that group. Please report your incident and help the rest of us.

    • I live in the area and notice the exact same stuff, they usually stick to that wall in front of the bus stop/parking lot but sometimes some migrate over to the old funeral home as well.

      Would I just call the Third District Police and they will add my complaints to this list?

  • Sorry about that. I walk by that group everyday on the way to and from he Metro, total drag. They are generally pleasant, but too many times Ive seen open drug use (smoking crack and intravenous drug use on the sidewalk) and when people are doing that in plain sight, its a potentially serious safety issue.

  • never understood why that particular spot is such a draw

    • There’s a homeless/treatment center right there isn’t there?

      • Yes, the wall in question where they hang out is right outside of the UPO parking lot, but I always thought they were one of the groups that disperse from SOME after drop off and have found a regular spot until the next meal of the day. There are clusters of the same dudes who tend to congregate in the same places every day: a group that hangs out on 1st in front of the Mini Mart next to Red Hen, the group that hangs out at the Florida Ave park, the guys that hang out at FLA/North Cap, etc. etc. It’s always the same faces in the same places.

  • I am a female. Once, when I was coming up the escalator at the Foggy Bottom (no pun intended) metro, I felt someone pinch my butt. At first, my thought was that it must be someone I know behind me being silly. I turned around and it was an older Latino woman grinning from ear to ear. I was so shocked that I had no words.

    • OK, but I don’t understand why you shared that with us. Doesn’t seem relevant to the original post.

      • Oh, relax. If you can’t see the connection, then read it again. It’s Friday, for Pete’s sake!

        • I don’t think I can relax so much that I pretend that pointless things make sense. Just not in my nature, regardless what day of the week it is. Sorry.

          • Because every comment in PoP is relevant to the original post? Get a grip. The point was that sexual assailants are not exclusively male. As a male I have had this happen more times than I can recall, and its bizarre each and every time. The comment does not belittle the OP, even if it is a different example. The simple fact is that there is no excuse to invade someone’s personal bubble (no pun intended).

  • I hate that parking lot. We live across Florida from it, and it is always full of people who are generally loud, rude, intoxicated, and prone to using the nearby dumpster as a toilet. I wish BP would take some responsibility.

    • This is an interesting question. I know that there are no anti-loitering laws in DC, but realistically, what can a business do about groups of people hanging out in front of it all the time?

      • I hesitated with that statement because it’s a fair question, and I certainly don’t want to knee-jerk blame the business. However, the groups of people who hang out there all day do so within the BP parking lot, so I would think that’s private property that the business would have some responsibility over to prevent safety risks and provide some level of security. I’m not a lawyer, just frustrated because it’s all day, every day.

      • Well given that BP NEVER shovels their sidewalks in the winter is a pretty clear picture of how they view the value of their customers, etc,

  • part of the reason i moved out of Bloomingdale was because I got sexually harassed whenever i walked part these creeps. report them. call 911 whenever you see open drug use and report it.

    • Yeah I lived in bloomingdale for two years and never felt safe there. Street harassment was a daily thing. I had to call the police at least once a week for unrelated (not sexual harassment related) issues as well. Don’t miss it a bit. Que “This is a city! People get harassed! Move to Idaho if you don’t like it!”

  • It’s been years since we’ve had problems with a Handsy roaming the streets around here. People please be on the lookout, and don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately if you see something suspicious.

  • The hangers-on are bleeding over from Aida Electronics on Fla, where one of the owners was just arrested for selling drugs. Users hang around there for hours.

    DC Police told the Bloomingdale Civic Association two weeks ago that they can’t close it down because of DC laws.

    The users are terrifying the elderly residents nearby and the Civic Association has been trying to get action on this situation for months.

    Some of the users are behaving in the same manner as if they were on pcp, so recommend being vigilant when passing through this spot.

    More here: http://bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com/2014/06/dcra-emergency-rulemaking-regarding.html

  • I live within sight of this wall and the gaggle of ne’er-do-wells that hang out there. I’ve often wondered what motivates these guys to hang there and what could be done to disincentivize them. There is some drug use/dealing (I’ve witnessed both firsthand), but it’s mostly loitering, public drunkenness, sexual harassment, and urinating in neighboring alleys – stuff that the police wouldn’t usually go after. The UPO could help by planting something prickly rather than grass that invites people to sleep there. Nearby liquor stores also bear some responsibility for selling to these guys. I think a more regular police presence would certainly help the situation.

  • I just avoid walking past these guys. Taking T street through LeDroit is so much more pleasant and safer on the way to metro.

  • I was grabbed on R street coming home from Pride. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years but things seem worse this summer for whatever reason.

  • A similar situation was resolved when I used to live in Houston. A convenience store/gas station was constantly attracting loiterers harassing customers. The gas station started playing classical music inside the store and outside in the canopy of the gas pumps. Poof! loitering over. Something BP should consider.

    • There’s a McDonalds in downtown Seattle (a few blocks up from the Pike Place Market) that was having a similar problem. They took to blasting polka music.

  • I refer to that group of miscreants as “the hobo gang”.

  • I know this is unrelated, but what about the homeless men who sleep on 17th street next to and across the street from the Safeway. They have been sleeping there for months (it appeared they were temporarily moved because of the parade, but now they’re back). I hate to sound like a horrible person, but I don’t think it is right for them to permanently set up camp. I didn’t realize there were no anti loitering laws, which explains why several people have complained to the police and nothing has been done.

  • I lived two blocks from this location recently and moved a few months ago. I walked past these men (sometimes a few women) every night on the way home from the Shaw metro. When I first moved there I was a little uncomfortable with the situation, but after a while I said hello every evening, was greeted back, and after a short while I actually looked forward to that point of my walk home. These men and women have issues, like the rest of us- theirs are just different. Each of them have names, and each of them are real people who don’t deserve to be defined by their lowest character attribute. Anyone has a choice to cross the street, or say hello as they pass by – or take a slightly longer walk home.

    • Or expect that the street in which I pay taxes is kept safe and free of harassment. Any of those would work I am sure.

  • I must have run into the same guy this a.m. (8a.m.) at M and 5th. Black, 40s-early 50s, blue scrubs (pants falling down), carrying a cloth bag (pillowcase?). Be on the look out.

    • How anyone can be calm in this situation, I don’t know.

    • I’ve seen that guy handcuffed at least twice in the last few months. He’s always in those blue scrubs – I was worried the first time he just walked out of a hospital (he looked so out of it). I’m really sorry that happened to you.

  • I’ve lived in Bdale for 20 yrs and I currently call that area “Wino Wall 2014 A World-Wide Celebration” — it’s annoying, they’re annoying and I wish UPO had just pushed that fence a yard forward. Whether it is a grope, a threat, an assault, a car break-in, a home break-in, noise late at night, please take the time to report it. Some peeps prefer to report things on social media, and I’m not judging if one does. Filing a report with the police, adding to other reports, does if nothing else add statistics; and when one has data on his/her side, there is a much better chance of police action. The cops I’ve chatted with in our hood, aren’t always aware of amount/level of crimes on a certain block, for example, because no one’s filed a report. I’m not saying the police are perfect, some our def ‘rogue’, to put in kindly, but some really do want to help.

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