Continued Frustration Over the Situation at Georgia and Lamont St, NW

Georgia and Lamont St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to make sure that you post about the robbery at gunpoint that occurred a little after 11 in the 700 block of Lamont street, It is on MPD Twitter. Anyway this is the same block that we have been hearing complaints about for the past few weeks, hell on Monday there was a crime walk, last night a meeting with ANC rep Bobby Holmes and reps from the 3rd and 4th district that was to a degree a little disappointing. While patrols, or really a cop just stationed at that corner and the shutting down of the drug house across the street on Lamont, have at least given the corner the appearance of not being so shitty, I guess that is pretty much all for nothing, because Robbery Gun point is about the worst thing I can recall in a while happening here in a while.

Anyway, while I don’t speak for everyone, I think many felt that the fact that these three blocks south of the park road substation are so crappy is really pretty embarrassing, and I think many of us at least get the sense that it has to do with the border being drawn where it is and the way that effects policing. Anyway at this point I am just pissed.

The sheer amount of criminal activity at this corner and in the alleys immediately east and west of it is staggering and yet even when we raise a pretty good stink they can’t keep it safe one night after the stink? It sucks for the neighborhood, I would particularly hate to be in the lofts at this point and it is a total embarrassment for MPD. I could vent forever but I am sure you get my point, please, please, please post something about this, it is ridiculous.”

61 Comment

  • Was this 11am or pm? I walk this stretch fairly frequently during the daytime and have always felt pretty safe, though it also feels like it has been escalating recently.

    • I’d like to know this as well. I checked MPD’s feed and there was a Robbery Gun – 700 blk Lamont St NW 2230hrs so guessing pm. LOF 3 B/M’s with dark clothing, S1 w/ dreads. Last seen in dark BMW X5 or X6.

  • Wait aren’t these dudes “harmless”.. We need to go back to arresting people on the mall for drinking and playing softball, that’s the problem.

    • Keep in mind that those are two different departments with two different jurisdictions. So while I can understand your frustration, it is misinformed.

      • I completely understand that they are two different districts, I have understood that for a long time because when my house in 3d was broken into and the stolen goods were pushed up Georgia in a shopping cart into 4d it made dealing with the whole process of my house being burgarlarized a little bit more difficult. What so frustrating is that the area from basically Keyon up to Park 3d, and as we saw from the Gaint Liqour stabbing even north of Park and actually in 4d, has been getting worse and while being so close to a large police presence regardless of jurisdiction, there is a staggering amount of obvious crime.

      • Assuming you are talking about the Park Police vs. MPD, the Park Police have jurisdiction to arrest throughout all of DC: . htm

        • That is indeed correct. But they’re not patrolling the 700 block of Lamont st NW. Their man patrol areas are the parks and the national mall. They do have arrest authority in the entire city but they’re rarely in that area. It would be like saying Park Police is having the problem of robbers in the parks and MPD is only arresting people for drinking in public. They both handle they’re separate areas but both have the same jurisdiction. What happens when a city has 20+ PDs.

    • the lookout is for 3 males in a BMW SUV
      no I am not saying they SHOULD be there but i do find it highly doubtful that three of the old drunks on the corner could or would put together an armed robbery in which they took off in a SUV

      • +1
        The OP seems to be falling into the logical trap that all black people are the same. “Oh a robbery – those black drunks, AMIRITE?”
        Again, I can’t see much of a difference between black dudes drinking on the corner (some of whom are jerk harassers, but MOST are absolutely harmless) and the chuckleheads from the Hill getting drunk on the Mall while they act their Adam Sandler man-boyhood fantasies.

        • It amazes me how quickly people bring race in the comments one this site. This isn’t about race it is about crime begetting more crime. If you allow a fairly overt drug market in the area it will invariably lead to more and different crime, as in the addict who broke into my house. How do I know he was an addict you might ask? Because he was caught a week later while trying to sell more stolen goods that were clearly identifiable from as from a property directly behind me to my next door neighbors. While some of that crime is fairly petty the cumulative effect sucks, piss and shit in the alley, fairly regularly having run people off who are shooting up on my property.

          • Sadly, I do think you’ve hit on something re: drugs leading to crime. There’s a big push right now to reduce incarceration rates and avoid locking people up for relatively small-time drug crimes. A lot of this thinking comes from the right place, but it’s going to have VERY bad consequences if we don’t have some plan for giving people something to do besides sell and use drugs.
            Frankly, we are going to have to choose between 1) ensuring higher levels of employment and legalizing/regulating a lot of drugs that provide “employment” for people on the streets now, or 2) paying tons of money to lock people up. Those really are our choices.

        • Again, inserting race for no other reason but to stir things up. This is about CRIME not race. Get over yourself!

        • I don’t think the OP’s doing that at all. First off, those “absolutely harmless” guys include plenty of regular drug users, which means drug dealers, which means violence. But, even if you have trouble accepting that, the OP doesn’t even call out those guys! This is just another violent crime on a block that has had plenty of them.

        • OP didn’t fall into any logical trap regarding race. Nowhere in his post did he bring race into this. He just wants better policing near his house. And I support it. Georgia Ave was more dangerous than usual this week. For every race.

    • Or better, giving out tickets to jaywalkers and to cyclists who “Idaho”

    • I don’t know about you, but blatantly breaking the law is a problem. Maybe try to change the law instead of whining about people getting arrested for DOING ILLEGAL THINGS. In the meantime, maybe go to a bar instead of the Mall to drink?

  • I’m pretty sure this is because the cops are busy ticketing volleyball players on the mall.

    • I’m sure the Park Police will be shocked to learn this intersection is National Park land…

      • Those weren’t park police arresting people it was MPD. So your point is invalid.

      • Park Police have WIDE jurisdiction throughout DC. I have a comment pending above b/c I put a link in, but they have authority to arrest throughout DC under the same standard as MPD.

        • Park Police have jurisdiction, but they are patrolling first and foremost federal park lands, they are not patrolling or responding to calls at Georgia/Lamont. Park Police arresting people drinking on the Mall in the afternoon has nothing to do with robberies at night miles away.

          There are 36 different police agencies with jurisdiction in DC, as people concerned about crime, educating yourselves on their roles and where they actually work would be useful.

  • Your problem is that Brianne Nadeau is soft on crime. It’s not a priority for her. Sure, she’ll have a community meetings, but where are the arrests? Nothing changes.

    • You overestimate a Councilmember’s influence on the tactics of the MPD.

    • SusanRH

      Are any of our Councilmember’s hard on crime? Not trying to be sarcastic here, I really would like to know

      • “Hard” vs. “soft” on crime stems directly from the Mayor’s office, in her appointment of the police chief. That’s where the tactics and degree of implementation are decided. The city council is pretty toothless when it comes to crime issues.

        • Thank you for pointing that out. I’m always surprised when people get on the CMs about crime. What would you have them do? Their role is to step in when the appropriate process (i.e. MPD) has failed, and put pressure on them to get it right. They were not elected to solve or prevent crimes.

  • Police were in this area today around noon. I wonder if it had anything to do with this. Also, saw police and ambulances in front of Eddie Leonards last night, but earlier…like 7pm.

  • It was at night.

  • Since I came here in 1995 in my twenties, I’ve got married, bought a house, and had a child. My spouse and I are so fervent about living in DC that we would HATE to leave for the suburbs. Yet we will not accept a back-sliding on crime. If public safety continues to erode, we would not hesitate to leave. I know this may seem odd, given the horrible level of crime when I came here 20 years ago. But my standards are different now, and they aren’t going to drop. I hope our political leaders and the MPD will combat crime with greater urgency. I’d hate to leave, and I’d hate for the overall progress to be undermined.

    • + 1
      I’m no lifer, but I’ve been around long enough to notice crime is worse than usual this summer. I work in a trauma ICU and there seem to be more stabbing/gunshot/assault victim patients this year than in previous years. I’ve seen more random victims as well. It’s disturbing, but even more so when it affects someone you know and/or happens close to home.
      After nearly a decade of relatively crime-free living in Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, my husband (6’3″, straightforward walker, no-frills style) was forcefully robbed on the Mt. P side of Newton near 16th a few weeks ago. He was returning home from work and a block from our home. Two males who looked to be older teenagers approached him from behind, demanded his work bag, phone, and money, and punched him in the head while their friend looked out on the other side of the street. While his head CT was negative for bleeding or skull fracture, he had a nasty headache for a week or so after the incident and will have PTSD indefinitely. I suppose he lucked out, though, because there was another robbery (armed) a few blocks away 2 hours later… /
      We have been fortunate, as the cops responded immediately and exhibited the utmost professionalism in assisting my husband with this ordeal. The whole incident has been unsettling, but even sadder (but not surprising) is that the young suspect’s photo was in MPD’s database when the detectives came over to see if my husband could identify his attacker.
      My experience at work and with my husband is anecdotal, but I agree, there does seem to be a backsliding with regards to crime. DC was screwed up before we moved here a decade ago and will continue to be screwed up if we leave (which is becoming increasingly likely), but something’s gotta give.

      • Yikes! So sorry to hear that & glad he’s ok. What time of day? I live one block over from this on Monroe and am really disappointed/more than mildly freaked out to hear this.

  • Sweep the neighborhood shut down the two known drug house on the 700 blocks of Morton and Lamont. and the activities in nearby alleyways. Yes, ticket and arrest open drinking and drug dealing , even if they are seen as ‘petty crimes’. These quality of life crimes which are largely ignored are leading to more serious crimes!

    • Seriously curious – what is the known drug house on 700 block of Morton? 723 is vacant and has a well known shady history (and I’m actively working with the ANC to remedy), but I know of no ‘coming and going’ house. My wife and I bought on Morton a little over a year ago and we are sandwiched between two 30+ year households. They know the block very well and haven’t given me any heads up about a house to worry about.

      • I imagine it’s the pink house being referred to

        • The pink house is not an issue relative to this thread. They have some tenants that have their issues from time to time, but the family is quite nice and look out for their neighbors.

          • How it irrelevant as you asked the question about drug houses on that block? I used to live on Park Rd. for several years and it was well known that was the place to go besides Park Morton or the old heads on GA. Maybe they moved or quit dealing?

          • Sorry for the terse response previously. What was intended was that this thread is about open drug exchanges and other obvious crime issues that most people could reasonably deduce are leading to more serious crimes such as the robbery at Lamont/GA. I freely admit my Morton experience window is short (just over a year on the street), but outside of the vacant 723 property and the normal stuff one can expect living in a city, I think the block is pretty good. Rose colored glasses maybe. In any case, thanks for providing your insight and previous experience.

  • I live nearby and walk down Georgia Ave daily. I’ve noticed recently (or maybe I was just more oblivious before) the number of really high people hanging out in this area of Georgia Ave. (And, no, I don’t mean that everyone hanging out there is high. I just mean the number of really messed up people seems to have increased.) A couple nights ago there were two guys passed out laying in the sidewalk, one of which was doubled over. Are one of the convenience stores selling synthetic drugs?

    • Actually, I have to agree with you on this one. I was driving down the other day and noticed a really agitated/high looking guy at the BP station and thought to myself that I was glad I was driving and not walking that day. Also, he was white, not black, middle aged, and I’ve never seen him before (when your around quite often you get used to seeing the same people). This K2/Synthetic Marijuana shit is scary. Way scarier than a few drunks.

      • Actually, that might have been the same guy that prompted my question about convenience stores. I saw a skinny white guy (very out of place, looked like he was from West Virginia) hanging out in front of Bell’s corner store, just across the street from the BP. He was obviously on drugs and stopping people walking down the street. Needless to say, I crossed the street, so I don’t know what he was asking. He kept looking in Bell’s like he was waiting for someone.

        • YES!!! Sounds like the same guy. He was totally out of place. I would have definitely crossed the street had I been walking, and I don’t do that. There’s got to be something in the neighborhood that is a draw, and right now my completely uneducated opinion is K2, which we know is sold by convenience stores. The only other two conclusions I came to was one, a VERY bad undercover, or two, someone discharged from WHC who wasn’t from here but brought here and discharged maybe. IDK. Dude was definitely out of sorts, out of place, and noticeable. Also, honestly, as a white woman, white dudes that looks like they are straight out of West Virginia scare me more than any other category of dudes. So perhaps I’m biased.

          • This dude sounds like the guy who told me I was a dyke who needed to get …. when I said “no” to his request for money outside bell’s a week ago or so. A real winner.

  • One of the areas where the younger people are buying/selling drugs is the northwest corner of Georgia and Rock Creek Church Road. They go behind the big apartment building on the corner. There’s often a running car sitting back there with a guy in the driver’s seat. The 14/15 year olds handle the cash and goods. I see the same kids then hanging around down by Lamont.

  • On the flipside, you have developers, including but not most notably the dad of the proprietor of Colony on Georgia–one of our fav spots–are sitting on land like its a living Monopoly game in the ghetto. The dormant properties are like peanut butter to mice. You have many traditional ghetto retail (likely with the sane folk as landlord) operators like the folk who run Eddie Leonard’s who don’t speak much English and may not even understand that this isn’t helping. And nobody lives in the area. I guess it’s printing money for some. Trust me this is nothing new. It’s taken decades to recover from the ravages of the 80s; rich absentee landlords have always profited off the ghetto. I guess now that newer people are in the hood they are cheek to jowl with this reality. I will speak on the inability of council members, MPD etc to deal with this later.

    • I hope these landowners are ruined by this. Like that family down on Mass Avenue that refused to sell their little row house, thinking they were being cheated out of millions of dollars. Well, guess what! Now the house is entirely worthless, and the family has nothing to show for it. Serves them right.

    • Zuckerman Partners are sitting on 3 huge lots surrounding this chaos. The NW and SE corner of GA and Morton as well as the SW corner of GA and Kenyon. Don’t get what they gain by not moving on the developments unless they plan on selling again to another schmo?

      • i dont think this is an illegit question question for anyone to ask max next time they go for an iced coffee at colony

      • That’s probably exactly what they want to do. Wait until someone *else* goes through the trouble, risk, and work (and D.C. NIMBY gauntlet) involved in developing their land, then sell your vacant/dilapidated lots for oodles of cash. A tried-and-true slumlord tactic.

    • Trust me, the owners are not sitting on those properties. They either have commercial tenants or are in negotiation with commercial tenants for every single one. What most people fail to understand is the snail’s pace that the DC Government forces developers and commercial property owners to keep. Once you have a lease signed, permits must be secured for the build-out. Plans that are crafted by skilled architects are randomly rejected by non-skilled DCRA personnel and revisions are ordered. Inspections are required every step of the way. The pace of construction is dictated by the whims and schedules of the inspectors. A C of O is required after that as well and other applicable licenses. This process definitely stretches into months and sometimes up to a year. Complications can make it take even longer. Has anyone ever noticed a “Vacant Property” sticker slapped on a property right next to a building permit? A building that’s under active construction doesn’t qualify for that designation but that doesn’t stop OTR and DCRA. That’s just another thing that an owner/tenant has to take time to go straighten out. This is all on top of the 6 months to a year that it takes to actually find a commercial tenant with a business plan that is deemed sufficient enough to provide the landlord with confidence that he/she can get their rent every month. It is frustrating to see those vacant properties right now but hang in there. It will be changing soon for the better.

      • I think there are permits in the windows of some storefronts of the 3200 block but the windows are covered so I can’t see what’s going on. Does that belong them?

      • Eddie-thanks for that. It makes sense. I was talking to someone who said that DC’s enforcement of blighted property allows for the city to tax owners at some insane rate that makes it impossible for someone to make money by sitting on a dilapidated property. I’m excited to see what they do over there. Based on their history in the city, it seems logical that they would know what they’re doing.

      • Eddie-thanks for that. It makes sense. I was talking to someone who said that DC’s enforcement of blighted property allows for the city to tax owners at some insane rate that makes it impossible for someone to make money by sitting on a dilapidated property. I’m excited to see what they do over there. Based on their history in the city, it seems logical that they would know what they’re doing.

  • Life sentences for misdemeanor crimes is absurd, but sentences of any sort for misdemeanors would be a start.

    Your beef isn’t with the police, the police know how to get these folks off the street. Your beef is with the prosecutors and council who refuse to aggressively prosecute or enact laws with any teeth. The police have nothing to do with criminals repeatedly being released back to the streets because the D.C. prosecutors and judges don’t make people face real consequences for their actions.

    If you want change, direct your outrage at the appropriate people.

  • Crime at this location is hardly a new issue. It’s not ‘getting ridiculous,’ it done been ridiculous since I moved there in 2005. I moved in 2012 because I was so sick of it. I do appreciate the difference however, and that is that there is actual outrage about this crime now. Used to never hear a peep about it, it was just the norm.

  • First off as a parkview resident this is important so I’d much prefer people making dumb comparisons to drinking on the mall go elsewhere. I personally feel less safe now that motherships closed. Before I could know that if I made it south to lamont I’d feel safer because the staff knows me there and they are often about. The problem now is the combination of way too many vacant store fronts compared with a terrible Petworth liquors across the street that needes to close long ago.

  • The race-bating and self-righteous indignation here is ridiculous. The illegal issues here are obvious and have serious implications in terms of both violent crime and smaller quality of life crime. Drug dealers get into violent gun fights over territory and over transactions. Drug users mug people, smash car windows, rob houses, and steal packages. All of the crime in the area is connected to drug use and permitting junkies to buy and use publicly only makes the situation worse.
    Yes, the ultimate solution is drug treatment, but that does not mean in the interim drug dealers and users should be given carte blanche to destroy our neighborhood. People (including juveniles) who commit violent crimes should be prosecuted and go to prison for serious time. Drug users who are publicly intoxicated should be put into treatment programs through pre-trail diversion or go to jail. Simply letting drug use happen helps no one.

  • Has anyone thought of complaining to MTPD, Metro Transit Police Department
    They have bus stops around that area.
    They have increased patrol around certain areas in the city normally after complaints, I.e 8th and h ne, benning and east cap, Georgia and Kennedy nw, etc…
    And from experience, there’s plenty of officers that would love to hit this intersection…they just need their supervisors to put them out there, so please please complain.

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