I was one of dozens of witnesses to what appears to be a random crime at the corner of 14th and Columbia Rd, NW. I was walking my 3-year-old from school towards the Circulator bus stop on Columbia Road at about 5:40 PM when I saw and heard a large group of people on the the East side of 14th street on the block North of Columbia Road. It looked like a march at first, but then people on both sides of the street started to yell and scream, and people of all sorts were stopping to see what the commotion was. Suddenly a 40-ish looking Hispanic male in a t-shirt went running into the middle of 14th Street (where traffic was at the usual rush hour stand still) with dozens of young black men and teens chasing him.
My daughter and I were on foot and they were quickly running towards us and onto the sidewalk so I scooped her up in my arms and quickly stepped into the street to get out of the way as they descended upon the man with punches and kicks, and he flailing around trying to protect himself. I got the hell out of the way to the opposite corner and called 911 as they pummeled him to the ground, now kicking him as he was lying on the sidewalk. The traffic was now stopped in both directions, with people standing in the middle of the street cheering the fight on. It looked like no one was trying to stop it and no one was doing anything to help. The beating went on for a couple of minutes when a security guard from the apartment building in front of which the beating took place appeared, at which point the crowd dispersed.
The man was now on his feet, shirtless, bloody, sweaty, and panting, and holding on to an iron fence for balance. It took the police a few minutes to arrive, and when they did it was the Metro Transit police and not DCPD, but by then the man had headed South on 14th. A few minutes after that, an MPD car went tearing North on 14th Street as an ambulance went heading South, I guess one after some suspects and the other after the victim. I was shocked to see such a blatant display of violence in the middle of the day in a highly crowded area, and just around the corner from Centro Nia and the DC Bilingual Elementary school. What’s worse is this crime occurred at the time of day when many little kids—including my own—are getting out of after care or extended day school, so they had to witness it too.
Anyhow, I hadn’t seen this reported anywhere and I don’t know how this event could have been overlooked. It’s impossible to ignore, considering the number of people on foot, in cars, and even on city buses that witnessed it. The ANC commissioners and the different precinct police lieutenants have been notified about the crime, but has anyone else written to you about this? When the police showed up, pretty much no one wanted to talk to them, although there were still many witnesses in the immediate area, some of them laughing about the incident.”
Ed. Note: This is the first I’m hearing about it – anyone else witness what happened?