Maybe Not the Best Game to Play in the City at the Moment

Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

“Dear PoPville:

Saturday evening just before dark, something scared the bejeesus out of my cat, and he came barreling in from the walled garden behind our townhouse. I looked out and noticed two 20-something men looking down from the roof of my neighbor’s house. One of them spotted me and motioned for for me to be quiet. Hinkey.

I dialed my neighbor first (no answer) and then called 911 while my partner went to check out the situation. He saw a couple guys who looked similar to the ones on the roof (buzz cuts, really dirty hands) and followed them as they circled the block and then went down the alley that runs behind our houses. When he confronted them (brave) and asked what they were doing, they replied that they were “freerunning” which I later learned was a form of Parkour. Apparently, they play a game of hide-and-seek on rooftops and in alleys.

Such a bad idea. I live just a few houses from Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson, who has a 24-hour security detail. Of course, there are dozens of agents on similar details all around the neighborhood. In this case, the group got a minor lecture from a 50-something couple, but I shudder to think what the outcome would have been had they decided to climb up onto the secretary’s roof. My hunch is that an arrest or beat-down by the agents would have been the best possible outcome.

The police who responded (after the kids had bolted) said that freerunning is a thing. If you know someone who is taking part, they would be well advised to keep it at street level and off of private property.”

16 Comment

  • Possibly true, but more likely breaking into people’s houses from the roof access panel (happened to a friend and my father some years back). We have an alarm sensor on ours with a lock to prevent. Once someone is on a rowhouse roof they have unlimited access. Be careful!

  • Maybe they were freerunning, but that sounds like a convenient excuse to me. They could have been scoping out buildings to break into and just had that as an excuse so you wouldn’t call the cops. Speaking of, I would have called them. It’s still trespassing, they could cause damage to yours or someone else’s property, etc.

  • nightborn

    Sounds like some Darwin awards in the making…

  • Don’t be so uptight. Why can’t DC be a normal city?

    • Are you serious? Two guy in all black hiding on a roof in the middle of the night? You clearly only lived here two years….that could easily have been burglars or worse. DC might be gentrified, but that doesn’t mean it is safe.

    • Excellent question. I suggest you ask the people who break into houses through the roof hatch. Kindly get back to us.

      • My rental got broken into that way. I’d be very concerned if someone was on my roof or my neighbor’s.

    • Do you want random people climbing up your house? Because I do not.

  • justinbc

    Back in my day kids ran on the street!

  • Hm, not sure I believe their story, but next time point out Johnson’s house as the **perfect** place to hide.

  • Am I being a bitch when I say that I hope the nimrods try to do something like this on the roof of the head of Homeland Security and get busted in a way only Homeland Security can?

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