Extreme Frustration After Assault at the Troubled 7th and P St, NW Bus Stop

Photo by PoPville flickr user Josh Bassett

A resident writes:

“One of our Marion St street neighbors was just verbally and physically assaulted, and had her life threatened at the bus stop. The regular there with the incredibly droopy face and glassy eyes (Tony?) grabbed her and threatened to cut her throat. She is still very shaken up, but I got her to tell me what happened, and the police response was even more shocking than the assault.

One officer told her “he didn’t mean it”. Another officer told her she should walk on the other side of the street. And another officer told her that she should have stayed at the scene. Each of these so obviously ridiculous for so many reasons. With two drug-crazed stabbings in DC last week, one of which happened two blocks away, why shouldn’t she – and more importantly why shouldn’t the police – take this threat seriously? And why would she want to stay at the scene where a f*cking lunatic on drugs is grabbing her and threatening her? And why should we not be able to use that side of the street, just so it can be used for illegal activities? What if she wants to ride the bus?

I personally get along with the guys there usually, we say hi, they pet my dog and they know exactly how many days old my son is. I try to be neighborly with them. But that doesn’t excuse this type of behavior. They are not all innocent local old-timers that we should feel sorry about displacing. At least some (probably most) of them are on drugs and/or are selling drugs. I watch then from my window as they sneak around the concrete wall for quick hits off the crack pipe. It can’t be allowed to continue. Why is nothing happening after so many complaints? If this had happened to my wife while she was walking with our newborn son, we’d have one less person at that bus stop to worry about. The cops should not let it come to that though.”

112 Comment

  • This bus stop is a problem. I think that lot behind it is due for development – I wonder if that will help.

    • Honest question – is this the same bus stop near the lot that’s up for developing low income housing?

    • The city was supposed to put that block up for auction months and months ago. Any idea what the hold up is? It seems that development would absolutely help alleviate the problem.

  • I live close to this and agree the local and city leadership is absolutely dropping the ball here. My neighbors and I have regularly been in touch with various leaders to try to figure out how to best manage this situation — everything from improved social services to better police enforcement and it seems like all of the leaders assume someone else is handling it. No one is handling it. And it is a legitimate problem. It’s not okay to expect people to just cross the street to avoid harassment.

    • have you considered having a neighborhood meeting with your PSA? We own in a condo assn nearby and we had the guy in charge of the PSA (whatever they’re called) and another cop come talk to us about area crime. Not sure it’ll do anything, but they did give out business cards with their direct contact info.

      • To be honest, no. I’ve probably talked to five different officers about this issue over the last year or so, including the 3D commander, and none seem to think it’s a policing issue and none seem to think it’s very serious. Everyone is passing the buck.

  • We learned from yesterday’s Popville reporting on the stolen iPhone that MPD reads this blog. Perhaps they would be willing to respond?

    • MPD read that post bc the man who took the photo of the phone thieves also emailed the blog post to MPD.

  • I’ve definitely been yelled at for ‘being white’ when I have passed by there before. I can’t say I was worried about anyone coming after me though. I don’t think those guys can even stand up without something to lean on.

    • It depends. You sort of never know what to expect. Sometimes the crowd is very friendly and other times someone is completely losing their cool. I once saw a regular from that corner going around threatening people with a two-by-four. More often than not everything is fine, but when it’s not fine, it’s Really not fine.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I was driving down P headed east a week or so ago and one dude was just standing in the east bound lanes, drinking and staring down drivers as they used the other lane to go around.

  • I completely agree. Having just recently moved into a new townhouse right down from Beau Thai, the amount of criminal and suspicious traffic on the other side of 7th, not too mention the 5th and N St NW areas is troubling. I recently had my bike stolen from my 50 foot balcony as the robber used a ladder he stole from jumping fences in the alley near Dacha. We even have the robbers face, clear as day, on a security camera the basement tenants have out front. Cops came – nothing. Days before any follow up. No feedback, nothing. When brazen criminals are climbing ladders the middle of a day on a Saturday at 11:00am to commit crimes, you would think stronger attention would be placed on this. With so many families moving into this area, they should have regular patrols and not let the old line of “they are old men and didn’t mean to harass you” or “they aren’t selling large amounts of drugs so we don’t want to waste time and resources with them.” All of this economic activity in this area will not continue unless these problems are addressed. If you’re putting cops outside the Giant, you can have a few patrol cars making more regular rounds. We pay (very high) taxes for a reason.

    • Did you post the pictures on the DC used bicycle facebook group? It won’t be much help for getting the guy arrested but there’s a decent chance you’ll get the bike back. Just post the make/model of the bike and a still from the footage. It’s a closed group so a safer forum to post that kind of info than here.

      • Yes, I did. And called all the local bike stores, and sent them pics and the police report number, etc. Nothing. So if anyone sees a black Cannondale F5 in the area, and someone who may not look like they ride the trails, please post!

  • I live very close to that intersection and was verbally abused recently by these guys while walking by with my 3 month old baby on our way to get groceries. I am sick and tired of having to avoid this part of my neighborhood. The total lack of response on this issue from our ANC commissioner is infuriating…Kevin Chapple will not be getting my vote again.

  • If you think that bus stop is a problem, you should see the one at Georgia and Kennedy. Complete insanity. All the time.

    • Although I just checked the Google Street view of that bus stop at 7th and P and there is definitely something shady going down in the shot. Lol.

    • Don’t forget the bus stops on Rhode Island between 3rd and Florida (by the BP). And it’s BOTH sides of the street there, so you don’t even get the luxury of crossing the street to avoid being yelled at.

      • Totally agree. I just walked past there at 3pm today. I’m a young woman and was walking on my own. I really did not appreciate not feeling safe on either side of the street.

    • The intersection of Florida and North Capitol is a gem too.

      • I saw a dude taking a dump on the side of the DCity Smokehouse building one morning on my way to work. It was 7:20…pretty good line of cars at that light. Dude did not care.

    • You’re not kidding…that corner is HOT most of the time. BUT, 4D has had patrols posted on that corner for probably about a month now, and it has been much better! Sometimes we do get a decent response….

  • Sad to say it but all you really have is ‘self preservation’ or self protection and what I mean by that is staying as far away any and all potential volatile situations. Cross the street, take another route, change up routine outings. Be aware, be focused and don’t lag behind in getting to where you need to go in public. Face it, the police can only do so much and can only be in so many places. But putting myself at risk in some petty street fight or with some underage individuals just isn’t worth it. Stay out of harm’s way, when you’re at a bus stop stay in the space that can give you the option of leaving that bus stop in an instant, stay in lighted open areas, be aware of your surroundings and what’s around you.. And yes, I am a black male who knows all about the hood, the non hoods and so on and so forth, there’s just a different mindset out there and its best you play it safe at all times, be aware and be on top or at least a step or two ahead of any plan you have going on.

    • You’re not talking to a bunch of idiot bumkins here. Most people in the city are perfectly capable of not fighting with crackheads. The point is that the police should be able to prevent harassment when it’s the same group of individuals aggressively harassing and threatening passers by and publicly using illegal drugs day in and day out. Just because you’re capable of avoiding confrontation doesn’t mean you can’t also expect your streets to be free of harassment and public drug use.

    • This is all well and good advice that everyone should follow. the problem i have with this sort of answer (and i don’t direct this at bruce or imply this is his message) whenever these sorts of issues come up (and they’ve been coming up a lot it seems), is that it leads to complacency and that we should all be accepting of these sorts of things as some cutesie quirk of DC urban life that old-timers can wear as a badge of home town pride. i recognize that DC’s urban problems run deep, including income disparity, drugs, and segregation, and that the city has vastly improved over the years. However, I challenge us to find another “world class city” that has these sorts of issues intertwined with every day life. More frustrating than that, however, is this city’s lack of ability or apparent drive to address these issues. i’m a long time democrat and social liberal, believe me, so it pains me to express these views and risk sounding like some ultra conservative – but this city’s attitude with entitlements (subsidized housing, welfare, etc), lackadaisical approach to crime (including and especially juvenile delinquency), political corruption and ineptitude, and out-right acceptance of rooted racism befuddles me. there are good citizens here, i love this city – but sometimes as a whole i just want to b*tch slap some sense into this city.

      • Same. I’m a commie leftist pinko, and I think that in several of the areas you mentioned, DC is a pile of usually-imaginary conversative boogeymen given flesh. And I still love it despite that, but it really is ridiculous sometimes.

      • Well said!

      • Hear, hear. I have lived in cities in the U.S. all my life and traveled extensively to many others all over the world, and DC is by far the most dysfunctional of them all. The lack of being part of a larger state, I think, is a source of many of the problems. But the biggest problem is the bizarre and mystifying tendency of so much of our populace to just accept things as they are. They seem either to be transient so don’t really care; urban neophytes who (mistakenly) think this is just what city living entails; or others who are terrified of looking like urban neophytes or, God forbid, conservatives if they actually complain about crime and quality of life issues.

      • Agree 100% with this comment! Having lived here the majority of my adult life at this point I am constantly amazed by both the seeming lack of progress in fixing some very visible problems and the ongoing encouragement through public policy of the systems that lead to such problems.

      • THIS. 1000 times yes. I agree with anon (2:30), I’ve lived in other cities and never experienced these levels of unchanging dysfunction. I think a lot of it probably does have to do with the transient nature of DC, the split between MD and VA, which creates the intense “us vs. them” mentality (however you want to define it, old-timers vs. millennials, black vs white, gentrifiers & upper middle class vs. lower class, democrat vs. republican, NIMBYs and “not my problem”-folk). Too often that means DC is drawing a definitive line in the sand, and if you’re not on this side, you’re part of the enemy. If you’re trying to engage everyone or solve the problem as a whole, you’re racist, selling out, or a commie sympathizer. This extends deep into DC culture and attitudes. The problem with that is when the first Tuesday in November comes, many people (who actually can carry the vote) have this attitude, and churn the machine back into the same cycles. My hope is that as urban re-investment continues, and new & old residents that want to invest in the community and can see the visible growth and potential, can elect leaders that are up to the task of taking on these challenges and make serious changes. Surely someone can step up??? Anyone???

        • I nominate POP! oh wait, now that he’s moved, he’s one of them upper NW NIMBYS! jk… I would have liked to have seen what Catania could have done and if he could have made a difference. Regardless, I do have some hope – I think there are good future leaders out there. Kenyan McDuffie is one that comes to mind, and I’d like to what difference Elissa Silverman can make.

      • “I challenge us to find another “world class city” that has these sorts of issues intertwined with every day life.”

        How about Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles . . . in other words, pretty much every large American city.

  • the problem extends to Kennedy Rec Center where there’s constantly groups of people doing drugs or slinging verbal insults at people just trying to have a nice time. We’ve stopped going, which I’m sure is their goal.

  • Last year I heard police officers tell a neighbor of mine that he should have stayed at the scene of an assault instead of heading for safety before making a call to them (I live a few blocks away). The officers also didn’t want to write up an official report. Ridiculous. These officers should be better trained and also be more sensitive.

  • The indifference towards crime by city officials is infuriating. I don’t know how many of you were around in the 80s and 90s but that feels like where we’re heading. We’ve got a long way to go, but no one seems to be doing anything to change course.

    • If that’s the case, and the police don’t do much to combat crime like this (aggravation, muggings, etc.) DC should prepare for all the young people and young families with disposable income to hightail it out of the District to VA or MD, taking their tax dollars with them. Restaurants and bars that have popped up in the area wouldn’t do too well either.

      I live in Dupont and pay way too much for my apartment, but I’m glad that my wife and I don’t have to deal with this nonsense on a consistent basis.

    • It’s worth remembering that we had *hundreds* of people being murdered every year by the mid-90s, and significantly more crime (violent and otherwise) in the 20 years between 1980 and 2000. Even the last ~15 years have seen a significant decline in violent crime (see this WaPo graphic for homicide stats: http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/homicides/).

      Crime obviously remains a major problem, but we’re a LONG way from rock bottom, and not likely to go back.

      • absolutely agree. 11 years ago I worked a project at Howard; this neighborhood is night and day from where it was then, so much for the better.

        • I have lived near here for just over *one year* and it’s gotten notably better in that time frame. But this corner continues to be a problem.

          • I’ve lived near here for 4 years now and while it had been getting notably better it’s taken a very steady decline this year. We no longer feel safe and that’s something I never felt when I first moved here.

    • During the race between Bowser and Catania, I heard a lot about middle schools and DCPS incompetence, and next to nothing about crime.

      • Keep in mind that David Catania was “too confrontational” to run the city, read that as- “didnt take the bullshit excuses, deep cronyism and incompetence, well”- and actually talked about how once you got the schools functioning properly again, some of these crimes would go down- he had a good idea- keep in mind my dog takes dumps over at a vacant and dilapidated middle school in the middle of one of DC’s “Hottest Neighborhoods”. The areas Muriel Bowser won ran right down 7th street- and you can read into that what you want, but Ill simplify it for you- If David Catania was African American, he would be Mayor Catania now- and not just some goofy vapid smile at a press conference; congrats DC you got what you paid for.

        • Catania should have spent more time articulating his positions during the campaign if they were better reasoned and more likely to be effective. Instead, every mailing I got from him, and every stump talk I heard time give were spent attacking Bowser without explaining what he had to offer. I’m white and pseudo-middle class and there’s no way in hell I’d have voted for him – it was one of the most poorly run campaigns I’ve ever seen.

          That said, I’m not enthusiastic about Bowser, either, and don’t expect much from her.

          • You think BOWSER ran on any ideas?! Catania had ideas and took positions. It’s people like you that scare me. You’d rather vote for a shell than someone with a position. Bowser never said she was going to do anything, so no one should be surprised at the decline we’ve seen since she’s taken office. Totally agree that if Catania was black he would have won. That is truly sad. People can’t see past color to help themselves.

          • She ran on a platform of smiling and saying nothing. Only in DC.

        • See: Fenty, Adrian.

  • Yo- MPDC, if youre reading this- that Droopy Eyed guy is selling up at 7th and T, and his customers are strewn out all over the 7th-10th St. area’s passed out and harassing people that are paying taxes, including a bunch moving into those really expensive apartments and condos- and guess what we vote(looking at you gov folks). Might want to start doing something about it before it gets worse for the businesses or the residents in that area- its pretty pathetic that your officers, including detective have been told by residents what exactly is goign on and nothing has been done. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to notice that any time one of your officers parks his or her vehicle on T to go to Pizza D’Oro for lunch, they disperse; and disperse quickly- generally a good sign that a majority of the folks present arent up to any good.

    • +1,000. And city government officials, seriously WHAT is the hold-up on auctioning the P/Marion Street parcel?You have at least one serious company that has been lining up to develop the plot for years. Why not just let them (or someone else) get to it already so the block can become something useful?

    • Such an overwrought description of 7th and T, an intersection I cross multiple times a day. Unless panhandling now qualifies as “harassment,” these are harmless and largely elderly people who just appear to be down on their luck.

      • I don’t live there, so I’m not there daily, but I visit friends over there pretty frequently and I’ve definitely been harassed at that corner and felt pretty uncomfortable multiple times.

        • I don’t doubt you. It’s a crowded corner, after all, and attracts people from all over. The familiar faces, though, are mostly harmless older guys who keep to themselves and occasionally pandhandle outside of the Chinese takeout. I’ve never felt threatened (i.e. harassed) on any of the corners at 7th and T.

  • I would love for Anon MPD to comment on this, since he or she is usually very informative about why DC police do what they do, because this is utterly insane. Grabbing someone and threatening to cut their throat is assault and battery–full stop. Police officers not acting on that is a complete dereliction of duty, even if the guy committing the crime is some old-timer they don’t want to deal with or they think he “didn’t mean it.” What an utter embarrassment.

    • It would also be great to have a physical description of the officer that said this- and if he was a Patrol SGT or SOD officer. That is incredibly unprofessional and contrary to what I have seen 3rd District officers display.

      • That’s the kind of sh*t that you send to the Chief and District Commander.

        • It is. I think the victim should be doing that right now, if she hasn’t already. And if the folks in charge don’t do anything, on to the Post. I get the cops sometimes not following up on noise complaints or public nuisance violations or drug sales–even if I think that’s lousy too–but when *actual clear felonies directed at individual human beings* are getting laughed out of the room, it’s name-and-shame time.

          • We’re assuming what OP stated is 100% true, which is based on secondhand information.

          • ten, this may be the case. But as a neighbor and someone who sees both this corner and the listserv that originally circulated this message on a daily basis, I can tell you that this story is exactly what I would have expected to happen. It could have just as easily been me telling this story, so I have a hard time -not- believing it.

          • I’m simply saying that it may be unwise to go on a witch hunt for specific MPD officers when none of us was there. Totally agree with you that the corner has a problem.

          • Not asking to go after the officer, but that is a specific lack of accountability- if you were in that person’s shoes, I would assume you would have gotten a name or badge number for your records…hell maybe even for a thank you.

          • We also do not know if the officer took a report for the offense.

          • It didn’t show up in the 3D crime report. And the report for yesterday already went out. The OP’s message circulated on the listserv before midnight. So I think that means it wasn’t reported.

          • Can I ask where you are pulling the 3D crime report?

          • I get it through the [MPD-3d] listserv. It’s a Yahoo group and I think anyone can join it.

          • @ten- very good point.

          • Just because it doesn’t show up on the daily 3D crime report doesn’t mean a report wasn’t taken. The officer may not have submitted it yet or it may not have been approved by the time they sent the email to the listserv. Like everyone else here, I’m speculating about what the officer did or did not do, but I’m also highlighting that not everything is as certain as we want it to be.

          • “I’m also highlighting that not everything is as certain as we want it to be.” — Good point, ten.
            “Just because it doesn’t show up on the daily 3D crime report doesn’t mean a report wasn’t taken. The officer may not have submitted it yet or it may not have been approved by the time they sent the email to the listserv.” Very true. I still wonder about the value of taking a report and not submitting it/making it transparent to citizens.

          • For anyone interested in the Third District Yahoogroup:

          • A report was finally taken the following day, after this email and PoP post got circulated, and it resulted in an arrest. The victim told me the police are cooperating now regarding the incident as well as investigating the initial response from the officers.

  • Wow, that was really offensive. Sort of the definition of profiling.

    It’s pretty tough to say “I try to be neighborly with them.” And then say “At least some (probably most) of them are on drugs and/or are selling drugs.” two sentences later.

  • Most MPD officers do a great job, but these guys should be disciplined post haste. I don’t care if the guy “meant it” or not – assault is assault.

  • It seems like the way to deal with this issue is fairly clear — and please feel free to poke holes in this if you disagree or have different information.
    1) Move forward with the RFP process on that parcel ASAP. It won’t be a hangout like it is now if that ground level is filled with retail like a restaurant with sidewalk seating. And I think that is what Roadside has proposed.
    2) In the meantime, set up a semi-permanent police presence on that corner. Like a cop car at all times or one of those overhead camera and light installations.
    What am I missing? If nothing, why is this so hard?

  • Question about one part of this – why do the police ask you to stay where the incident occurred? I understand if it’s something like a car accident, but it seems like they should want you to get to a safe place if you’ve been threatened with violence (or mugged by someone with a sawed off shotgun, as my husband was years ago). If I feel unsafe, I’m not going to want to wait around in that spot for someone to help me…

  • I moved from the condo building on the corner of 7th and Marion just last March. That bus stop is SUCH a nightmare. I cannot begin to tell you all how many times I was threatened and sexually harassed. Tony is the WORST. Two days before I was turning in my keys, I was at the Marion St. condo cleaning the unit. On my final walk to Giant to get wood polish, Tony followed me home. I was SO scared. I immediately called the police once I was in my unit. They did not show up for 20 minutes. When I explained that within the 20 minutes they took I could have been killed or raped they didn’t even apologize or give an explanation. Then when they got there they made me get in the car and take a ride to point out the guy. When I pointed from inside the car they said, “Oh Tony.” Got out. Attempted to search him. Decided against it. Told him to leave the street corner for the night. They returned to their car and said, “That is just Tony. We get lots of calls about him. He has a big bark but no bite. Don’t worry its almost sundown and he will be going to the Kennedy Center for shelter.” MY BOYFRIEND WAS FURIOUS when I told him. The cop gave me his business card and I thought I still had it. I will look tonight. This is ridiculous and the EXACT reason why I left. So upsetting. Something needs to be done. What will it take?

    • Based on your description of the event that MPD responded to (tony following you), there was no crime, so I’m not sure why you’re mad at MPD.

    • What exactly is the crime that you wanted Mpd to do something about on that day?

      • Well, hd and ten, is your point that you actually need to be raped or assaulted before you get to call the police? Sounds like it.
        FWIW, I think the police responsive varies by neighborhood. I live two blocks from the Capitol where Congressmen also live. One day, a menacing dude got into our building and was going from door to door, trying to get in. I wasn’t attacked or assaulted, but I called the police. Three of them (by bike and car) were there in less than three minutes. They took the guy out of the building and straightened things out. That’s a far cry from 20 minutes of waiting. Anything could have happened with “Tony.”

        • She can call the police, but she shouldn’t be upset when they don’t search or arrest someone, because a crime didn’t occur on that day. Also, when people complain about response times, they forget that the dispatcher assigns the priority, not the officer, who may have responded the moment that he/she received the dispatch, and may be completely unaware of when the 911 call occurred. In reality, the response time varies according to the time of day, the neighborhood, and other higher-priority incidents occurring at the same time.

          • It is not a crime to follow someone home?! To their front door while whistling and saying things such as, “I’m going to get you.”

          • Certainly not the following part. Saying I’m going to get you is borderline misdemeanor threats, which is criminal, but isn’t something that the officer could immediately arrest the suspect for, unless he/she witnessed it him/herself.

  • Emmaleigh504

    “If this had happened to my wife while she was walking with our newborn son.”
    As an aside, it annoys me that incidents like this are deemed so much worse when it happens to a woman. It’s just as bad if it happens to a man.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Mostly agreed, but I’m not sure what it is about the OP’s sentiment that you find objectionable. The OP has expressed that the OP would not have taken too kindly to the offender threatening the OP’s spouse and child – I suspect that this is the case for most men and most women. And it also appears to be the case that the OP is male and his spouse is female. Does the fact that a specific individual person who is upset about their spouse and kids being threatened happens to be male and the person’s spouse happens to be female make it less valid that the specific individual person would be upset about their spouse and child being threatened?

  • First of all you people moved into THEIR neighborhood. Whether they live ON the corner or in a house, it’s their home just like your condo or row house. Most importantly you are their neighbors. Why does the city have to do something about them? If you had moved to Leesburg you would have invited neighbors for a back yard bbq and chatted up people at the mailbox. In this instance I’m quite sure you’ve tried to pretend these people are invisible as much as possible. I bet you’ve had more polite interactions with people’s dogs than you have with these men and women. What have you done to enhance the neighborhood? How have you tried to be the same type of good neighbor to these guys as you would be to a DC Elite type? Either be part of a real solution of neighbors helping neighbors or stop whining because people don’t tolerate YOUR rude unneighborly behavior. You are right next door to Bread for the City. Stop in sometime to make a donation or lend a hand. Have a neighborhood cookout in the park across the street. Help out at the rec center. Visit one of the churches to see how you can be of service.

    • I fully agree that everyone should engage in the neighborly things you mentioned – I imagine that many others do as well. This becomes much trickier though when said neighbors begin harassing people and threatening physical violence and death. You lose whatever neighborly claim you may have once had when you start threatening your other neighbors. I understand that these men may not actually act out on their threats but that’s far from the point.

      • +1. And I would add that long-time residents of the neighborhood don’t like what’s happening at this corner, either. I went to a neighborhood meeting about 8 months ago about development on the block as a whole, and more than half the people there were long-time residents who were there to try to get some leaders to take action to improve this corner. It’s not just “DC Elite types” who think this corner is a problem.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Yes, this isn’t just a young white wealthy gentrifier thing. I had an older African American friend who owned a home near another troubled corner and she refused to leave her home after dark for the last 20 or so years of her life for fear of violence from the neighborhood drug dealers and their clientele (she passed away a few years ago at the age of 77). When this type of behavior is allowed to continue while the police look the other way, the whole damn neighborhood suffers.

      • Part of being a good neighbor is not putting up with behavior that degrades your neighborhood. THAT in fact is precisely the problem with certain neighborhoods that never seem to improve until other people move in and demand more.

    • The city “should do something about them” because they’re committing crimes and threatening people. What’s the standard for “being a good neighbor to these guys” when they assault you and threaten to cut your throat? Is that just what one should expect to happen if you don’t invite a bunch of junkies and dealers over for burgers?

    • You must live in an alternate reality if you think it’s safe for a female walking alone to approach a group of men like this. Furthermore, it isn’t “their” neighborhood just because they have been doing drugs and threatening people on the street long before those you so rudely refer to as “you people” moved in. I really am sick of the notion that crime should be allowed to go on unchecked just because the criminals were “there first.” It’s really very pathetic and if this type of attitude continues things will never improve.

      • I think part of this can be explained by psychology. Someone identifies with a group, and they dig in, no matter what, to defend it. They’ll take great pains to overlook all the crap that goes on just so they can continue to defend the indefensible. They see “the other” as someone to oppose even when the other might actually be ok because they’re unwilling to break away from a very strict black and white interpretation (no pun intended, really!). We need to see people as people, regardless of whether our skin matches or doesn’t match them, and evaluate their behavior with an open mind.

    • OP here. First of all, who are you to make assumptions about me? I’ve owned my house of Marion Street for at least ten years before any of these guys showed up at the bus stop. The trouble makers don’t even live here. They take the metro in to hang out at the corner all day cause they know they can score drugs, sell drugs, and pretty much do whatever they want without any repercussion. Every accusation in your comment is wrong. I treat these people with total respect when they are not assaulting people, or doing drugs in the alley. Some of them are not a problem, but they are not the topic of conversation here. I’m asking that we separate the illegal activity from the legal activity. I just walked over there not 30 minutes ago with my wife and son to chat with the ones that are friendly and say goodnight to them. If you don’t believe me, meet me there tomorrow and we can chat with all of them and you can ask them how I treat them. I can’t even bike by there without someone hollering at me to say hello. My complaint is about the ones that make it a nuisance and become belligerent, and get so high that they make stabby threats. Why would you automatically assume that someone who doesn’t want their neighbors to be assaulted is just being rude? If one of them was being assaulted I would stick up for them exactly the same way. In fact, I did just that when one of them got shot in a drive-by shooting a few months ago, I ran out of my house in my underwear to check on the victim who was laying shot in the grass. I didn’t hesitate because because of who the victim was or consider that the shooter could come back and that I was putting myself in harm’s way. However the victim did not want any help, not even from the police or the ambulance, because he obviously knew why he had been shot and didn’t want to talk about it (Hint: it wasn’t because he waiting for the bus). I also clean up after them on weekly basis with my trash-picker and a trash bag. One time when I was doing it, one of them came over and introduced himself and offered to help me clean up. It’s acts like that that have given me a good rapport with these guys, I can can talk to them straight up about how it’s not cool at all that one their boys put their hands on my neighbor and threatened to kill her, and that’s why he’s in jail now. I wish they would straighten up their act so we could all just be neighbors, but unfortunately it’s the acts of a few of them that have broken the neighborly code of conduct, NOT ME

  • it sounds like your neighbors had some truly unfortunate experiences with both the person at the bus stop who threatened her, as well as the police in their response (or lack thereof). however, OP’s unsubstantiated accusations of drug activities seem offensive and based more on biased assumptions than facts. we can all be supportive of the victim and advocate for better action/behavior by the police and those around the bus stop without resorting to prejudice.

    • OP here. The only rush to judgement here is you stating that my accusations are unsubstantiated. If you don’t believe me come hang out across the street at THE PLAYGOUND (drug free zone part of the Kennedy Rec Center) for a few hours tomorrow and observe for yourself. Just a couple months ago I witnessed a drive-by shooting at that bus stop that sprayed the houses behind it with bullets (including the house of the victim of this recent incident). It’s the first time I’ve seen a human get hit by a bullet. The shooting was not because the shooter had lost at chess earlier in the day. There is drug activity there. You should do some research before you make unsubstantiated accusations.

  • Anyone that lives in this two block radius has seen, I repeat seen, with our own eyes, multiple drug deals. This is not hypothetical. The OP is not rushing to judgement here. The guys are usually harmless but when they’re tripping, they’re unpredictable- and yes that is a scary thing to walk through by yourself at any time of day.

  • Update I sent to popville

    Hey Popville, someone mentioned to me that you put this up on your blog. I actually didn’t even know that I emailed it to you. I was simply hijacking an earlier thread of a similar topic and replied-all. But thanks for posting it because it got a lot of attention, and the MPD made the effort to follow up with the victim and apologized for their lack of response initially. This time they actually took a police report and an arrest was made earlier today.

    I received several calls and emails from the police about wanting to get this right and apologizing for the way it was handled. The victim subsequently met with the police and they also expressed to her the same regrets and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. So anyone on here that thinks this was anything other than a legitimate case of assault that was handled improperly, or that this is the result of anything other than failed policing at a known location of illicit activity, must either be trolling or completely ignorant.

    • Thanks so much for following up with us here and especially for following up with the MPD. It’s encouraging to hear that they’re finally taking this seriously — even if it did take a lot of community frustration, voiced in multiple venues, to make it clear that their handling of that corner’s activities isn’t okay. I hope they’ll continue to take the situation seriously even though they appear to have dealt with the since triggering incident. Arresting one person is definitely not enough to make me feel completely safe.

    • Thanks for the follow-up information!

  • This is what needs to go forward with all these reports.
    1. The police take the report.
    2. The police arrest the perp.
    3. The perp is prosecuted.
    4. The perp goes to jail
    Fankly it is time for those of us in the community who are sick of this crap to start neighborhood watches and to work closesly with the police to make damn sure these violent criminals end up in prison. This means identifying publicly those who have been problems within a community as well. It is time for us to step up and make life hell for the criminal element of DC.

    • Fact,

      Steps 3 and 4 simply do not happen with any sort of regularity in this city.


      Until they do things will not improve.

      The answer is not mass incarceration, however the pendulum has swung too far to the side of no punishment and thus the criminal justice system, and the threat of punishment, is no longer an effective deterrent.

      It defiantly starts with the way juvenile arrests are handled, in that they are not. The justice system allows virtually all crimes committed by juveniles to go unpunished. When that happens it can become a way of life that doesn’t simply change when an individual turns 18.

      Now you have a generation of people who have been conditioned to think that the way they are living their lives is acceptable as they haven’t had to face any meaningful consequences for their actions.

      They become adults and have a hard time acclimating to wider society as their actions and attitudes fall so far outside its norms and mores.

      That said, the criminal justice system is not prepared for, nor was it ever intended to be, an institution tasked with teaching right and wrong.

      People always want to slam the criminal justice system for doing either too much or too little when in reality the issue lies at home.

      It’s the same with schools. People want to blame underperforming schools/teachers/administrators for what is coming out of them.

      With both of these institutions the question that also needs to be asked is “what are we putting into them?” Children do not simply show up to school in a vacuum. Respondents/defendants do not simply appear before a judge.

      The vast majority of dysfunction in society starts at home. Until we are ready to accept that fact and deal with it in a meaningful way the status quo will continue.

      But hey, it’s way easier to blame the someone else and keep getting re-elected am I right?

      I guess I got a little off topic there lol, rant mode off.

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