Cyclist Stabbed on Bike just before 5pm Tuesday Reports What Happened and Where

“I was the cyclist involved in this incident. I do believe it was a student from that school who attacked me. The police report is inaccurate in several points, it happen at L and 7th SE. There was a pack of kids on the sidewalk and one just casually walked out between the cars into the street and said “hey sir”, I wasn’t about to stop and vered around him when he punched me in the chest. I didn’t realize he had a blade in his hand until I noticed I was bleeding a block later. I called 911 at 4:43 pm.

In case you are wondering, I am doing great and will be back at work tomorrow, biking down 7th.”

42 Comment

  • I’m glad you’re ok!

    Knowing that it was a student and which school is probably enough for the cops to figure out who it was. Kids talk, and I bet if they just do some digging at the school, they’ll find him.

    • Except that the police won’t ‘do any digging’ at the school, and even if they did, there would be no punishment for the assailant.

      my house was burglarized by a kid who I caught and observed running away into a public school a block away, and the police declined to pursue the matter *at all* – not even informing the principal.

      • It’s actually kind of hard to do digging at a school without more information than “I think a kid at your school did this” unless you can get the permission of parents. The most you can do is hope that a teacher overhears something.

      • Pretty big difference between burglary and stabbing.

    • So much for the sterling rep of charter schools.

      • PP didn’t say it was a charter school.

        • The biker agreed with my earlier guess when I first heard this story yesterday: he said he believed it was a student from the Richard Wright Public Charter School, which is just around the corner from where this took place. They were letting out of school at the same time, and they wear an unmistakable uniform. So yeah, it’s a charter school and it’s the one in the Blue Castle.

  • Holy crap, that’s terrifying–randomly stabbing someone.

    I hope that kid gets caught, and get seriously analyzed/helped by a skilled professional before he randomly kills someone.

  • Also, can’t have much faith in police when they can’t even get the damn address right of the incident. The little things DO matter in good police work.

  • This is awful. I cycle most everywhere and had always been under the assumption that you could outride thugs on foot. I usually do try to cycle defensively which includes cycling away from thugs, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it if you are pinned between parked cars and a line of cars stopped at a sign or light. This is why I sometimes choose to cycle down the middle near the yellow line- but even that has it’s own set of dangers. So sorry this happened to you! Frightening…

  • That is scary! Glad you are okay! Probably some stupid kid trying to impress his friends, but totally agree he needs counseling.

  • This cyclist is a badass. Glad to hear that you are sticking with your bike commute.

  • gotryit

    Glad you’re OK. I doubt there’s much you can do to prevent it. If you can swing it, a helmet camera might provide additional evidence.

  • Wow, how scary. I am so glad you are OK and hope that they catch that little psychopath.

  • This cyclist is a BOSS.

  • Thank goodness you’re ok! This is terrible. What is wrong with people.

  • Wow, that is really messed up. But props to you for getting back out there!

  • Sorry this senseless experience happened to you. I hope he’s caught. Glad you are OK and good for you for getting back on your bike!

  • This needs to be addressed immediately by police, school administrators, teachers and parents. My friend was a victim of a similar assault. Jumped by a mob of students walking out of a school yard who attacked and robbed her in broad daylight in Shaw. She spent 3 days in the hospital. Police never followed up, no one was ever charged.

    The police need to arrest and make an example out of these student criminals. Teachers need to discuss and discourage this type of behavior. Parents need to do a better job of teaching values in their children.

    Eventually, someone is going to fight back against these student mob attacks, and a child is going to end up getting seriously hurt or killed in the process.

    • It’s interesting that you say it was a mob and yet still blame parents and teachers. Normal people seem to get crazy when mob mentality takes over so I wouldn’t expect much from a bunch of still growing and learning teens but I would expect that if being attacked someone definitely should fight back. Do not hold back because they are young. Their brains may be developing but their bodies are just as strong and capable of harm as an adult.

      I do hope that something turns up eventually. If they do not already have one, they need a task force just to monitor the activity of local kids online. More than one case that I am familiar with ended up finding evidence online because the real heartless ones and even some bystanders will post comments for the entire world to see.

  • If the cops investigating won’t deal with the school (a charter, btw, may be less accountable to them than a regular public school and that may be part of the problem), I’d knock things up a notch and talk to your councilman and the neighborhood liaison for that area (should be findable online).

    • That’s a good idea, and I’m probably going to reach out to the National Community Church (NCC) about this school, since they bought the Blue Castle last fall. The school’s lease expires in July 2018, when NCC can make the decision to cut them loose. They ought to know who is in their building.

      • I have a friend who works at NCC and his wife is a pastor. Do you want to post the details so I can pass them along to them directly?

        • I know Ryan Z. (the person I think you may be talking about) at the church, so I’ll just send him a Facebook message. I’m sure they’d like to have it on their radar screen. Thanks for offering!

  • He probably uses common sense and reason, just like everyone else. You should try to develop those skills.

  • I posted about this here yesterday and also tried to post a response on the MPD list serve where I first saw this. A full day later, my comment on the list serve has yet to show up, nor any other comments about this incident, and I find it very hard to believe there were no comments or questions about an incident this senseless and outrageous. I think it’s obvious the police are not taking this seriously and are not doing enough to keep the juvenile gangs roaming this area on Cap hill in check. And the next time we have a long debate about how the police are always so responsive, how they can’t be everywhere, how walking a beat doesn’t work, remind me to point out once again that the troublemakers have been in the same place at the same time for years. This didn’t have to happen, and the “response” has been a joke.

    • What actions do you think they should take that they haven’t? They looked like your average group of students correct?

      • These: 1., acknowledge that groups of kids are wandering up and down 7th and 8th streets pretty much everyday in late afternoon and early evening. Some of them, not all, are lingering and causing problems. Therefore 2. Have police presence, preferably on foot, in this targeted area. Break up incidents, and/or at least let the troublemakers know that they are being closely watched. If they can’t get away with activities such as stabbing passersby, they will eventually move on. This isn’t rocket science.

        • It’s not rocket science but also interesting considering that there is a heavy police presence on this street and as you say most kids aren’t doing anything.
          Are there a lot of incidents that aren’t being reported on the street? I didn’t see where it was common for them to have problems with the kids after school

    • What part of when the perps see police they just move somewhere else until they don’t see the cops don’t you understand or that MPD doesn’t have enough man power to support foot beats!

      • And what part of “I live in PSA 107 and want everything possible done to prevent crime there” do you not understand? I have no illusions that these kids might go someplace else and commit crimes. Given your attitude, I’d suggest they try your neighborhood since it looks like they could get away with murder there. As for manpower, if the MPD has enough of it to have a cop sitting in a car for several hours as I see practically every day in various parts of this neighborhood, then they have the manpower to patrol 7th Street. Especially given the fact that as I have repeatedly stated, this is a problem that does not call for an open-ended commitment but one that occurs in a particular area at a particular time on particular days, and is easily targeted. And lastly, for several months last year, there was in fact a cop walking a beat in this neighborhood, and I don’t seem to recall any random stabbings during that period. So why didn’t it continue? Honestly, the ability of the people in this city and on this board to stoke the attitude that there’s just nothing else to be done to combat street crime is astonishing. What the city and police are doing now, with the resources they have, is NOT working.

        • Heres some food for thought and if this doesn’t and if this doesnt put things into perspective then I dont know maybe you might want to consider moving to Bethesda.

          “MPD officer here,
          Foot patrols don’t work. These officers are taken out of cars (they don’t come out of thin air) and thus are unable to respond to any assignment that is not within their 1-2 block beat. More footmen = fewer quick responding patrol cars. Also, putting someone on foot for 8 hours does not make them an effective officer. It makes them lazy and find ways to stay out of the rain, the elements, and the cold. An officer that likes to drive around and do traffic stops and be proactive is actually an unhappy an ineffectual officer on foot. Human nature. While a footman on your block may look good, it actually means that there is one less (or more) officer to patrol every other block and respond to calls when they start piling up. Likewise, as an officer I can tell you this with multiple experiences of such, when someone wants to shoot someone, it’s gonna happen regardless, it WILL happen in front of or a block away from an officer, it happens all the time, especially as of late.
          The best way to deal with this is to be proactive. Stop treating officers like crap (I’m talking about the department/city gov’t, not the citizens). Support their desire to catch criminals, don’t scare them into doing so by empowering criminals and their families by blindly believing their frivolous complaints. There are horrible working conditions and huge lack of support from the command staff at MPD and the mayor’s office.
          Bottom line, treat your employees well, and back them up when they do good work, engage them in a way that will make THEM productive instead of treating them like a dog and pony show. THAT’s how you get the guns and criminals BEFORE they shoot and act.

          Here’s the thing; there aren’t enough police officers to handle all these assignments while doing all the feel good things that are wanted (and in parts needed). We are losing 30-40 officers a month through retirements, terminations, and people just leaving for greener pastures. We are not hiring as quick as we are losing. Sometimes there are opportunities to go out and say hi, a lot of times there are not.
          Something you can all do, and pardon for me being blunt, is quit your bitching about not being approached by police to say hi, and just flag an officer down, say hi, introduce yourself, offer them a snack or what not. There are 650,000 residents of the city, each patrol district is only deploying about 30-50 officers each shift. Don’t take it personally if the officer can’t find the time or energy to put him/herself out there for every resident they see, as much of the energy they have to deal with people is expended on people they deal with on calls.
          One more thing, police are pretty recluse. It stems from having a general distrust of people they don’t know. In this extremely anti-police climate these days, officers are weary of interactions with the citizens. What I don’t think is realized is that for us all to come together, the citizens have to move towards the center just as much as the officers do, you can’t expect all the change to come from one side, we are all human.
          Go on and do a ride-along, multiple times, in different districts maybe. One ride will not fully show what the life is like. Draw your neighborhood officers out of their shells and show them it is safe and great! to connect with ya’ll. We are the shy kids in the class that need to know there are friends out there. This job can make you extremely jaded and cynical. Sometimes it just takes a few good people out there to remind us that we can all get along!”

          Detective friendly:
          “As someone who works on the investigative side of MPD (as opposed to patrol), here are some of the issues that officers have:
          1) Morale is in the toilet.
          Cops are always going to grumble because it’s our nature, but morale has been beaten into the ground by Chief Lanier’s management style. There’s now a culture of “punish first” and general disrespect for the MPD/FOP labor contract- the lack of good faith negotiating for more than half a decade that eroded our pay through inflation, “All Hands on Deck” which is a violation of the contract and a smokescreen for other issues, the tendency for the Chief to tamper with department trial boards and internal affairs investigations (see the number of officers re-hired after shoddy IAB investigations and the demotion of high-ranking officers for respecting due-process rights in disciplinary hearings) all contribute to an attitude of “management doesn’t respect us so why should we respect them?”
          2) Policing for Appearances
          Initiatives, specifically All Hands on Deck, are utterly useless for tamping down on crime. What the public doesn’t know is that officers have their schedules changed and are taken out of units (like investigative units, specialized units, etc.) and sent to 5th, 6th and 7th Districts only to be told to either a) stand on a corner for eight hours or b) Patrol a two to three block stretch of road, or a single block foot bridge, or a cul-de-sac. While people may be happy to see officers on the weekend, which is the intent, what happens is that the districts get shortchanges officers before and after All Hands on Deck because schedules are arranged to have officers work weekends and days off have to be scheduled during the week, decimating man power Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Moreover, every time that I get redeployed, it effectively cuts sixteen to twenty four hours from my week that I would otherwise use to investigate my assigned cases. Officers who have never worked in a district (5th, 6th and 7th) are told to go out and be proactive, despite the fact that they have never worked in that area and don’t know the people or even the physical geography of the area that they’re working in (which is a huge safety issue if you expect proactive policing to be done). Officers on AHODs often go out and rack up arrests for drinkers, pissers and driving without a license in order to pass the time or get off of their one block beat that they’ve never policed in ever or will again.
          What needs to happen is the Chief needs to admit that AHODs are primarily a PR initiative and not a crime prevention one. Anyone ever notice that some of the worst crime happens during the week and AHODS all happen to fall on a weekend? Or never one major holidays (where they’d have to actually pay us contractual holiday pay)?
          The above could also be said about the “Patrol Support Team” initiative. Ask the Chief why “PST” units never get deployed to 1, 2, 3, and 4th districts.
          3) Supervisors who don’t or can’t lead.
          There’s very few people on the MPD Command staff who were real, pro-active police officers. A great number of officers dislike the chief but like (or at least respect) leaders like Assistant Chief Groomes, and (former) Commander Solberg because they were at least the real police. Chief Charles Ramsey also got a lot of respect for going out and doing bread and butter police work like traffic stops. Additionally, supervisors at the rank or Lieutenant or above often become extremely disconnected from the process after a few years and have no idea the hoops that have to get jumped through to go about our day. Lieutenants and above should have to spend at least one day a week in a Police Service Area (PSA) car as the primary unit (i.e. the car with the least seniority tasked to be the first unit assigned to a radio run) to understand the issues that we have to deal with (terrible equipment, broken down cards, a near-unworkable computer reporting system).
          4) Misallocated Manpower
          There’s too many people assigned to do-nothing spots, make-work sports, station assignments, etc. If stations were designed like suburban police stations with bullet-proof partitiions and actual station security, you could largely civilianize the front desks of all the districts. Commanders secretaries and administrative people could be also be civilianized as long as competent people are hired and not the usual cast of disgruntled, barely literate people the city likes to hire for paper-pushing spots. There are too many two or four year wonders who get pushed to inside spots because they’re young, female and attractive. Until you have at least a decade on, there shouldn’t be any two year wonders working in an admin spot. There’s a whole litany of other positions that could be civilianized if D.C. stops its Barry-era policy of hiring D.C. residents for jobs that they’re barely qualified for simply because they’re ID says they live in D.C..
          Foot/Community beats are useful, but only if they’re used correctly and the community understands that there’s a trade off for having them and a specific use for them- the more foot beats there are the fewer scout cars there are available to respond to assignments in an rapid manner. Also, foot beats in the middle of large residential area (say Crestwood or the Pallisades) don’t serve as much of a purpose as having them in business corridors (Georgia Avenue, 14th Street, Rhode Island Avenue, U Street, etc.) where the greatest amount of officer-citizen interaction could occur.
          In my personal experience, I worked a beat for several years and enjoyed it, but many people who get assigned to them either don’t want to do them (often brand new officers) or want to do them too much (i.e. they’re lazy and learn to hide). District commanders need to provide incentives to motivated officers, both young and old, to want to do foot beats RIGHT. Some incentives could include a modified schedule (i.e. possibly work four ten hour days as opposed to five eight hour days), periodic granting of administrative leave for high-performing officers, offering opportunities for overtime (i.e. first in line to apply to work for reimbursable details like club security). The incentives need to be monitored so that they’re not being parceled out to people’s “favorites” but to high-performing officers. Bonus points if officers do the community beat on a bike or segway.
          There’s a whole lot more things that could be brought up, but that’s for another post…..”

  • Yikes, that kid is a psychopath and needs to be off the streets for the safety of others. I’m so glad that you are OK and am very impressed with the way you handled what had to be a traumatic and scary incident.

  • Aglets

    Have you contacted David Garber? he’s at 14th & U but he use to be the ANC of the Navy Yard area and he was really great & responsive & might be a good resource of linking people to talk to.

    THere has to be some security footage around the school that could hopefully narrow down who it is?

    I am so tired of people not being held accountable for their actions.

  • Gosh darn S*B’s. dang, this city can be dangerous. kids today have no respect. and it’s not the parents fault (not even good parenting can prevent some our precious youth from turning into animals).

  • Contact the school. I think a written letter describing your experience, copying MPD, Ward 6 Councilmember, PCSB, DME, and OSSE would at least increase awareness of this and ensure that their is an official audit trail. I have met some of that school’s founders and staff and believe they would appreciate hearing about this incident. You could also consider testifying at one of the PCSB’s monthly meetings and a Council hearing. That school is approaching its 5 year review, so the last thing it wants out there are negative reports. At the very least its on the public record and the various city agencies will send inquiries to the school — who would then take action among its students.

  • northeazy

    That is why I carry a blade on me. In all likelihood I would probably be disarmed if I ever took it out to defend myself, but in a last ditch effort for survival, I’m going out guns blazing. Good thing you survived. What a crazy story!

    • Carrying a blade wouldn’t have changed this situation at all. I don’t know why you’re using it as justification for carrying a weapon.

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