“While throwing punches, the children threatened “stay off of our turf,” indicating that they were in fact from the neighborhood”

via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to raise some attention to an incident that occurred on Saturday night in Bloomingdale between Flagler and 2nd / U Street NW around 10pm. I had some friends over before the Art All Night Event and leaving my house to head to the event, three of them (all female) were attacked by a group of teenagers. The kids were between the ages of 14-16 and there were around 12 of them. They aggressively pushed the three women to the ground, dragging one by the hair, and stole a handbag containing wallet, passport and other valuables. While throwing punches, the children threatened “stay off of our turf,” indicating that they were in fact from the neighborhood. Luckily there were two men who live nearby who witnessed the incident and immediately intervened. The kids got away running up 2nd and Flagler streets towards V.

Many police officers showed up on the scene, including a detective and a medic. My friends are fine, just shaken up for the most part. After their statements were taken and they were released by the officers, we could see two young boys following and watching us on their bicycles.

The stolen bag was found, empty of all its contents somewhere along V Street. I wanted to request everyone in the neighborhood to keep an eye out for my friend’s passport which was among the stolen items. It is a passport for the Republic of Turkey and if anyone locates it, I would be very grateful if they could give me a call at 508-340-0430 to return it. “

91 Comment

  • What a nightmare. Sounds like a terrifying ordeal. So sorry for these ladies.

  • What a terrible thing to happen to your guests! Why on earth would these teens attack strangers and tell them to “stay off our turf”?? Was there some kind of interaction there? Just awful….

    • This is par for the course for the local scallywag kids who live in LDP/Bloomingdale area. They’re notorious for throwing rocks at cyclists, muggings, and just generally acting the fool.

      • “Acting the fool”

        This is part of the problem right here. People think this is just “acting up” like when a child doesn’t get a juice box and they cry.

        Stop it. They are violent criminals now after this incident. End of story.

        • I thought it was “acting a fool”? Anyway, I think you’re reading too much into it. I’d guess this is from the same cohort of kids who were terrorizing neighbors a couple years back, just older now.

        • OP here, you’re reading way too much into my statement. Turn your Charles Bronson rage down to a 6 instead of an 11.
          Also, it appears the internet is split on whether “the” or “a” is the proper article in the phrase.

          • DMX used “act A fool” so therefore that one is objectively correct.

          • OP, did you report this to the police? I hope so, because it is the insistence of residents on law enforcement — even if it just means making a report — that drives change. When I lived over there 5-7 years ago, the police refused to take a report about juvenile rock-throwing. Now, I think it would be different. After all the positive change of the past 20 years, the despair sometimes voiced here is not warranted. Keep your chin up. Your refusal to put up with criminality will win the day in the end.

      • Let me guess, you don’t live in LeDroit or Bloomingdale…

      • They are violent criminals. Adult crime, adult time.

        • PewPew: there’s a reason the law and various supreme court rulings distinguish between crimes committed by children and crimes committed by adults. It has to do with brain development. These kids should face criminal consequences for their actions. But prosecuting children as adults should be criminal.

          • I’m glad that DC is loosening up on the handgun laws. It’s been too long since the average citizens were easy prey. We won’t have to worry about trials then.

    • “Why on earth would these teens attack strangers and tell them to “stay off our turf”?? ”

      Because it was a race-based hate crime, probably, even though it’s not likely to be classified that way.

      • Shameful really. I really enjoyed the Art All Night along North Capitol. It was the first time in living there that I did not feel totally uncomfortable walking around Florida at North Capitol (day or night).

        It does sound like the kids were targeting the new neighbors. I noticed quite a few people sitting out on their stoops not looking particularly thrilled at the bustling activity and music going on at the end of Bates Street.

        That said, there were clearly a lot of neighbors there who were loving it.

  • #ferralchildren

  • I’m very sorry for your friends. Unfortunately, this seems to be a problem with kids in other parts of the city as well. My elderly father was visiting me and was barely able to escape a group of 10-15 teenagers on Saturday night. They saw him from across the street and he heard them yell “lets get him” and “he’s heading for the car”. They chased him and screamed at him but he was able to make it into his car. They pounded on the windows and tried keying the side but fortunately didn’t block him from pulling away. Absolutely terrifying. I hope your friends are okay and the police catch the kids. And that they are ACTUALLY punished.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Did you report this to the police? If not, please do. Also, to whatever extent you are willing to say (quadrant, neighborhood, block, whatever), where did this happen?

    • phl2dc

      Where was this?!

    • holy crap how horrible – I hope your father is OK

    • oh if only one of them had gotten their leg stuck in the wheel well…..these kids need to learn the hard way unfortunately. Good instant karma..

      • if that had happened there would have been a riot. and a lawsuit against the dad, which he probably wouldn’t have won (though he should).

        • Wouldn’t have won? Why not? It was self-defense, same as the guy that ran over the bikers in NYC after they attacked his truck.

    • LisaT

      WTF?? How awful, I’m so sorry for your father. Terrible for anyone to feel such terror, but especially a senior. I can’t imagine how enraged you must have been. If anyone attempted to harm my own 88-year old dad I’m not sure I could stay legal.

      • Yup, I was feeling enraged just reading KC’s story. I am not a violent person, but honestly if I saw or heard of something like this happening to my dad, I would do whatever I could to make sure these little thugs never saw the light of day again.

  • absolutely horrible – I hope everyone is OK, and the awful humans are somehow punished. Probably not for this crime, but I’m sure it’s not their first or last from the sounds of what they accomplished.

  • Sigh…I’m getting to the point of despairing that we as a family will be able to stay in the city, or at least this part of it (Shaw). Our daughter is getting older, and soon she’ll want a little freedom to walk around the corner or to the store once in a while. Right now, with incidents like this, I don’t think we’d be able to let her.

    • This is almost exactly the live of thinking that led to our recent move from Columbia Heights. (And the schools. Always the schools.)

    • we left the city 9 months ago for the same reason, it was really difficult at the time and now i see it was the best decision we ever made

      • I honestly can’t wait to get out.

        • What’s keeping you?

          • Lack of money, and the fact that the US Congress doesn’t have any plans to relocate to a non garbage dump city anytime soon.

          • Emmaleigh504

            Do you work for Congress or something? Is there a law that says you have to live in DC if you work at X? If you are so unhappy, perhaps a new job is in order.

          • Well, actually if you work for a member from your home state (if you keep a permanent residence there) and your home state has lower or no state income tax, you would essentially be taking a pay cut if you move outside the district because you’d lose reciprocity. Also, a lot of staffers work crazy hours and don’t want to commute to the burbs late at night or are already on a tight salary and don’t want to have to get a car.

  • LisaT

    WTF?? How awful, I’m so sorry for your father. Terrible for anyone to feel such terror, but especially a senior. I can’t imagine how enraged you must have been. If anyone attempted to harm my own 88-year old dad I’m not sure I could stay legal.

  • Yeah, some of the kiddos in this area really frighten me. A few months ago, I was walking along Florida Ave NW headed toward the Shaw Metro station when a bunch of young kids started throwing rocks at me. They were hanging out just outside that playground at Florida and 1st. (I had to kick myself in retrospect because I thought about crossing the street to avoid them, but didn’t. My spidey sense told me they were up to no good). I called the cops to report it, but I have no idea whether they responded. I was not about to hang around waiting for a patrol car.

    Incidentally, I’m a 5’2″ white woman who owns a home EOTR and I have never, ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe in my neighborhood. But I really avoid walking through Bloomingdale/LDP/Shaw if at all possible.

    • I hear you. I’ve lived nearby for a year now and still get nervous along Florida Avenue and along North Capitol. I really think there is a theory these kids have that if you’re white, you are subject to harassment and unlikely to do much about it. It’s probably not an untrue theory. I’ve had lots of slurs thrown my way so far in the year I’ve been here. And have never answered them back, obviously. With these kids, you just really never know if they are armed in some way and they often seem to have little regard for consequences.

    • of course you don’t feel uncomfortable in your neighborhood, its your neighborhood. If you lived in shaw/bloomingdale you’d probably feel the same way. Familiarity breeds comfort.

  • They clearly reacted this way as a result of gentrification.
    Yup, all of those kids problems were caused by whites, and if we’d all just leave and let them be this entire community could go back to the drug and violence addled slum it was for the better part of the 80’s and 90’s.

  • Absolutely horrible. I really don’t get how this city allows a bunch of sociopath kids to make people scared to walk out their front door. Seriously, Arlington has lower income bracket citizens past Columbia road and thereabouts and you never hear about this crap. Even the more challenged parts of PG don’t have the District’s level of gun violence.. But this is DC so we just accept incompetence justified behind the rhetoric that it is a complex socio economic dilemma. But it is really not that complicated.

  • this sucks and I’m sorry for your friends BUT as a resident of the bloomingdale/ledroit border area, I have never felt threatened or concerned a single time in my neighborhood. Be aware of your surroundings, use your best judgment, and sure shit will happen, but for everyone to crap on bloomingdale because of this one incident ….come on.

    • HaileUnlikely

      It is not because of “one incident.” This is the latest of many. I do not (and quite honestly would not) live in this area, but have friends who do, and it would be a gargantuan understatement to say that their experience has not been entirely positive.

      • great, then don’t move to bloomingdale. Again, if you spent significant time in the neighborhood, like someone who lives there like myself, I highly doubt you’d feel this way. There is crime everywhere in this city, and it seems you may be conflating bloomingdale with other neighborhoods.

    • houseintherear

      Thanks for writing that- I’m in the same boat. To repeat some advice a lot of people use that everyone is probably sick of hearing… when I’m out in the neighborhood, I say hello. Or smile at the very least. Not everyone says hello back, and that’s ok. Yep it’s a little embarrassing, but who gives a hoot. I also think a lot of people are scared of groups of kids, which is ridiculous. Say hello to them too. Compliment their shoes, or tell them your name. If you’re out walking a dog, you have the perfect “in.” If they laugh at you, it doesn’t matter! They’re just kids! But you’ve made yourself known to them, and shown them that you’re not unfriendly (and not scared) and that is helpful. And KEEP saying hello or smiling at people you pass. If you can’t handle doing that, you may have a hard time living in Bloomingdale.

      • “If they laugh at you, it doesn’t matter! They’re just kids!”

        Does it matter if they throw rocks at you? Swear? Use racial/sexual slurs? Steal your purse? Kick your dog? Stand around you so you can’t move? Spit on you? Follow you home? Threaten to rape you? Punch you in the face? Because groups of kids do that stuff, too.

        • houseintherear

          The groups of kids that live in the immediate area of this incident do not do any of those things. A poster above took this incident and made it a statement about Bloomingdale as a whole, and I’m trying to bring the conversation back to reality.

        • phl2dc

          Thank you for this.

        • dood. If you have a DOG , nobody will mess with you. At All.
          I got a dog, and nobody climbs my fence. or steals my shit. or bothers me.
          They used to do all of the above before.
          Not Now.

      • I get what you’re saying in the big picture. But clearly if the women in OP’s story had tried this with the group of kids they encountered, it wouldn’t have made a difference here. What these kids did went waaaay beyond disruptive or rude “teen” behavior that can be easily dismissed as “they’re just kids!”

        • houseintherear

          I was replying to the above assertion that Bloomingdale is a scary and crime-filled place. It is not. This incident is terrible and awful, and hopefully the police will get to the bottom of it, but it is absolutely not a typical event in this area. As Anon said above, s**t happens (as it does everywhere).

          • HaileUnlikely

            Shit does happen everywhere. I have heard of substantially more “you are not welcome here” type interactions in this immediate vicinity than in most others, though. It’s not that easy to just shrug off the type of stuff that mtp describes below, which a couple of my friends who live in the neighborhood have also experienced on multiple occasions.

          • Haile – if you don’t mind me asking, what block do your friends live on?? Some of the blocks are better than others at being a community but for the most part if you are friendly with the neighbors (and don’t play beer pong/blast music), they will embrace you.

          • HaileUnlikely

            If I were to reply in the form that you requested, it would narrow it down to the point that you would have about a 1/5 chance of identifying them, so I’d prefer not to be that specific. It is far enough north that their street name is an actual name, not a letter, though. They’ve been there for about 6-8 years. The incidents haven’t been right at their home and haven’t involved immediate neighbors (except for the theft of some patio furniture – that happens basically everywhere and I wasn’t even counting that, though). However, let’s just say that if you use transit, like my friends do, or like I do when I go to visit them, and don’t live right on the bus line, which my friends don’t, you end up walking through some places where people who live or hang out are unusually overtly hostile to people who they decide quickly that they don’t like to see in their neighborhood, and if you live several blocks from Georgia or Florida that is one desolate and vulnerable-feeling walk.

      • this is extremely dangerous and naive advice. I’ve personally been attacked twice by groups of kids in 10 years living in the area, one time requiring hospitalization, and I’ll be damned if I walk anywhere near a group of kids, ever, if necessary turning around and running the other direction.

        • houseintherear

          I am talking about groups of kids who are neighbors. Bloomingdale is a small place and you quickly know who your neighbors are. I do not approach random teenage groups and complement their shoes, and that certainly is not my advice.. Again, I am responding to the above comments about the neighborhood being full of crime, not to the original post

        • Good lord, why would you stay? Serious question.

      • +1 – have lived in Bloomingdale for a year now and have never had trouble from anyone. There are troublemakers in and around the neighborhood (kids and grown ups alike) but being nice and making yourself known really does help. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll be safe, but nothing is.

        As for these kids, that all sounds really, really awful and I’m so sorry it happened. It’s not a reflection on Bloomingdale, however (and it doesn’t sound like OP is suggesting it was, but many of the comments are). Abusive teenagers are in plentiful supply just about everywhere.

      • phl2dc

        “I also think a lot of people are scared of groups of kids, which is ridiculous.”
        No, it is not “ridiculous”. Kids are capable of and have done really crazy shit so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be at least a little cautious. Not to mention that the post mentions a large group of kids around the age of 14-16, which puts them in teenage years. We’re not talking about little 6-year-olds here who will miraculously soften up because you have a puppy in tow or tell them you like their shoes. At that age they might actually find that a little patronizing and might see that as provocation.

      • Hate to say it, but Houseintherear is exactly right. This is strangely effective tactic for diffusing what would otherwise seem like unstoppable tension (and I’ve lived here and used it for almost 15 years). Think of the crap these kids must see at home!
        That being said, I do definitely notice a larger group of kids (boys and girls) acting a little more crazy than usual lately. Since the council refuses to reconsider their ridiculous juvenile crime laws, how about mandatory sentencing including a day pass to Sandy Springs Adventure Park and real food (no sugar) for a week!

  • My husband and I lived in Bloomingdale for three years. We loved it and also bought a house there — and that was before so many cool restaurants and bars appeared in the area. While we knew friendly neighbors of all races, we were aggressively confronted on multiple occasions over my white race. Once, a grown man yelled from his porch for me to “get the f*** out of here or I’ll beat your cracker ass.” Three or four friends hanging out with him just laughed. Another time, three boys and girls threw rocks at my husband while he was riding his bike and yelled curses at him. When he stopped, they ran into a house. My husband, who is from WIsconsin, knocked on the door to speak with their parents. A 20-something woman came to the door and loudly threatened him if he didn’t leave immediately. He tried to tell her what happened, but she just repeated herself at a louder volume. He called the police but they did nothing.

    I understand the hard feelings created by social change and racial inequality. But no one should tolerate violence or threats of violence. Eventually, ordinary people insisting on enforcement against criminality will change this neighborhood for the better.

  • houseintherear

    I was curious to know what was going on that evening- thanks for the post. I just want to add that there’s a group of young kids that hangs around the 100 block of V St NW/Flagler, young boys of various ages. They play football and ride bikes out there, and they are great kids and have involved and neighborly/friendly parents and families. Just want to clarify that there seems to be more than one group of kids in the area, so please don’t make the mistake of confusing the bad with the good, or assuming all big groups of kids are up bad things. (This is a weird thing to write but I felt the need to write it.)

    • houseintherear

      I’m actually having a hard time guessing who this group of kids could have been… I wonder if they are even from the immediate neighborhood. Did the OP recognize any of them?

  • OP — so sorry about what happened to you. I hope the police find them.

    But I do take issue with imputing that a threat of “stay off our turf” means they are from that neighborhood.

    It could mean you walked in front of their house or on what they perceive as their street/block, or it could mean stay out of DC in general, or if you’re Donald Trump–stay out of America.

    • yeah a group of violent kids is really likely to take a road trip to another neighborhood, jump someone, tell them to “stay off their turf” then pile back in the car to their actual home


      • They would do that if they were in a turf war with another group.

        Do you not see all the drug deals in DC with cars from MD/VA plates?

        • oh ok, so you’re saying this is a turf war between kids from another neighborhood, and a group of 3 women (one a turkish national) who don’t even live in Bloomingdale and were heading out to an art event? that’s totally plausible and makes a lot more sense than it being kids from the area out to steal an iphone and scare some gentrifiers.

        • Oh, come on. Yes, they would take road trip to further a turf war, but in that case they would target the people who had been on their turf, not some random passers-by. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. Quit casting about for some convoluted justification for your belief that the perpetrators aren’t from that neighborhood. Maybe you’re right – but what we know suggests you’re not.

  • This should be reported and prosecuted as a HATE crime.

  • Old DC warmth and politeness at its best

  • Something very similar happened to me at the Harry Thomas Community Park about a year and a half ago. I went there to work on my garden plot and was minding my own business when three teenage girls attacked me and told me “If you ever show your white ass here again we’ll kill you.” They threw punches and spit at me. It was horrifying. I called the cops but when I tried to report it as a hate crime they rolled their eyes at me. My husband and I have since moved out of DC.

  • #WhiteGentrifierLivesMatter

    • #trollsareboring

      • Yes you’re right. Law abiding people are patternly being violently harassed all across the city based solely and primarily on the color of your skin. But you’re right, white people cant experience racism or hate crimes, it’s just part of “urban culture” we should expect. Stop accepting this and being part of the problem.

        • I wasn’t accepting it. I was calling you out for the race-baiting post that adds nothing to the discussion. I can dislike both the little shits who attacked the visitors from Turkey (and thus were probably not white, BTW) and I can dislike you for making a shitty situation a little shittier.

          • I am not race baiting. In fact I am calling out that this, and many other similar incidents targetting innocent citizens, are in fact racially motivated. And yet here in DC it’s so “un-PC” to discuss and address this as fact, both by long time residents, politicians, and media. the typical backlash is one you displayed, calling me a troll. If a minority (which white people in dc have historically been) continue to be racially harassed and violently confronted, why can we not talk about it??? This angers me, and it should anger every non racist in DC!!! And I would suggest you meet more Turkish people, many consider themselves white.

          • Tim – I’m technically a white gentrifier too but I would never claim to be a minority and hope you understand the differences. I grew up in a lower middle class family but still had much more opportunity than most of these kids. There is no excusing their violent behavior (in fact, there needs to be some serious revisions to the juvenile crime laws) but if they could believe that their lives were not predetermined and destitute, I’m sure they wouldn’t be doing this shit.

  • I saw a group of teenagers assaulting an older Latino man at Randolph and N. Capitol probably 3 weeks ago. I went to intervene and they took off on foot and bikes.

    I told the nearest police and they looked for them but by then they had all dispersed.

    I love living in Bloomingdale but to the people that say this is “one incident” or that if you just be nice to neighbors it won’t happen to you, you’re being very naive.

    • phl2dc

      +1. Not to mention that it’s very sad that we’d have to use this tactic to ward off assaults. No one should “have” to say hi to random people in the street. We should all be able to walk around our own neighborhoods safely regardless of whether or not we smile/say hi to one another. Not that I’m against being nice and saying hi to your neighbors – I just think that in principle you shouldn’t have to do that to maximize your chances of getting to your destination safely.

  • Sounds like the rotten little shits that used to steal our packages, vandalize our property, and call us f*ggots- only one block from this incident. Glad we moved.

Comments are closed.