“Some looked to be as young as 8 or 9 years old. Such a shame, a sudden violent mob attack for apparently no reason at all”

“Dear PoPville,

On Sunday 9/14 at approx 4pm, I was walking down Girard and 14th. A young kid, maybe 14 or 15 was riding his bike in front of the basketball courts. A bunch of kids (at least 10-15 kids) were playing basketball and decided to try and knock out the bike rider. They threw a basketball at his head and knocked him off his bike. He yelled “you shouldn’t be doing that!” and one of the kids on the basketball court yelled back “you can’t tell us what to do!”

Then all of the kids charged and surrounded the boy on his bike. They were beating him up, hitting him in the face repeatedly with basketballs, pushing him to the ground. I ran up and yelled “THAT’S ENOUGH!” The boy jumped on his bike and tried to flee. All of the kids chased him down 14th street. I waited with another witness and gave a description to police, but by then they were all gone. Hopefully the basketball court has security cameras. The kids were very young. Some looked to be as young as 8 or 9 years old. Such a shame. It was a very scary experience. Such a sudden violent mob attack for apparently no reason at all.

69 Comment

  • This is more than likely the same group of kids who like to throw fruit (or something like fruit, not sure since it hit my car while I was driving) at cars as they drive down 14th in Columbia Heights. My car got hit by a group of kids no older than 10 back in July. It sounded like I’d hit something it was thrown so hard at my passenger window!

    My husband got out to see what happened and the kids told him to (expletive) himself. Really a very lovely group of children!

    • Is the Girard Street gang still a thing? I used to notice pretty young kids involved (like older elementary and middle school aged), but I moved out of that area a couple years ago and am not sure if things have changed.

      • Their name is G-ROD Crew. When my garage was tagged that’s what it said. I talked to a co-worker who I knew grew up in the area (now he’s 35) and he ticked off the names of several crews that had referencez to locations.

        • Do kids as young as 8 or 9 join gangs? I’m not being sarcastic. I really don’t know at what age kids get roped into those type of things.

          • I was tempted to use quotation marks around “gang” for that reason. Mostly, the kids on Girard seem like kids being kids. Then I googled the gang and realized they have been involved in some pretty serious crimes. So.. I guess so?

          • “Kids being kids?” Enough already.

    • >This is more than likely the same group of kids who like to throw fruit (or something like fruit, not sure since it hit my car while I was driving) at cars as they drive down 14th in Columbia Heights.

      Because they all look the same, and they’re the only kids that could possibly be in that area right??!!? Jeesus people, cut out the frickin’ stereotypes and blanket vilification on here!

      • Or because they’re in the same area and acting like criminals? Either way.

      • LOL – so you are suggesting that if they are not the same kids (a limited handful), then it is a more widespread problem; that seems closer to “blanket vilification”.

      • Well, given the proximity and similar anti-civil behaviors, it doesn’t seem like such a giant leap. I guess if you’re upset about the stereotype that bad kids will do other bad things you can get all worked up, but I don’t quite get the outrage. Would you rather there were two groups of such kids?

      • It isn’t that much of a stretch to imagine that the group could be the same. We’re talking about a large group of young kids who are willing to throw things at other people. No one said anything about assuming that the race was the same. Take it down a notch, Anon 11:53.

      • Right because how dare someone think that one group of no-good kids could be the same group of no-good kids that he’s familiar within the same neighborhood?

      • Actually, by assuming its the same group of kids, they’re saying that there must only be one group of mischief causing kids instead of the worse alternative of saying that all poor black kids in CH are delinquents.

      • Count the amount of times that people say “This must be the same kids that did a similar horrible thing I saw…” in this thread alone… DC has a population of over 600,000 people, and kids everywhere in the world do bad things that don’t make them career criminals, or people out to ruin everyone’s day. In threads like this some posters make threads like this sound like DC is Mayberry where the sheriff can collect clues to wrassle up those small-time gumball boys that keep stealin’ sodas form the corner store… This is a big city full of people, you don’s see the same ones every day.

        Just because you observed someone’s kid doing something bad in a place on one day, it doesn’t mean they’re out there every day waiting to do something bad in the same area. Let’s be real people…. Geez!

        • But it’s perfectly fine to say that all Maryland drivers are reckless lawbreakers.

          • Accountering

            So I drive on the Beltway every day in MD. I wouldn’t say there are all reckless lawbreakers, but by and large, Maryland drivers are terrible and reckless. When I see a driver do something dumb, it is invariably a MD driver. This even applied when I was driving home from NYC, on the Jersey turnpike.

          • Or more likely that there are a greater percentage of MD drivers on the Beltway and therefore greater chance for reckless driver to be from MD Accountering

        • So it’s better to assume that it’s all kids in an area? By wondering if it’s the same group, you’re essentially assuming these are isolated incidents perpetrated by a few bad apples, not a pervasive problem.

          • I once got jumped in middle school, in Silver Spring Maryland, not with basketballs, with fists. We’re all grown ups now… I’m very over it. It wasn’t a violent mob attack. The kids who jumped me have gone on to become regular people in society, no big deal. Stuff happens, leave it to the parents and law enforcement, don’t try to play Colombo and make harmful assumptions on the Internet.

      • Yikes. Calm down. It appears to be an isolated, specific group of juvenile jerks, which are present in nearly every neighborhood anywhere on the planet. These kids just happen to be our jerks. The only stereotype I see in this thread is ageism.

        • Stop being apologists for delinquent behavior. There are bad kids everywhere. Those kids deserve to be lampooned as well.

  • Whatever it is that we doing to cure the violence in this city is not working.

  • I’m shocked, shocked! that a group of young kids would be mean, dumb, and violent.

    • I don’t understand your point of view. Do you think this is just “kids will be kids” and it is not worth discussing this type of random act of violence on a local blog or forum?

      • I find the language “violent mob attack” unnecessarily inflammatory, considering as behavior like this happens among kids that age (not just boys!) in communities of every kind all over the country. The OP believes/wants us to believe these kids are unusually violent, when that is not actually the case.

        • Disagree. It is notably violent, and it does not happen in every community. To think that way is to have your head fully in the sand. You’re not helping if you’re ignoring reality.
          Lord of the Flies meets Clockwork Orange.

          • I was the victim of similar attacks, when I was in middle school. I grew up in a wealthy suburban community, and my middle school was 99% white. Bullies gonna bully.

          • Which community doesn’t have a group of kids picking on another kid? Every community I’ve ever been known has had kids bullying weaker kids, but I’ve never lived on a commune or anything. I suppose those kids are more peaceful and less jerky.

          • Grew up in very diverse schools and communities near DC and this did not happen. Certainly no groups of 10-15 attacks. Just very different value systems that would not have supported so many joining in violent action, though maybe other larger group mischief may have occurred, but not aimed at causing physical harm.

          • Interesting. I saw it first hand amongst middle-class white public school students, and amongst rich white prep school students. It’s kind of astonishing to me that anyone could grow up in the US and not see violent bullying, but maybe you move amongst a classier crowd than I did.

            A quick glance at the news (google violent bullying, bullying suicides, etc) shows that my experience is hardly unique.

          • ha ha ha, you’re accusing THEM of having their heads in the sand? More like you’re the one with your head stuck in the sand. This kind of crap happens in all kinds of communities.

          • A lot of bullying suicides are related to verbal harassment (especially by and to young girls and women). Not discouting the fact that bullying occurs everywhere- we can agree that is the case. What I am saying is, the level of violence and disregard for human life it takes to mob attack a kid (which could end in death under the right circumstances) or spray something in an elderly lady’s face is behavior I wager MOST Americans are not accustomed to. To ignore the systematic and ingrained violence in particular communities is to be apathetic and tolerate it (so long as it isn’t happening to you personally, of course! Then you’ll get angry, I’m sure). See who participates in violent dog fighting, and tell me there aren’t cultural factors at play.

          • To jcm, yes, there are other cultures in the world and subcultures in the US where this form of large group violent behavior is less likely, where values are instilled at an early age, the community adheres as a whole to such values, and people, including the young people, generally treat each other in a classier fashion. If course there is the youthful mischief and occasional violence, but not on the scale displayed in the comments of this thread suggesting the basketball court event was not isolated.

          • I dunno. I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Pittsburgh (where half the school come from absurdly wealthy families, and the other half was lower-middle-class to below the poverty level) and stuff like this never ever happened. Ever.

            Sure, there were verbal altercations, but never anything violent like this. But, I do understand that this is my personal experience. Just wanted to counter the argument that things like this happen everywhere– because it doesn’t.

            And I’ll add that we shouldn’t excuse it, even if it did happen everywhere.

        • Right, so just because it happened to you, it automatically happens everywhere in every community across the country.

  • Same area, mixed group of boys and girls aged 10-14 or so… they had gotten their hands on a whole bunch of silly string, and were walking down the street en masse, spraying everyone. They got one elderly woman pretty much right in the face. A girl aimed at me, but she made a mistake, standing too close to me. I snatched the can out of her hand and gave her my best Do Not Fuck With Me face. Threw the can in the trash. Didn’t look back to see if she went after it.
    Wonder if it’s the same batch of kids. I can’t imagine how much neglect it would take to make kids think that spraying an old lady in the face with anything is ok.

    • Yes, because silly string is the same as beating another kid up. This is completely the kind of stupid thing I could have done when I was a kid – not intending to do harm, just thinking it was silly string and it wasn’t going to hurt anyone.

      • So as a kid you felt that it was totally fine to walk down the street and do things to other people that they didn’t want to happen, provided that it wasn’t physically hurting them? That’s…dumb.

        • Of course its dumb, and of course I know that now. But I did stupid stuff when I was a teenager – most people I know did. I can remember my friends and I throwing ice at each other at a pizza place when we were in high school. We accidentally hit someone else. We were sorry about it, but that did happen. Of course I see now that we should not have been doing it and how dumb and irritating it was to the other patrons and the staff. But if you as an adult can’t see the difference between silly string and an intentional assault, I’m not sure I’m the one with the problem.

  • TBH, it sounds like the kid on the bike is probably regularly bullied by this group. They all know each other from the ‘hood. If you ever watched The Wire, he’s probably the Dookie character.
    Unfortunately, kids of all backgrounds have the capacity to be mean assholes, especially when when a “mob mentality” takes over. I’m glad you stopped the incident from progressing further, but you really put yourself in a dangerous situation. There’s no predicting if the group will turn on you or if a kid has a weapon.

  • Why hello click bait! Nice to see your appearance today on popville!

  • I’m sure they’re just working through their feelings of alienation. It’s really all of our faults for not providing more opportunities for them.

  • Props to the OP for intervening and for calling the cops.

  • I wonder if this the same group of kids who are always darting out in front of cars/blocking traffic/making general trouble at night on Columbia between 13th and 14th.

  • Why has the question not been raised as to where the parents of these kids where/are? A mother in SC is arrested and goes to jail for allowing her 9-year-daughter to play alone in a public park, yet a group of kids can harass, bully – whatever you’d like to call it – the public and no one asks where they parents are? I understand it’s difficult to identify and punish a group of kids, and even more so their absent parents, but it seems to me that there is something that can be done to curb these events. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own neighborhood.

    • The issue is there is NO parental involvement that’s why these kids act like this. We had a boy in the neighborhood at 7 was throwing bricks at other kid’s heads (I got cussed out up and down when I stopped that), now a few years later, selling drugs for the corner boys. It’s sad, but if you can’t get the parents to care about their own kids, how do you expect anyone else to. Maybe i’m jaded, but I feel like I can tell you which ones will be in the system for the rest of their lives before they are teenagers.

  • It sounds like this is a consistent problem in the area, so what is the MPD doing? Let me guess. Their “hands our tied” or they “did nothing against the law.” Or maybe, they would tell us to “be more vigilant and avoid this area.” Give me a break.

    • Let’s not forget “talk to your Council member, they’re the only ones who can fix the problem,” and “if we do anything we’ll get sued and our pay will be docked.”

  • I’d like to know what school(s) they attend. Why isn’t Kaya doing something to give these kids better options after school?

    • Because she doesn’t fund DCPS. While DCPS already spends one of the highest amounts/student, adding further after-school programs would cost money that DC Government apparently isn’t willing/able to spend.

  • pablo .raw

    “Back in the day…” a group of kids used to do that same thing in the sidewalk of what today is the DC USA. A friend of mine almost got hit by a car when she fell because of them.

  • Google “How twitter tracked down a gang of violent bigots” to see that this sort of behavior is hardly unique to children growing up poor in the city.

  • So, now that is has been established that there is a major problem with a group, or groups, of unsupervised young people in our neighborhood, rather than rant and rave, argue about who’s PC-er than thou and beg for “someone” to do “something” I challenge each one of you to be an active participant. I’m currently functioning as a mentor to two young men who have a less than desirable home life, very little parenting and a desire to survive and thrive. I saw a need and stepped up to the plate.
    What will you do?

  • I am at work and my kids are in aftercare. Can’t parent a group of other people’s kids right now but I challenge Bryan Weaver or somesuch similar working with youth to GET OVER THERE. Those kids need help and direction. And an ass whupping? Adrian Peterson style?

  • I actually not only witnessed this, but my husband an I called the police and gave the victim our information in case the police wanted to get in contact with us. I absolutely do not condone what these kids did and definitely think they should be punished for their actions, which is why we called the police, but there are a few things I would like to clear up about the story. 1)it wasn’t a violent attack or mob, it was 7-8 school aged kids walkin to the park to play basketball, definitely didn’t look like they were in a gang 2) they didn’t repeatedly hit him in the face with the ball, they pushed him and his bike around and got in his face threatening him 3) the most disappointing, there were so many people around and NO ONE stepped in until my husband and I threatened to call the police and ran towards them, in fact I’m not even sure who the person is reporting this story? Now that being said, I grew up in a suburb right next to Chicago and unfortunately witnessed stuff like this all the time… I think it was “kids being kids” but they aren’t used to someone sticking up for themselves, which happened in this case, and it scared them shitless which is why they teamed up on him. I think the only way to stop this type of crime is to continue to report it and DO SOMETHING when you witness this type of stuff. These kids need to learn that there are consequences to their actions, I saw the faces of the 9-11 year olds when we said we were calling the police, they all were terrified and ran away, this means they do still fear getting in trouble and were not expecting anyone to do anything.

Comments are closed.