So Freaking Messed Up


From the Washington Post:

“A pregnant woman biking home from work was stabbed Tuesday afternoon near Congressional Cemetery in Southeast Washington.

The victim said she does not know what the man’s intentions were — perhaps he was trying to steal her backpack, she said…. and just moved to the District from Hawaii about a month ago.”

108 Comment

  • This is absolutely out of control. What does Bowser have to say about all of this increase in random violence? Probably nothing.

    • Not to worry! She’s convening a cross-departmental task force that will study this for the next year and a half, and then she will give a speech promising a 50% drop in violent crime by the end of her first term (with 0 detail on actions she will take to accomplish this).

  • That’s horrible. I hope she is OK!
    This is so scary; I live around the corner and ride my bike or go for walks in the area. It always felt so safe, but I guess not.

  • I’m assuming she and the baby are okay if she’s giving quotes? Poor woman! I guess if everyone’s okay, that’s quite a story to tell in years to come. (Not that that’s any consolation.)

    • Yea. She was stabbed in the shoulder. I haven’t seen anything to indicate it was a dangerous wound.

    • Fetus

    • Sorry for the pedantry, but in light of recent events, it’s important to point out that it’s a fetus, not a baby.

      • I get the reason for making the point about language.
        Also, it could been embryo even, not yet a fetus, depending on how far along in her pregnancy she is.

        • Does it really matter? “Fetus” is Latin for “little one.” Regardless, this stabbing is very disturbing.

          • It matters. The outrage is increased over her being pregnant. Meh, just another stabbing.

          • I totally agree with you. It doesn’t matter to the majority of people. Thanks for the definition – I never knew that.

      • She was eight months pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you call it a fetus or a baby. That is completely irrelevant to the story!! She was clearly showing and still got stabbed.

      • late comment, but I’m 110% pro-choice and I call it a baby. when I was pregnant, I didn’t refer to my son as “my fetus”. He was my baby.

  • Is it me or is there a significant rise in stabbings in DC???? Enough is enough

    • There was one yesterday evening at 7&M – I agree seems like an increase but maybe more reporting.

    • I try to be cautious about extrapolating trends from a bunch of news stories, so I checked MPD’s statistics website (link below, that may or may not go to a finished query). It’s a little clunky to use, but if you search for the crime across the whole District, and compare the past year to the one before, there is an increase in overall crime, though violent crime is down.

      Of course, this isn’t super rigorous, misses out on sub-District level trends, and doesn’t go back very far, so if someone has a better analysis, please share!

      • I think the takeaway is that violent crime is down significantly over the past 10-15 years (even though the population has grown significantly in that time), but there has been a noticeable uptick in all kinds of crime this year. For example, as of the end of June we’ve had 20% more homicides compared to where we were at the end of June last year.

        • According to the link I posted, July 2014 to July 2015 had less violent crime than the previous July-July year. Also fewer homicides in particular (116 vs 120). Where did you get your numbers?

  • On my goodness my heart goes out to the victim. I hope she and her baby are ok and she gets the emotional help she’ll need after this. Frightening. District leaders are doing nothing but blaming synthetic weed while the city lights up. Sad.

  • Sheesh thats wild. i hope the mother & baby are at good health.. if hot i hope for a speedy full recovery
    is it a good idea to be cycling while pregnant generally speaking?

    • Sure. If it gets uncomfortable, you should stop. And also it’s recommended you not get stabbed while doing it.

    • GiantSquid

      Yes, if you’re feeling ok and your doctor has no reservations, pregnant woman can do many things non-pregnant women can. The state of her uterus is not what should be focused on here.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Now we know what the A stands for.

    • Seriously?! Next you’re going to say that pregnant women shouldn’t run because their uterus will fall out.

      • Emmaleigh504

        Wait, is that for true? I will start running right. now. if my uterus will fall out! Or do I have to get knocked up first then run? How does this uterus falling out work exactly?

      • In Russia, there’s a superstition that if a woman sits on cold concrete or stone, her uterus will fall out.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Do you think it gets cold enough here for that, or do I need to spend another winter in South Dakota?

        • saf

          A former boss told me that – she was not Russian. She was a black woman from PG county. She was me sitting on a wall to eat lunch and told me that if I sat on cold stone I “wouldn’t be able to have babies.” (So, not uterus falling out, but same idea.)

    • justinbc

      It honestly doesn’t sound anymore “wild” to me than any of the other X number of stabbings that occur in DC. Depending on how far along she was the perp might not have even known she was pregnant, and as was discussed in a previous thread when someone holding a baby was assaulted / robbed around Lincoln Park these people are generally seen as easier targets, so if you’re committing a crime it’s actually more logical to do it against someone less able to fight back (not that logic plays heavily into many of these perps minds, but still…).

      • 7 months, she was showing

      • Most of the time when I hear about stabbings the perpetrator and victim knew one another. Someone stabbing a random pregnant woman IS unusual here.

      • You win the award for the most blase response to a pregnant woman getting stabbed. Congrats.

        • What’s funny is that I KNEW before reading the comments that he would have something dismissive to say. He always does, about women and children.

          • justinbc

            The fact that I view all stabbings as messed up is dismissive? What does that say about your sensitivity to violence?

          • And you go after every post he makes trying to read some anti-feminist agenda into it. It’s getting old. There was nothing dismissive about his post. Insensitive to the victim perhaps to point out the obvious, but I happen to agree with the principle that any stabbing in my city is a bad one, regardless of the perp or victim in question.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I agree with Justin. All stabbings are messed up. There is no way to know the stabber knew she was pregnant, maybe he thought she was fat. Regardless, baby on board does not make it worse than no baby on board. Someone was stabbed, that’s horrible!

      • are you that jaded that you can’t see that this is completely outrageous. She was 7 months pregnant!!

    • This is a valid question. While technically you can ride a bike while pregnant (as well as do a lot of other forms of exercise), my doctor recommended against it on city streets because of the risk of getting hit by a car or other accident that would cause a fall and risk the health of the baby.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        It’s a valid question perhaps best addressed at another time or more appropriately in the rant/revel. Discussing it here distracts from the fact that a freaking 7 month pregnant woman was stabbed in the shoulder while commuting home from work. We can also talk about whether or not she was wearing a helmet as I’m sure some trolls are dying to do – but that’s not the point.

        • I wasn’t trying to be an a**hole. I took the question merely as curiosity, not as victim blaming or questioning judgment. As a recently pregnant woman, who had to field even more ridiculous questions and comments (and having to defend some of the choices I made with my doctor’s advice), I thought I would actually answer the question instead of treat That Man A like an idiot. There is differing medical advice, and that’s why it is a valid question. Jeez.

      • It is more of a nosey nellie question. From what I’ve read she is an adult woman who works at the Coast Guard. So she probably is receiving quality prenatal care and following the advice of her doctor. Even if she wasn’t who cares? Maybe she missed her bus and needed to ride. Maybe her husband borrowed the car and she needed to ride? Maybe she was taking a calculated risk that she felt was appropriate.

        FYI my doctors all gave me the thumbs up for riding my bike while pregnant with twins. I rode right up to the day before I went into labor. You ride safe and you ride smart. Just like when you are not pregnant.

    • I took this as a genuinly curious question

    • Unless you are this woman’s ob, you don’t really get to have an opinion about what it’s okay for her to do while pregnant.

      • justinbc

        Relax. He’s not opining on someone’s personal health situation. He asked a “general” question about whether it was OK for a pregnant woman to be riding a bicycle. It’s not terribly unreasonable, nor is there judgment assigned.

    • is it a good idea to be driving or riding in a car while pregnant generally speaking?

      • HaileUnlikely

        Although not to their patients’ face, some doctors would actually say “no.” In all seriousness, transportation-related injuries to pregnant women and their children are much more common and much more preventable than many non-evidence-based pregnancy no-no’s that doctors, mothers, and neighbors alike freak out about.

  • This email was also on MOTH yesterday morning.

    My husband was assaulted last night on his bike commute. Fortunately, he
    was not injured, but the lack of police response was concerning and I would
    love the groups feedback on whether we should complain. He was on
    bicycle, crossed the Sousa bridge, and was approaching the area where
    Barney circle intersects with Kentucky Avenue. A pedestrian was in his path
    and moved to the side so my husband could pass. As he passed, the
    pedestrian shoved him and attempted to knock him off his bike. He put his
    foot down and stopped about 20 feet ahead and the pedestrian started
    running after my husband. (my husband happens to write a cycling blog and
    this is a pretty common means of robbing cyclists-shove them off their
    bikes, and when they fall, take advantage to steal their belongings.) We
    called the police and an officer came to the house. He acted like this was
    an accident and refused to take a report. We have his badge number. Am I
    overreacting? It seems to me this is the sort of thing the police would be
    interested in. (If you bike, be alert for these sort of criminals.)

    • You are not overreacting. Keep after him to do his job.

    • Please report him! It definitely helps their numbers to report this as an accident v. assault. Could this have been the same person who attacked the woman? Sounds like a similar MO.

    • Please please follow up with the mpd liuetenant. The police’s first inclination is to get you not to report it. We need these crimes reported to get the politicians to see the ibcreasing frequency and do something about it.

      • agreed +1000 – sadly there is motivation from MPD not to file these sorts of incidents, not the least of which is genuine laziness. take it with a grain of salt when crime stats are “down”

    • Yes! Report him.
      Also, both your husband’s incident and the incident in this post illustrate why I try to stay out of arm’s reach of pedestrians (not that it’s always possible). And I am definitely going to look into getting some pepper spray (even though I know that D.C. tries as hard as they can to keep you from getting a license).

      • So you’re one of those people who crosses to the other side of the street whenever you see me walking? At least you admit it and don’t pretend you’re not racist.

    • A friend of mine was beat up and bloodied on U St. by a bunch of men just walking home one night for no reason (that he knows – they didn’t try to rob him, though that may have been their original intent and the got scared off and ran.) He went to the nearby police station and reported it. They cops treated him badly. I didn’t think this was still the norm when reporting crimes, but apparently it is.

  • Was just reading this. I’m glad she’s okay and I’m sorry that this was her welcome to the neighborhood.

  • To me this is why the court system is bad here. The courts are too soft on criminals. People need to be locked up and not just allowed to walk back out on the street. Granted this guy could have been just a total mental case in which he’s a danger to himself and others. DC could also stand to invest and handle it’s mental health services much better as well. Even if he’s mentally ill and stabbing people he needs to be under supervision.

    • Being “tough on crime” generally doesn’t reduce crime. It just leads to more of the same broken neighborhoods and broken families that produced the conditions for crime in the first place. The focus needs to be on rehabilitation, whether it occurs in or out of jail.

      I totally agree with your point on mental health services, though.

      • Rehabilitation, but also prevention. With education, opportunity, etc., while people are growing up.

      • They can be rehabilitated and serve a jail sentence for a good long time. The way I see it everyone still has a choice weather to commit a crime or not. If you choose to commit crime then that is your choice. I am going to disagree though that the focus should instead be on locking up people who are attacking others on the street. Tough sh*t if their family gets broken up from them being knuckleheads. That is their choice.

  • SusanRH

    I have lived in DC 12 years and this is the worst summer for crime that I can remember. I never in a million years thought I would want to move to the suburbs, but I am really considering it now.

    I hope the the woman is okay (both physically and mentally)!

    • justinbc

      I’ve lived here for 8 years and it feels like every other summer to me. Maybe you’re just reading about it more now? Look up the stats, violent crime is down. If you were going to move to the suburbs you should have done it years ago when it was higher.

      • I couldn’t find any stats for this year’s violent crime rates, but maybe I didn’t look in the right places. I see that MPD reports that homicides are up 17% from last year. I have lived in DC 15 years, and it certainly seems that violent crime is much worse this summer than in the recent past. If you have information showing that violent crime this year is down, please share. I would be interested.

        • I agree, seems to be that violent crime is up over the last year, or so says every news outlet in the city .

        • This website can provide some answers, though you have to set up the query yourself by first clicking on “Other Geographic Area or Point,” then selecting “District Boundary” to get DC-wide numbers. It shows that violent crime and homicides are down from last year.

      • I don’t really think we can trust the statistics, I think they are purposely kept low so that people and business will not move out of the city. In the last year a person was shot in front of my house, a young boy robbed and shot a few blocks from me, I hear gunshots all the time, multiple people have been robbed walking home from the metro (violently and in broad daylight), this woman was stabbed and the list goes on and on. My neighborhood hadn’t had a shooting in 6 years prior to this last year. I have been a member of my community list serve, read POP and get the police alerts (my phone blows up each night with text alerts) and like to think I am well informed, but maybe I am hearing about it more, but it seems to be happening with much more frequency than in the past.

        • Linc Park SE

          That is the conundrum – is it more crime? Or more crime AWEARENESS due to text alerts/blogs/social media/proliferation of listservs etc

        • justinbc

          Using your example, did you look up each of those incidences to see if they showed up statistically? Because otherwise your lack of trust in stats would appear to be based solely on a general distrust of the police force.

          • Stats are based on arrests. If arrests aren’t made, the criminal acts in question don’t appear in the stats. No one has invented a perfect measure of tracking crime data, please don’t act like crime stats are an accurate and complete picture of urban crime, standing alone.

            Heck, if stats accurately measured criminal activity, as opposed to arrests, Wall Street would be considered a high-crime area. Ha.

          • The comment above should say “and reports” and “/reported” after every instance of the word “arrests” or “arrested.”

        • I just took a look at the DC crime map, and our home burglary from last fall is not shown. Seems like the DCPD may be fudging their numbers a tad.

      • Forget the stats. I don’t entirely trust them, and they only offer an aggregated picture. I don’t need stats to tell me what I know to be true: that within one block of my home, there have been 6 violent crimes in the past 3 weeks where there has been a police response. In almost 10 years, that’s never happened. Not even close. So, yes, in my little sphere, violent crime is up and I think it sucks.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          A good example is the whole shots fired in the playground in Columbia Heights. I mean “sound of gunshots offense”…

          • west_egg

            Or Anon 10:18 up above and her husband’s assault, I mean “accident.”

          • justinbc

            And I guess the implication is that this type of thing only began happening this year? So the cops were doing everything right up until Bowser got into office, then decided to change all the offense titles to froufrou language to “keep people from moving out of the city”? C’mon.

          • west_egg

            No, justin, that is not the implication. What’s this about Bowser and froufrou language to keep people from moving? You’re just putting words into people’s mouths. You cited statistics as evidence that people’s perceptions are different from reality, and in response you got examples of ways in which the stats don’t tell the whole story.

          • justinbc

            West_egg, that’s fine, but that anecdotal “evidence” applies both ways. If you accept that it’s buried statistically now, then it should convey that it was buried to the same degree before.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I personally have been robbed twice and reported both. One shows up and the other does not.

          • HaileUnlikely

            And it goes without saying that events that the police decline to file reports for do not reach the stats. Note that the the cop responding to the husband of Anon 10:148, above, refused to take a report.

          • west_egg

            Sorry, justin, but no. If we acknowledge that the stats are messed up, we can’t turn around and assume that they’ve been messed up to the same degree year over year. Why wouldn’t the mess-up be messed up, too? In other words–why assume that inconsistencies are being applied consistently?
            In the end it doesn’t matter because numbers and charts do not, and have never, fully encompassed the reality on the ground. They are only a single measure, part of a bigger picture. This applies to crime, the economy, politics, or whatever you like.

          • justinbc

            Yes, I agree that numbers do not encapsulate the entire picture. However, you have to start SOMEWHERE, and numbers are the best place to at least have some comparative ground. It’s a lot more fact based than “boy this summer sure does feel more stabby than last year!”

          • west_egg

            “within one block of my home, there have been 6 violent crimes in the past 3 weeks where there has been a police response. In almost 10 years, that’s never happened. Not even close.” =/= “boy this summer sure does feel more stabby!”

          • justinbc

            You understand what an anecdote is, right?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I find it fairly reasonable that one might be more interested in and bothered by recent violent crimes in their nation than in the entire world, more bothered by recent violent crimes in their state than in the entire US, more bothered by recent violent crimes in their city than in their entire state, more bothered by recent violent crimes in their neighborhood than in an entire ~60 square mile city, and more bothered by recent violent crimes on their freaking block than in the entire neighborhood. Just because in aggregate violent crime is down in the entire city does not mean that it is down in each and every location.

          • justinbc

            Haile, of course they would, and should. But the original comment, which spawned discussion of stats, referenced “DC”, not some isolated neighborhood block. If you want to talk about DC being more violent, it simply is not measurably true, although it might feel that way for someone who lives in a particularly violent sector of the District.

          • @justinbc – Why should it so “convey”? There are many reasons that could be an inaccurate assumption. For example, cops may only be willing to fill out a certain maximum amount of paperwork w/r/t crime, regardless of increased incidence. (You sound really invested in making sure people aren’t alarmed by a likely current crime wave.)

        • There’s no doubt in my mind that the stats are fudged to n’th degree here in DC. There’s so many ways for the stats to get fudged – MPD refuses to take a report, MPD takes a report but doesn’t file it, crimes are reported but the severity of the crime is downgraded so it doesn’t show up as a “robbery” or “violent” crime, etc etc etc. The only thing they seem to take seriously are murders, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s fudging there too.
          The reason for this is entirely about propping up the tax base and property values. There’s a lot of big developers who invested a ton of money buying cheap property when the District was a craphole. They have all of the city council and the mayor’s office in their pockets. Bowser was a long time employee of a developer (while on the Council) and even PoPville’s favorite candidate, Catania, has a job with a developer. Aside from the Feds, real estate runs DC.

  • Do you think this has anything to do with proximity to the Jail? Some inmates get released right from there (often wearing grey sweatsuits.)

    Also – any idea what is going to happen with the Jail? Arent they starting construction soon on Condos over there? (Reservation 13)

    • Yes, but only one piece of land right by the Metro is being redeveloped. The jail and shelter are staying put for now. Reservation 13 is (if memory serves) the larges District-owned property in the city, it’s right on top of a Metro station, and the District is doing NOTHING to take advantage of that. We also seem to have no comprehensive plan to deal with all of the troubled people living within our borders.

  • Does this sound vaguely like another event that someone posted here maybe six weeks ago? In that one, some nut tried to hit someone on a bike and other posters mentioned similar events. Does that ring any bells or am I misremembering?

  • Not sure where you all are getting your stats, but even MPD reported a 1% rise in type 1 violent crime today. I think this I under reported (and this was in reaction to several news organizations stating an overall 20% rise in the general crime rate).

    This are only the first 1/2 numbers so we will see at the end of the year where MPD reports their actually yearly numbers.

    I am very surprised to see the lack of comment by the Mayor on the rising crime rate. Other cities are seeing too and have already taken steps to address it (also since criminal justice right now is in the political Spotlight, I’m surprised our Mayor isnt all over it).

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