Another Disturbing Report of Youth Lawlessness on Metro “They immediately began harassing and terrorizing fellow passengers”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Pablo Raw

Ed. Note: Perhaps some of our feckless Council Members will start to recognize that we have a serious problem here…

Thanks to a reader for passing on from the Brookland listserv:

“This evening I had a terrible and frightening experience on the red line. I boarded a train at Brookland at about 4:45 PM. A group of approximately 20 high school students (male & female) boarded the same train at NOMA. The group boarded screaming obscenities.They immediately began harassing and terrorizing fellow passengers. They messed with me a bit (took the hat off my head, took videos of me, screamed in my face, etc) and later bothered another gentleman, and eventually a third person which resulted in physical violence. Almost all of the group was involved in the violence- swearing, screaming, kicking and punching, laughing, and again taking pictures and videos. I tried my best to pull some teens off of the man. I couldn’t get off at Union Station because I was blocked in. I eventually got off at Judiciary Square and reported the incident to metro police.

I have lived and worked in Brookland for nearly 16 years. This is the first time I have experienced an incident of this magnitude.”

253 Comment

  • Horrid. On Monday evening I got on a green line train at Gallery Place and there were about 6 teenagers yelling obscenities, calling each other f*ggots and using the N word very loudly. I got off that car as fast as I could. In general, when I see groups of teenagers on Metro, I get myself away from them ASAP. I don’t care how racists that looks to some people.

    • Metro needs to add a warning like this to their safety messages.

    • I’ve lived in a million different places in this country and in Europe, suburban and urban, and in all these places the worst, most threatening violence I’ve seen has always come from groups of teenagers, regardless of race. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of fantastic teens and I generally think teenagers are amazing

      • (Oops, didn’t finish)
        They’re amazing in their infinite potential. I’m just always wary of large groups of them. I take a careful read of them to see if I can tell if they’re just loud and boisterous and into each other, or if that might spill over into threatening others.

      • Wow a million places very impressive and credible

        • Wow, posted as “Anonymous,” equally impressive and credible.

          • There are serious issues with problems at Dunbar and they have students who are violent. Last year, some Dunbar students assaulted several kids from McKinley Tech and also held them up. This is a real issue that has to be addressed by DCPS with MPD.

          • lighten up francis, “Nate” could be made up too

    • @ Tony I would be interested to know in what context the “n word” was used. Was it Caucasians screaming a racial slur or was it Black youths screaming “nigga” as it’s used in rap music? I’m asking out of genuine curiosity.

      • What does that matter? Disruptive is distruptive. How about the use of f*ggot? Shall we disect their intentions on that too? Nonsense.

      • @KPS, the N word was being used by black youths SCREAMING it to each other or possibly other passengers (I’m not sure since I was trying not to look at them). Had this been between black youths speaking among themselves at a conversational level, I would say no big deal. However, given the fact that they seemed to want everyone in the car to hear them and the fact that they were calling each other or other passengers f*ggots, it was just way too much for me. I honestly don’t know if who was being called a f*ggot; I was not going to look at them or make eye contact. I just wanted out of there.

      • @ Anon: Relax, there is nothing being “dissected” here. I was genuinely curious about the context in which the word was used.

        @Tony: Thanks for the explanation. That certainly puts events into definitive context.

  • I’ve lived here all my life, only 30, and I’ve never read much about harassment from teens on the metro and what not until the past year or so. I really think the subsidy program where kids are able to ride free is a huge reason why we’ve seen an uptick in this behavior. What other reason could there be? Boredom?

    • I don’t think the subsidy program is responsible for this behavior. Anomie seems like a better explanation, though that admittedly doesn’t help much to figure out workable solutions.

    • But the subsidy program isn’t new, is it? Why would that be the cause of the increase in violence?

      • Yes it is. Before it was just the buses and then Bowser expanded it to metro.

        • The free subsidy is new, but there have always been DCPS student passes for the metro, back when I rode it in the 1990s.

          My point, DCPS students have always ridden, this type of pack violence is new.

      • I don’t know if it is or not. I seem to remember a big fuss being made about it before the school year started, so I’m assuming the metrorail part is new. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that. But you’ve got teens hanging around longer than they need to be, I don’t know what it is. I’m sure we can’t correlate the two but from casual observation it just seems like there’s more of these incidents ever since the school year started.

        • The free rail rides part is new this school year. A similar program has been in place for at least two years on metrobus.

      • Yes, it is new as of this year.

      • Well it seems the Metro subsidy is new. Get rid of the subsidy and get rid of Bowser. Problem solved unless these beasts are actually willing to pay for Metro.

        • Exactly. This is a real example of “why we can’t have nice things”.

        • justinbc

          I don’t think getting rid of Bowser will stop these kids from acting like “beasts”, as you put it.

          • What I mean that “kids ride free” is a just another crappy Bowser policy. Kids should be able to ride the bus where a driver could get involved, or at least get the policy involved, when teens harass and attach other passengers. I don’t think these violent as**oles would actually pay money to ride metro since they probably don’t have money. No “kids ride free” on Metro gets them off Metro. Get it?

          • HaileUnlikely

            I get what you are saying, however, it doesn’t actually work that way. When a group of kids intent on causing mayhem wants to get on the train, the fare gate ain’t stopping them. (I suppose it is possible that some small subset of these incidents involve kids who originally boarded the train for legitimate purposes and then decided to act up, but I’d be willing to bet that the majority of these incidents were premeditated to the degree that the teens boarded the metro with the intent of attacking somebody. Somebody who is intent on committing assault is probably also ok with plowing through the swinging gate.

        • That will just punish the vast majority of teens who are responsibly using the subsidies. The other teenagers will simply hop the fare gate. Packs of kids causing problems in metro isn’t new- I remember tons of fights at L’Enfant a few years ago. We need better policing at stations.

        • I think a better policy would be to develop a clear list of activities that could result in your losing your access to free rides and then to commit to real enforcement.

          • I think they also need to be prosecuted properly, as adults. A 16 year old is old enough and smart enough to know that he should not be starting fights on the metro or engaging in aggressive behavior. A 16 year old is also smart enough o know that he can do what he want and get away with it, with next to no chance or any real ramifications to his actions. If these kids knew they could go to jail for months for assault, they would be less likely to engage in this behavior.

          • “A 16 year old is old enough and smart enough…” That’s just not true. We don’t have to rely on “Well, when *I* was that age…” anecdotes. We have science. Please use it.

        • As a parent, whose child benefits from the subsidy program, I don’t think the program is the issue. It used to be parents paid $30/month to get a student Metro pass. It’s now free, as of this year, and facilitated through the schools and the DC One Card. Before it was free, kids just jumped the turnstiles. Making it cost more won’t stop the behavior at all. AND, this uptick did not start this year, with the free Metro pass. I’ve noticed the increase over the last 2-3 years, particularly near NOMA and the Met Branch Trail, which intersects the NOMA metro stop. It is also up at Petworth, and a number of other locations throughout the city. I would wager that half that group didn’t even scan through anyway. They either jump through when station managers aren’t looking, or sweep through behind a paying customer. With no bus system for DCPS, and the Metro subsidy is a lifesaver for parents. While the buses are free, they are not reliable most of the time and I feel safer with my child on Metro rail, and know she’s more likely to not be late for school by some traffic issue or bus not running per schedule.

          • “With no bus system for DCPS, and the Metro subsidy is a lifesaver for parents”

            In fact, I thought that the subsidy was part of the requirement to provide transportation to public school to kids who live too far to walk. Is that not the case? Or were the buses (but not Metro) considered adequate before? Kids in the suburbs are bused to school at no cost to parents, as long as you lived more than 1 mile or some similar distance away.

          • It’s just as likely that they jump the turnstiles WHILE the station manager is watching. I bet I’ve watched a thousand people walk right through the gate with the manager watching.

          • Kimberly, as a parent who sends her children to DC public schools, what is your understanding as to the age at which this type of gang violence for fun starts happening? Do your kids talk to you about it?

            I feel terrible for caring parents like you, as I can’t imagine send my children to learn in such violent company each day. At the same time though, I cannot comprehend how this behavior is allowed to persist. Thinking of my hometown, the people were working class but education was sacred because it’s the ticket to future wealth. If some other kid was making it impossible to learn, all the parents would demand that the kid be removed. If it’s only a few bad apples, I do think understand why parents don’t protect their own children.

            Is there some organization of concerned parents? If so, I’d be interested in helping out. Currently rent in DC but will never send my kids to school where brutal violence is so common as to be ignored. There is no chance for good kids (like yours) to make it when fear of violence is an everyday occurrence. Please let me know how I can help.

    • They are beasts. I’m tired of the everyone feeling so sorry for them, that they had a hard life. Bullshit.

      Maybe if DC did a better job following through on arrests and actually prosecuting them, it might help. But when the Mayor makes announcements that she’s going to void tickets because of the snow, it sends a message that DC isn’t going to stand behind it’s own laws.

      • MTPD and MPD should grab some bulldozers and go full Likud on their parents’ houses

      • + 1 @kittycatbob

        Really fed up. While the income of hard-working taxpayers goes into programs to educate disenfranchised or marginalized youth and provide multiple opportunities all over DC for them to stay engaged in healthy, enriching activities, they continue to harass and abuse their fellow citizens and call us racist for complaining about it. At what point do they stop being called “disenfranchised” and “marginalized” and start being brought to accountability and responsibility for their choices? I know this is a topic that’s way too heavy to be dealt with in at the comments section of a blog, but these repeated incidents are so de-moralizing and frustrating.

        • Those programs only work if you have a kid who is self-motivated or who has parents who will require him/her to participate and will provide the discipline to make sure they do. I know if I ever got caught doing anything remotely similar to what these heathens are doing, I would not have seen the light of day for months. Heck, my father would probably keep me within a five foot radius 24/7. Yeah kids are stupid and the pack mentality doesn’t help, but you don’t just wake up one day and decide to terrorize other people let alone commit acts of completely unprovoked violence on strangers. The parents, or lack thereof, are just as much to blame and until we hold them accountable too, nothing is going to change.

      • There are plenty of countries with high rates of poverty yet their crime rates are extremely low. it’s time we stop believing that being poor leads to criminality. it’s a terrible culture that allows people to operate without shame. no liberal policy is going to change this, it must come from within the community.

        • Out of those countries, how many had such a large and conspicuous population enslaved in the past 200 years?

        • +1 Not to mention, in the US, the poor are extremely disproportionately the victims of crime – so lowering crime would massively alleviate suffering under poverty. Can you imagine east of the river or west baltimore – just as poor, schools with the same amount of resource – but with little/no neighborhood crime or bullying to prevent students who want to gain an education? That’s like 80% of the way there….

          • I remember asking my Japanese ex what constituted a “bad neighborhood” in Japan. He said it would be a neighborhood that’s inconvenient — not near rail stations, etc.

      • + 1 million

    • HaileUnlikely

      My hypothesis: copycats. I.e., “Whoa, they totally got away with it. I wonder if we can get away with that. Let’s try!”

      • I’m more interested in what motivates human beings to do this to others in the first place.

        • HaileUnlikely

          No help here. Just saying, I don’t think the observation that we started hearing about these incidents more at some point following the free transit passes means that these incidents are occurring because of free transit passes.

        • Dream Deferred
          What happens to a dream deferred?
          Does it dry up
          Like a raisin in the sun?
          Or fester like a sore–
          And then run?
          Does it stink like rotten meat?
          Or crust and sugar over–
          like a syrupy sweet?
          Maybe it just sags
          like a heavy load.
          Or does it explode?
          by Langston Hughes

          • Well, that’s awkwardly racist.

          • I noted that another Anon called this awkwardly racist – a poem by a black poet about the black condition. It was later picked up as the title of a play by a black playwright. “Raisin in the Sun” is a beautifully poignant and moving play about a black family. Those readers who care about race issues should read it, or see the movie.

    • This. I figured this would happen. Instead of doing real work and building up after-school programs, teen employment opportunities, or other — healthy — outlets for teens’ energy and boredom, Bowser just gave them all a carte blanche invitation to go be bored anywhere in the city, for free. Want to be bad? What’s an easier opportunity for that than something that will spirit you away to another part of town before authorities can catch you. Novelty! Hilarity! Bowser immediately lost my vote when she turned every DC commuter into an abused baby-sitter.

      • They have opportunities!! They have school. They have school work and home work and projects. Libraries are full of books AND FREE. Libraries also have activities all the time for youth of all ages. Churches have youth groups. Recreation centers are all around DC and they are free. They offer running tracks, basketball courts, soccer fields, fitness equipment, and swimming pools. I am so DONE with the excuses for the behavior of the little monsters.

    • damn lighten up, most kids/teens who use that program need it to get to/from school. also, @Anon, “anomie” refers to a situation where individuals/groups have zero moral guidance from/ties to society, which is definitely not the case here. some teens can be obnoxious but demonizing them all (or even certain groups of them, as is being done in this post) is unhelpful.

  • #biggerprisons

    • We tried that. Why keeping doing the thing that social scientists agree caused the problem in the first place?? Definition of insanity and all that.

      • Lol, that caused the problem in the first place? You actually believe that pablum?

      • And yet (just as an example) DCPS spends more per pupil than any other system in this region, yet the students still can’t behave like civilized human beings and use a public transit system without trashing it and everyone else trying to ride? DC bends over backward to be kinder and gentler, so what do the social scientists say we’re doing wrong?

        • The families of many said students don’t have sufficient resources/opportunities to live a gainful life. There’s no easy fix to that.

          • justinbc

            You can make all the excuses you want about families, history, etc, but none of that gives kids an excuse to behave the way they do, aggressively and violently, towards other people. You can’t just pick a random white person on the subway and get mad at gentrification and gang attack him, that’s not how being part of a society works, no matter what slights you think have come against you.

          • Justin, not sure what you’re reading, but that’s a really stupid comment. No rational person would excuse this behavior.

          • justinbc- You can, but that doesn’t solve anything. Neither does ignoring the vastly different worlds that a white adult vs a black teenager inhabit in our city. Context matters, but it’s not an excuse.

          • justinbc

            If I’m reading your intention wrong then my bad, you certainly sounded like another apologist.

        • This stat is a little misleading because, I believe, a) a lot of the money pays for decrepit buildings (repair, heating/cooling, maintenance), and b) a lot of that money pays for outsourcing special ed (transport especially, but also tuitions, I think).

      • No, social scientists agree that harsher sentencing clearly is a factor to decreased crime rates of the last couple decades. How important a factor it is compared to other changes (legalization of abortion, banning of lead paint, etc.) is debatable, but obviously people in prison aren’t around to commit crime, infect their community, and procreate. The idea punishing people with prison “caused the problem” of barbaric teens is absurd.

        • And yet similar crime declines occurred in countries that did not embrace mass incarceration. Prisons are “the universities of crime”, as Kropotkin put it about a century ago. Or, more recently, Mike Ness: “I’m going to a place where the tough guys go, and come out even tougher…”

        • That is so simplistic I’d laugh, if it weren’t so sad that literate people believe actually believe it.
          It’s like the hawks and their approach to terrorists: Deploy a drone, smear him into a grease spot, one less terrorist, right? Wrong. Dead guy has brothers and nephews and sons who will now take up arms against those who killed him.
          How can you not see that these proposed draconian measures have consequences for society that far outweigh your revenge-fantasy consequences against one bad actor?

          • Because many people believe the costs of locking up violent criminals are well worth it. I have zero sympathy for anyone that inflicts physical harm on another human. Lock them up for a decade, I could care less. I’d rather my taxes pay to keep these cretins off the street. Period. Mass incarceration actually works quite well – it just has side effects some people don’t like.

          • Ok, let’s play that game. So you lock them up for a decade, where they learn more criminal skills than anything remotely resembling pro-social behavior. Then you let them out. Many go back to crime because they don’t have the skills to survive otherwise. Now back to prison, rinse, and repeat.

          • CRT, I’m interested to see how your line of thinking is either validated or disproved over the next 20 to 30 years. In terms of a general story arc, the US has seen dramatic criminality declines in major cities since the 1980s. Part of that decrease is undoubtedly because the criminals of that time were locked up for very long sentences. It seems to me that recent trends toward “sentencing reform” (e.g., shorter and/or more lenient sentences) are at least in part because many current political leaders weren’t around during the major crime waves of the 1970s and 1980s. It will be interesting social science research to figure out the correlation between decreasing lengths of sentences and increasing rates of crime, if such a correlation does exist.

          • justinbc

            And the alternative is what? Just letting them not go to prison after they break the law? And that’s supposed to prevent them from committing further crimes? What’s the point of even having a law that says you can’t assault someone if it’s not enforced, and when it is enforced people bitch that it shouldn’t be? There are some really shitty people on this earth who refuse to play by the rules. I would rather have them behind bars for X amount of time than on the streets, it’s really that simple.

          • Justin, I can’t speak for others here, but I don’t think anyone is proposing that we get rid of prisons. Folks are just pointing out that simply building “bigger prisons” isn’t the best solution to culling future crime. Context is important.

          • justinbc

            Literally getting rid of prisons? No. But to argue that bigger, or more, prisons is somehow counter-productive because current criminals just aren’t learning their lesson isn’t far from that.

          • Being needlessly pedantic isn’t a particularly productive way to advance the discourse.

      • I think most of the studies showed that the early rise in incarcerations was indeed helpful at brining down the crime. It is that we have reached a point of diminishing returns. The more recent rise in the prison population hasn’t done much to lower the crime rate. So in theory, we could lower the prison population without raising the crime rate.

        The “nonviolent drug felon” is one possible. But, it is a bit of a red hearing. Nonviolent drug felons are only a small share of the total prison population. Plus, many people plead down to drug charges to avoid more serious gang and gun related crimes.

        The more promising route is reducing sentences for violent felons. Most crime is committed by young people, so the theory is they will age out of it. Rather than send someone away for 25 years for a violent armed robbery, send them away for 15 years, etc.

        • justinbc

          Lowering the birth rate would be a great start towards fewer potential criminals, but this country seems baby obsessed.

          • *sigh*
            Yet more statistically unsupported racist nonsense. US birth rates aren’t even at replacement. Haven’t been for years.
            And African Americans have only very slightly higher birth rates than Caucasians.

          • justinbc

            Racist? You realize non-blacks commit crimes too, right? Maybe not in DC, but elsewhere in the country for sure.

    • #familyplanning

      • +100000000

      • Are you positing that there are folk without access to affordable family planning and are having children they don’t want? I don’t think so. The next step is that you are advancing forced family planning? Eugenics has not been sufficiently addressed as a flawed and terribly immoral wrong committed many times against many people in this country so it can be flippantly, or worse seriously, thrown out as an option.

    • #socialsciencedenier

      • Despite its name, social sciences are much more art than science. Alter a couple variables, tweak the methodology one way or another, and you can weave whatever narrative supports your philosophical, political, and/or academic ideologies.

  • There was another story yesterday that ended up with 6 teens arrested and charged with felony assault for a similar incident. I don’t recall that story being mentioned here.

    • Yeah from the Washington Post:

      WASHINGTON – Six people have been arrested after a man was assaulted inside D.C.’s Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station in an incident that may have involved up to 30 juveniles.

      The attack happened around 8:30 a.m. Thursday as a Red Line train stopped at the station. Officers say five males and a female, all of whom are students at Woodrow Wilson High School in D.C., punched a man in an assault described by Metro as a “wolfpack attack.”

  • As someone who had to use the elevators at Gallery Place because of injury and also stroller, I will tell you that teenagers are left unchecked there, harassing people in the elevators, and jumping the turnstiles. No matter how many times it has been reported to the Station Manager, they do nothing.

    • justinbc

      Why do they need to jump turnstiles if they apparently get to ride for free as a school subsidy?

      • I believe the kids just show school ID to the station manager and walk through the swinging door, rather than use a turnstile. For elevators that’s not an option. Though maybe I’m wrong and they have a free smart trip; I get off at Takoma or Silver Spring/it’s rare to see DC teens out here.

  • Having been active in transit issues this past year, I’ve learned that these incidents aren’t new but are being reported more. We have to publicly press the WMATA board to increase patrol enforcement on the trains and in the stations.

    Anyone who is on twitter, use the hashtag #wmata to report your stories. This one wasn’t reported yesterday, so I have relayed it.

    • A better WMATA/Metro Police presence in the stations (aside from the entry areas) would be a good start. The rowdy behavior is usually borderline before it escalates on the trains. It wouldn’t go unchecked to such a degree if there was greater coordination between station managers, conductors,and law enforcement. Every train ride leads somewhere, and once in the system it shouldn’t be an obstacle to address behavior that crosses the line. There are security cameras everywhere. You can’t regulate loud behavior, but they can address those harassing and physically confronting bystanders.
      I agree with PP that the best course is always to proactively move, which shouldn’t be viewed as racist — I see plenty of African American riders do the exact same thing

      If DC is going to provide free Metro passes to students (in lieu of school buses), they need to make it conditional to involve principals in identifying behavior that crosses the line. Most principals will take this responsibility if it’s brought to their attention.

      • Leaving food waste/containers, playing music, verbal harassment, etc. are behaviors that cross the line. These have repeatedly become felony assaults with significant injuries. Not sure how principals are going to address that.

        • not really. Leaving trash is piggish but not criminal or unsafe. I can dislike behavior and just move on because there’s nothing you can do about it. I have no tolerance for verbal or physical assault.

          • Leaving Food on the metro is criminal though not felonious and unsafe. You can (though never enforced) receive a ticket for eating, drinking and littering. It is unsafe due to health reasons because having food in the system brings in rats and other pests.

            This all boils down to better enforcement of the rules buy WMATA and the Metro Police.

          • west_egg

            To add to anon 12:11’s comment – it’s also unsafe because that trash could make its way onto the rails and start a fire. Or it could be a trip hazard. Or it could cause a train malfunction.

      • +1
        I don’t understand what Metro Police do, to be honest, and I was personally the victim of an assault in the metro where the metro police were not around, the station manager didn’t notice and the DC police basically can’t do anything about metro crime without metro participation.
        In case anyone doesn’t know, they have one camera at most per train car, older cars don’t have any. In the stations there is a decent camera at entrance/exit and they’re supposedly revamping the cameras at the platforms, but the retention policy for cameras is so terrible that unless you manage to have some remarkably efficient police and metro employees looking for footage, footage of the crime will be thrown out before they find it. They said that the retention policies for the footage vary by station – there is no standard – and some stations keep footage for a month, some for weeks, some for only days.
        Basically if you’re a victim of a crime on the metro you’re shit out of luck because the metro apparently has no interest in protecting its riders – its police presence is minimal, its cameras don’t work and the footage isn’t retained long at all, and the entire system takes an attitude of “if the station manager didn’t report it to the metro the metro knows nothing about it happening.”
        With the crimes being reported on the metro recently, the metro really needs to step up its efforts to keep its citizens safe. I understand DC has a lot of challenges with people of very different backgrounds mixing on the metro, but the fact that the public transportation system of of our nation’s Capitol can do this little to protect its riders is an embarrassment.

        • I’ll tell you where some of the metro police are. They spend their days over outside metro stops like Minnesota Avenue (several large schools over there, at least one is a charter) trying to keep the peace before and after school. There are at least six officers hanging out there every weekday trying to keep the peace. I agree, end the subsidy for these students. Also, go back to enforcing the no eating/drinking policy on metro. Make the fine very high. If everyone would call the mayor and your council person, perhaps we would see some changes?? It is worth a try.

  • This is ridiculous. Yesterday, there were TWO attacks! One in the morning at Woodley Park and then one in the evening at Chinatown! And I agree with domrep….feel like it is connected to the subsidy program. And again metro has their own police dept yet in my 9 years riding metro I rarely saw them!

    • The morning attack actually happened at Gallery Place, the perps were merely apprehended at Woodley Park. Do you have any more details about the evening attack?

      • Fox5 reporter reported on both on her FB and Twitter, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
        “AGAIN, another mob attack on Metro.
        This time up to THIRTY juveniles.
        6 were arrested, ALL Woodrow Wilson High students.
        This attack happened during the morning rush– but, tonight at 5:30pm ANOTHER asssault– same metro station (Gallery Place- Chinatown). Teens threw a snowball at an adult man and then assaulted him– no arrest in that case. Will it ever stop?!”

        • Anonomnom

          Was at the Woodley Park metro during that, can confirm the 30ish number. The police response was also very intense, they were everywhere in an instant.

      • The only thing I saw was a few Tweets a little after 5PM last night:
        Jackie Barrientes [email protected]_DC 17h
        They have four suspects stopped at gallery place. They look like robbery specs. Hoods on over their heads. Nondescript clothing. #wmata

      • you just commented on a blog strain about the evening attack

  • My wife told me that yesterday a man attacked an elderly woman in the metro. Apparently the whole thing started because he wouldn’t move away from the door and blocked her in.

    As expected, Metro staff did absolutely nothing and it was civilians who kicked the guy out and tried to find police.

  • alphatango

    I got a bad feeling that all of this recent uptick in teenage mobs is going to result in another Bernhard Goetz type incident.

    The other day I was going to Giant in CoHi and I saw a group of teenagers gathering on the corner by zBurger. One was wielding [and swinging] an aluminum baseball bat. I made it a point to go the long way around when I left Giant.

    • I stopped myself from adding more to my posts, but I was going to say that the worse thing that could happen is if someone took matters into their own hands. Someone is going to fight back, and it’s not going to end well. You just hope Metro officials or whoever is in charge would set something up so that they can prevent a Goetz type incident from happening

    • Almost every day I walk from Mt. P across Park Road to WSC on 14th. I have absolutely noticed an uptick in kids hanging out on the block between Hiatt Place and 14th. They’re always smoking pot (which is not a big deal) but I’ve also seen drug deals and adults hanging out in idling cars. About 2 weeks ago, I saw one kid showing his buddy a hand gun. I’ll be honest, it’s scary.

      • This is Awkward

        I make that same walk John, and see the same thing. Mostly male groups, definitely drinking on the side walk, what looks like drug activity going on 24/7, lots of screaming and yelling. They seem to be there 24 hours a day. I did see an arrest there last week or so (not sure for what though)that seemed to come from the gang in front of the pupuseria….but man they really need to station a car there for awhile or *gasp* get some cops to walk the beat.

      • 14th St has always been an open air drug market. The new condos may mask it a bit but its always been that way. Its about 4 or 5 different crews that operate that area.

      • I’ve been walking that same route for 7 years. They’ve always been there. I’ve seen car windows smashed and I was sexually assaulted a few years ago. I won’t walk there at night. This is nothing new.

      • I used to make that walk on the regular from 2009-2013. Never noticed that level of sketchiness.

    • I hate to think that it would come to something like that here, but the Bernie Goetz incident sort of marked a turning point in the attitudes and handling of violent crime in New York. Considering both the rise in this type of crime in DC and the demographic shift here, it’s not hard to envision something like this happening, and if it ultimately paves the way for our leadership and law enforcement taking more of a zero tolerance approach to violent crime, I’m not so sure I’d shed a tear for the victims.

    • About an hour ago (5:30 pm) several guys were savagely beating someone at the corner of 14th and Park Road. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The gang dispersed and some ran into the Target garage entrance. Cops came out of nowhere, cuffed one of them and went running after another.

  • No judgment but I noticed that you had never mentioned race in your post until the very end.

    Just interesting the coded language people use to discuss these issues in this city.

    • Which post are you referring to? I don’t see any reference to race in the original post at the top of the thread.

    • When nearly all reported crime in DC is committed by perps of the same race, there’s almost no point in mentioning race, be it at the end of at the beginning.

    • “Just interesting the coded language people use to discuss these issues in this city.”
      how passive-aggressive. it’s helpful to a productive discussion to not turn this directly into a racial issue, although the statistics indicate otherwise.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Census data show that the percent of all teenagers aged 12-17 residing in DC who are white is 11%. They have not published summary statistics by broken down by age, race, and ward, but I think it is fair to say that those 11% are not sprinkled evenly throughout the city. There are very few white teen-agers east of the park. Little kids? Sure. Childless singles and couples? Sure. Families with teen-agers? Not so much. I have never, by which I literally mean never, seen a white teen-ager in my neighborhood. And how many white teenagers living in families with incomes below the AMI are there in all of DC? 50? East of the park, you’re about as likely to encounter a group of 30 Navajo teens as you are to encounter a group of 30 white teens. Thus, implications of some of the language above notwithstanding, if you observe a group of 30 teenage boys anywhere outside of Ward 3 and it isn’t a chaperoned tour group, it probably isn’t a group of white kids simply for statistical reasons.

    • Sorry – this was supposed to be posted under the first post at the top.

  • I wrote an e-mail to my Ward 5 Councilman, Mr. McDuffie regarding his vote against the proposed measure to impose higher penalties for violent crimes committed on public transit. My response was radio silence – no response at all. How appalling. There must be consequences or nothing will change. Votes like this will eventually lead to the decline of DC as a destination city. It’s sad.

    • He and his staff never respond to anything. Its pretty sad.

    • In fairness to Mr. McDuffie, he makes no bones about his position on criminal justice matters. Love him or hate him, he takes what he sees as a principled stand on the issue. He isn’t going to change his mind. It is up to voters to decide to keep him or not.

    • I Dont Get It

      ” proposed measure to impose higher penalties for violent crimes committed on public transit.”

      Do you have any more info on this proposal?

    • HaileUnlikely

      I ride metro every day yet I do not support that proposal. What is it about committing an assault on a bus or on a train that makes it worthy of different punishment than committing an assault on the sidewalk or in a business or in a residence? Also, it was drafted very poorly, with the likely-unintentional specifier of “aboard a transit vehicle,” such that crimes committed in metro stations would not have counted.

  • Granted, I don’t work anywhere near a metro stop & have to drive, all this harassment & violence is why I NEVER take the metro. I just don’t & won’t. I’d just go off on some misbehaving ruffians & probably get killed.

  • Does anyone know if they are allowed to ride free for all hours? They could just limit the hours that they are allowed to ride free to an hour before and after school.
    It won’t, of course, stop turnstile jumping or cause Station Managers to care more, but it would be a start…

    • “It won’t, of course, stop turnstile jumping or cause Station Managers to care more” — Haha, this reminds me of how the other day, I saw a guy walking through the emergency exit gate while chowing down on a sandwich. Couldn’t have been more flagrant.
      What exactly is the purpose of station managers, given that they don’t make change and don’t do any enforcement? Is their sole role to explain to tourists how to use the farecard machines?

  • These “kids” have already learned that there is minimal to no consequence to their actions because society is uncomfortable with discipline. Our culture is a recipe for this kind of thing. The public schools suck, the stable middle
    Class economy is in decline, people turn a blind eye to “ghetto” culture that doesn’t value education or self control, we have a totally ineffective local (and national) government (except for parking tickets). Things like this metro mayhem are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • For every “kid” actually taking part in these violent attacks there are probably at least 50 more who know about it. They watch the videos on social media, laugh and gossip about it in school. Does anyone – teachers, parents, police, consider working to reach the peer group and perhaps change the acceptability of violence? Or at least identify the attackers from the online videos?

  • question – the OP noted “they messed with me a bit (took the hat off my head, took videos of me, screamed in my face, etc).” I ride the metro daily and so I began thinking of how I would react in that situation. Obviously, no one wants to escalate the situation, but I feel like there’s a fine line between preventing escalation and coming across as an easy target. And then there’s situational awareness factors to consider – being in a confined space with many (in this case, 15+) adversaries.
    There has been much discussion in threads here about whether people should intervene in attacks that are occurring, and I don’t want to open that can of worms again. So, I’m curious if there’s a general consensus on the appropriate action here if you were in the position of the OP.

    • Yes, it’s been beat to death.

    • I think this is a major reason these attacks are so distressing – it doesn’t seem to matter what the victims/targets do. React, don’t react, try to leave, try to contact help, take video, don’t take video — all of that could get you beaten by a group of people that have no sense that they could actually kill someone.

      • It seems way too easy to just dismiss it as “privilege,” but I’m certain that 16 year-old me knew that physically assaulting someone outside of self defense could impact my entire life. How the heck do we impart that to youth that seemingly have both no moral compass or fear of repercussions?

        • but it *doesn’t* impact their life here. there are essentially no repercussions for juvenile offenders in this city, even for violent crimes, muggings, assaults, etc.

        • SilverSpringGal

          Honestly, I think its hard to have a fear of repercussions when you don’t see your life heading to any place better than where they are now. Those kids either have ‘pipe’ dreams of being the next star athlete or billboard musician or they know they’ll end up like the rest of their communities. In their eyes, there rarely is an in-between with a middle class lifestyle. What does middle class income get you in DC after all? Nothing.

          That said, I don’t like living in fear either or having to cross the street when packs of kids are heading my way. Something needs to change.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Starting from the position of not having any living, non-institutionalized, gainfully-employed male role model in your life and not having any friends who do, either, the notion of something impacting the rest of one’s life has very different implications than it likely would have for many of us at the same age. I would be willing to bet that this characterizes the vast majority of teens who do this stuff. All? Of course not, but I’d bet on well over half.

  • Ask yourself this question: how many possible solutions to this problem can you think of in just a few minutes of brainstorming? So why are the police and city officials incapable of addressing it? My educated opinion is that they have completely written off “youth” crime, on the streets or on Metro. They are gambling that the number of people directly affected will be small enough to keep it relatively under wraps. The alternative is that more and more people become aware that there is a serious problem of lawlessness in DC with black teens. So the only thing we can do is highlight it and make it clear in any way, forum or fashion possible. Don’t let them continue to sweep it under the rug.

    • Let’s build a wall…

    • I’m not sure any viable solutions come to mind. Most of these kids aren’t impacted by repercussions. Going to jail is a badge of honor. Maybe if kids start tragically getting killed during these attacks, their innate desire for survival might trigger some hesitation.

      If right-wing people were on this site, they would of course argue that if anyone was armed on the train that might have helped control their behavior. Maybe but, honestly, what trained and responsible CC permit holder is going to gun down an unarmed 15 year old? Anyway, a lot more people who work in national or other security are armed in this city than most realize.

      It’s vastly complicated. The core is that we’re dealing with a broken subculture. It can’t be fixed through policy. It has to go deeper.

      • “Most of these kids aren’t impacted by repercussions.”

        They’re not impacted by the repercussions we’re currently giving them. They won’t get caught because no one cares, and even if they do get caught, they plead out with probation and community service. Hand out a few 10-20 year sentences for this kind of shit and we’ll be on our way to deterrence.

        More than this, though, is that we simply need to get people like this off the streets. As folks here have noted, the idea that one shouldn’t gang up with one’s buddies and beat up defenseless people isn’t some rarified notion you have to learn in Ethics 305, it’s something a normal 5-year old would say is wrong. If you’re 16-17 and engaging in this kind of extreme sociopathic behavior, you need to be locked up for a good long time.

  • MacDuffie is playing the long game. Lawlessness under a Bowser administration = more votes for the law and order mayoral candidate MacDuffie. Whether or not increasing penalties for Metro related crime will serve as a deterrent is irrelevant to him, but to not change the law certainly will mean continued problems. All of this on Muriel’s watch.

    As for Jack Evans, he cried about the committee vote not coming out in his favor. This because he is now head of the Metro board, and he knows that to really deal with this issue means additional budget for police. Or, he recognizes that Metro is powerless to do anything, so that he has to push for some window dressing in increase jail time threats.

    Both of these chuckleheads need to get voted out of their office, when their positions are all about politics and nothing about safety of the citizenry.

    Prove me wrong MacDuffie and Evans

  • @FixWMATA on twitter proposed adding additional police to hot spot stations like Gallery Place and L’Enfant and was IMMEDIATELY and virulently shot down by minority followers.

    • UGH. I dont get it. If people would learn to just fucking behave like rational human beings, this wouldn’t be up for debate in the first place.

      what the hell do these people suggest? ok. no police. fine. what is their solution then?

      *goes on amazon* gonna get my ass some strong ass spray…..

    • That is really the only answer. Metro needs to beef up patrol at major transfer stations and at troublesome stations during the morning rush hour and at the time of school dismissal. Not just at the entrances but on the platform as well. That is really the only solution.

      • … I’d add that they should really just beef up security at ALL transfer stations. I took the metro for almost a full week (including transfers daily) because my normal bus was suspended with the snow and didn’t even see ONE police officer.

        • I agree about beefing up patrols- it definitely helps. I commute from SW Waterfront to Rhode Island Ave Metro and take a bus from there to the office. For the past year I have definitely seen more beefed up security at the RIA metro- I usually am there just after 5pm- and I see a lot of teenagers hanging around there, but there is really just a lot of people in general. It’s really crowded with the bus terminal right there most times of day- there is just a lot going on there. In my afternoon/evening commute see a lot of kids that just walk through right through the gate and not show anything to the station manager. When the police are there- it’s usually not just 1 officer, it’s at least a couple of pairs of armed officers so their presence is strongly felt. I used to think it was strange to have so many armed officers, but now I think that the larger groups of kids are less inclined to board at RIA at this time because when the security is there the station managers are more inclined to check passes and give kids that aren’t carrying them a harder time about getting through. There is just less fare evasion in general, I see the officers pulling aside people that evade paying fare. It’s still utter chaos at that station, but it’s better having them there because the station manager just can’t really handle it all otherwise. I’m not sure how much security like this they have at Noma since I don’t get on there ever, but I would think if they had as many armed officers as they do at RIA most weekday late afternoon/early evenings, that it might discourage the groups from boarding there.

    • What is the resistance to increasing police where problems occur? Is it a targeting concern? Minorities I know don’t want to get attacked, either.

      • Yep, the responses I read focused on profiling, creating a “police state” in the metro system and more than one person saying the safety “problem” doesn’t exists/is the creation of transplants who don’t like black kids on the metro.

        Sad commentary all around.

        • I agree that the “tolerant of marauding teen” folks claim that people who want some safety through stronger policing and tougher sentencing are somehow racist because minorities could be targeted unfairly. Ironically, that consistent and shrill argument is making me feel like I have to choose between being supportive of minorities and my own safety and the safety of those I love. Guess what? It’s making me feel resentful and somewhat racist. I’m a life-long Dem, but I’d vote for a law and order Republican for Mayor at this point. Frustration and radicalization doesn’t happen just to the “disadvantaged.” Turning your allies against you by dismissing their very real concerns isn’t a smart plan.

  • Revoke the bus passes when police determine who is involved. Provide rewards for providing information and videos.

  • They should penalize the parents/caretakers of these kids financially, start taking money away from those folks and those kids will be put in line right quick.

    • Think that through. Let’s say a household has three kids. The eldest is a teen and a bad egg. His parent loses assistance, or if working, gets her/his wages garnished. Who is that going to hurt? The kid who steals what he wants anyway?

      • Who cares at all about the family that created a destructive force? Remember, punishment comes AFTER a victim has been violently assaulted… Their life forever altered because of the poor choices of some other family.

        The liberal progressive ideology pretends to be caring but allowing bad behavior to go unchecked is anything but kind. It is destroying communities. Life is about hard choices. Failing to enforce a moral code because it makes you feel bad is immoral. Discipline is not harsh, it’s actually benevolent.

    • What money? You mean their income?

  • Face facts. Youth crime will not be addressed, because it’s all tied up with race in this city and no one will touch that. The only solution that everyone finds tolerable is throwing more money into social services, which — on its own — will not deter this kind of behavior. These kids are running wild because no one will do anything to stop them, lest they be branded racists. In fact, this city is filled with people of all races chomping at the bit to make excuses for them. Sadly, these people think they are doing the kids a favor by teaching them that terrible behavior is acceptable and has no consequences. No good parent or guardian would treat kids this way.

    I’ve lived in cities all across Europe, and I’ve never seen anything like this.

    • In general, European cities do not have much concentrated poverty. European nations have more generous welfare systems, and they do not allow people to be as poor as we do.

      • Have you ever been to a non-Western European city? They do have concentrations of poverty, and they’re not all generous welfare states.

        DC is far from stingy when it comes to support for the poor, and it spends more than most other localities on its students. There’s a reason that the poor aren’t hightailing it to VA but choosing to stay here. They know where the money is.

        Poverty is relative. It’s a lot harder to be poor in a rural area where there are no businesses or social services than in DC. It may be that DC’s kids will be poor because of their behavior rather than their behavior springing from assumed (because they’re black) poverty.

      • ???
        Just because YOU never made it outside the touristy center of any European city doesn’t mean the whole population is genteelly sipping coffee on cafe terraces surrounded by geraniums. Look up “banlieu”. Watch La Haine.

    • I have seen this exact behavior in the Northwest of England. I lived and worked in Manchester for three years, and pack of teens were a girl’s worst nightmare, and especially a rich toff from the south going to university up north. Same thing in Liverpool. Both are university towns with a similar discrepancy between the haves and have nots.

  • Everyone who has mentioned that they are “worried” about a Bernard Goetz situation. Honestly, I am not worried. I hope that it happens and it will probably be the tipping point in getting the authorities to respond forcefully to these kids.

    Then they will know, they could get shot and maybe (just maybe) this stops them carrying on.

    • That won’t end well at all. Imagine the uproar from such an incident.

      • What, the uproar from someone fighting back when they have been assaulted for no reason on the Metro?
        Where is the uproar about kids running wild and breaking jaws, causing concussions? Oh well, its long overdue.

        • People are worried because it’s a recipe for Freddie Gray-style riots in DC

          • BS. There is no (recent) history of abusive police tactics in DC. This will be met with force eventually. Because of the vacuum of leadership on crime issues in this city, I expect it will be a civilian that takes the lead on that front and the fallout will force the city to finally deal with these problems.

          • BS on the real possibility of riots? These riots wouldn’t be in response to brutal police tactics. They would be in response to years of systemic oppression.

          • A Bernie Goetz -type incident would be the perfect catalyst for people to vent all their pent-up frustration. There’s a lot of pent-up frustration.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I have no desire to see a passengers shoot a bunch of teens, but I would love to see a group of teens pick on a soft-looking target who turns out to be a martial arts instructor and teaches all 8 of them a lesson.

      • justinbc

        Especially on Metro. What are the chances the guy with the gun actually hits one of the kids versus an innocent rider?

        • This comment actually shows how much better things are now than the Bernie Goetz days. That was practically the nadir of transit ridership in NYC, non-rush hour trains were all empty because everyone avoided them as much as possible. Everything is so much safer now.

      • I’m just imagining the outrage and apologists condemning an adult for “violence” against a teen: “He could have tried calling for help or talking to the kid like an adult first before resorting to hurting the innocent child…”

    • Please. If a white guy shoots one or more black teenagers (even if they are harassing people) there would be marches in the streets for months; Black Lives Matter would have a field day.

    • No no no no no.

      I can understand the “teach these criminals a lesson” impulse. But, as a DC homeowner with a young family in a…heterogeneous neighborhood, this would is a nightmare. I’m not worried about effects of civil discontent on my property value. I’m worried about the effects of molotov cocktails on my walls and crowbars on my face. Commenters here living in fancy condos on H or 14th would be living in the most visible, easily targeted recipients of Ward 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 frustrations.

      [Bernhard Goetz Event] + [Freddie Gray Anger] + [2016 DC Demographic Friction] = 1968 with a lot more dead people.

  • Who is “they” here? Residents of the District who might someday send their children to public schools?

  • Have any city council members discussed doing away with the subsidy program? As many have pointed out, it’s not hard to draw a line from bored teens –> free metrorail access –> teens robbing/assaulting/terrorizing metrorail passengers, and the uptick in incidents this year (i.e., following the introduction of the subsidy) seems to support that hypothesis.

    • HaileUnlikely

      You’re right it’s not hard to draw that line. It’s very easy to draw all sorts of meaningless lines. It’s sort of like seeing shapes in the clouds. Oooh, look, that one looks like an elephant! And over there, a little kitty! Most of the kids who are willing to commit assault are probably also willing to commit fare evasion (I don’t know – just a hunch). We have heard in other discussions on here of people witnessing large groups of teens blowing through the swinging gate–confident (and correct) that the station manager won’t be willing to challenge a large group of them–even after the free metro pass program started.

      • Well that’s a great “hunch” but I don’t see why it’s any better than a “hunch” that taking away or limiting free access to metro for teens will limit the number of incidents on the metro involving teens.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Revoking a benefit that serves tens of thousands of teens on a hunch that it might reduce crime is a really poor way to do public policy.

    • You can only advocate for getting rid of the subsidy program if you believe that there is no benefit to good kids, who want to get to school, who might have a hard time without it. Or if you believe that there are no good kids.
      I spend a lot of time in DC schools. There are so many good kids, working so much harder than I ever had to work. I’ve seen a couple kids go down a bad path, and then turn it around. I’m just not ready to write off everyone under 18 over the actions of a few.

      • I don’t agree that you can “only advocate for getting rid of the subsidy program if you believe that there is no benefit to good kids.” Policy is about balancing costs and benefits. However, I recognize that kids who go to school far from home need transportation. Why not make it work like the feds program where the benefit is limited to the rides needed to get to/from school? That could limit boredom rides. Though I bet the answer is that it’s more costly to figure that out than to just give everyone $100.

  • Here is an idea: Why don’t they attach a certain requirement to the transit benefits? Children over the age of X need to either be involved in an extracurricular activity or preform X amount of hours of public service/ volunteer or work X amount of hours at a job to qualify. It would be a good way to teach some accountability, discipline, and life skills to a “disenfranchise” population and perhaps and force kids to do something constructive with their free time, opposed to hanging around and causing trouble.

    • In addition, if they are causing trouble, or are hanging out with others that are causing trouble, they lose the benefit?

  • This morning’s front page article about the homeless mother of three little children (one a newborn) was very discouraging. How will they turn out?

  • Just going to reiterate that there is a really big difference between a “driver” of behavior and an “excuse” for that behavior. One can coherently argue that we can do a lot to prevent this behavior by giving kids better opportunities and that we should punish this behavior when it occurs.
    The deterrence effect of punishment is only effective if it makes a big difference in the quality of juveniles’ lives. We can make punishment look worse by helping improve the lives of juveniles who do not engage in antisocial behavior.

  • Metro Transit Police can be texted at 696873. They are very responsive and I wish Metro did a better job of letting passengers know this is an option when calling is not possible or safe.

  • I am surprised no on mentioned addressing this issue at school. I am not familiar with the DCPS regulations but I think developing way to inform the students on the consequences of their actions might help. Educators may be able to help dispel the idea that unprovoked violence is “funny” and” cool” I may be naive to think they would listen but it can’t hurt to try. I walk to the NOMA metro many days and this issue frightens me, but not enough to avoid the metro. I think it is absolutely an issue that can be addressed through multiple systems, including updating law enforcement and transportation policies.

    • Because no one cares what DCPS teachers say — even DCPS teacher don’t care. Long-term teachers punch the clock until their pension. New teachers get chased out and join charter schools. If there’s a solution, DCPS isn’t really near the top of the implementation list.

      One group that COULD be at the top is church leaders. Many preachers are quick to turn disputes about parking spots into us-vs-them diatribes telling congregations how white bicyclists are trying to steal their houses and keep them poor. I doubt these kids care what their preachers say, but these kids’ mothers and grandmothers might, and those ladies talk about it at dinner. Kids can pick up on that, misinterpret it, and give themselves a justification to target groups. Toning down anger-baiting preachers and redoubling efforts to work closely with preachers who are trying to be constructive could go a long way to pour water on some flames.

      • “Toning down anger-baiting preachers” — What’s your strategy for accomplishing this?
        IMO, implementing the teaching of nonviolence in DCPS schools would be a lot more feasible.

        • “What’s your strategy for accomplishing this?”

          Honestly? Ask them nicely. If they don’t, then turn the parking spots into bike lanes and tow like crazy so their Maryland taxpayer congregants can’t come anymore.

  • I grew up in Brookland… I’ve seen my share of fights between the kids. But I’ve also been witness to kids starting fights with innocent people (all times against white people). I’ve even testified in court for violence against innocent bystanders. The children are fine on their own, but when they get into a group, they feel invincible and act out. The community needs to speak up more against these kids! The schools and metro need to collaborate and figure out how to fix this problem.

  • ANOTHER POINT – these kids are also provoked into some of this violence by the very glamorized violence on YouTube and other social media. Also in the past 1-2 years there has been a big trend of music videos that have over-the-top violence, including assault, rape and murder. I never hear much made of this, but many pop icons including Drake and Rihanna have released music videos that contain a XXX rating for the extreme violence. I def think the expansion of the free-ride is responsible for a lot of the recent violence on the subway, but the bigger problem had been on the streets before the program was expanded. The violence has also been hard to address as DC police are very limited in what they can do when a juvenile is arrested. My understanding is that juveniles cannot have their backgrounds checked when they are taken in, and they are often sent home without the police even being able to know the extent of the problem an individual is. Bowser needs to be called out for the unfortunate result of her free-ride program. The mayor was quick to take action in providing free metro rides for kids, she can also take quick action to provide a safe ride for the riders that support the system.

  • Goetz, Goetz, Goetz. I’ll take vigilantism over debilitating and uninhibited terror any day. The best, most inspiring news in the ISIS fight is that Anonymous got involved and started screwing up their recruitment strategies.

  • Yesterday I was on my way to pickup my daughter from Mundo Verde and road past Dunbar High School A group of maybe 6, maybe a dozen kids started pelting me with snowballs. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, but they started screaming F-you! and some derogatory things about my race, and started rushing towards me as if to jump me. I sped into a busy intersection to escape. They could have just been letting off steam, but there’s been a lot of instances in DC of teenagers attacking random strangers. I definitely feel like it could have gone that way.

  • This will continue until the black community stops acquiescing to the high crime rate within especially among juveniles.

  • Some parents of these teens may not be aware of their bad behavior. However, we need more parents like Toya Graham in Baltimore. She’s the woman that saw her son rioting on television and she gave him a beat down on national television. Metro Transit Police Chief Robert Pavlik to make transit police officers more visible because it’s not MPD’s responsibility to patrol on the Metro subways.

  • I suggest that before people invoke Bernie Goetz, they actually do some research into the shooting incident he was involved in. The story is not nearly as clear cut as some people here seem to believe. And although Mr. Goetz was acquitted of all but one charge – having an unlicensed firearm – he was on the losing end of a $43 million verdict in favor of one of the teenagers he shot, who was left a paraplegic and brain damaged.

  • How do we feel about vigilantism without firearms? There are a lot of good examples here (and some terrible ones), if you look at recent years:
    I recently read that there are a few Guardian Angels in DC. That’s a start.
    I feel the same way about all of the problems we’re having with feral youth, not just the Metro. Bringing police into a situation is a great way to make it worse, but if concerned citizens turned the tables on these hoodlums and left them on the floor spitting/urinating blood (or knocked them off their motorcycles/ATVs) it would be a very different story.

    Regarding family planning, things look promising there too. According to some social scientists and demographers (I talked to Kathryn Edin about this when she was in DC a couple of weeks ago), it seems that the groups they are tracking in bad neighborhoods today are far more broad-minded about things like delaying/minimizing/forgoing childbearing than they were less than a generation ago.

    Also, regarding a discussion earlier, the prison abolition movement is indeed “a thing,” and, although counterintuitive, it actually makes more sense than you might think.

  • I have an idea – if you are caught commiting a crime on metro, you loose your “free” student metro pass. It might make some of these teenagers think twice about joining in in this type of aggressive behavior. Just a thought. Plus, can we get some undercover metro police to spot and stop this behavior before it gets out of hand. Not that hard to do, is it??

  • Metro and the mayor should expect and deserve a 50% drop in Metro ridership in 2016 as long as they allows this kind of crap to continue. This has become a near weekly event in and around the Metro system, and the savages perpetrating these violent crimes should be dealt with harshly. Referring to these criminals as “youths,” “teens,” or “kids” is surely in the running for the “euphemism of the year” award.

  • Metro and the mayor should expect and deserve a 50% drop in Metro ridership in 2016 as long as they allow this kind of crap to continue. This has become a near weekly event in and around the Metro system, and the savages perpetrating these violent crimes should be dealt with harshly. Referring to these criminals as “youths,” “teens,” or “kids” is surely in the running for the “euphemism of the year” award.

  • To be fair, no one here is saying they want to be the next Bernie Goetz, they’re hoping that someone else is the next Goetz and that person will have to pay the consequences. As for the Goetz shooting, they were clearing trying to mug him and had long criminal records. The reaction of a lot of New Yorkers to the shooting really surprised some politicians in NYC who hadn’t realized how fed up people had become. I think it’s a matter of when, not if for something like this to happen on Metro and when it does it will be ugly.

  • Blaming “gentrification” is simply coded racial language directed against white people. The anti-gentrification crowd is segregationist in its outlook.

  • Absolutely true that “anti-gentrification” language is code for anti-white. I see the young white families & individuals moving into my neighborhood. Nobody’s rich, but they have decent jobs & are college graduates who want to live in the city instead of the suburbs.
    It seems like these out of control “feral youth” who have committed violent acts on know people are scared of them. I’m not & I’d probably get killed for telling them to sit their asses down & ride the train. But then again, I’ll never take metro.

  • These kids don’t care because there are no real consequences and hardly ever a real police response to them. I witnessed the Gallery-Place attack on Thursday, and when I was watching a news report later that day one of the kids interviewed at Woodley Park said, “they just arrested my best friend!” as if he was in disbelief and trying to get sympathy for the fact his friend was arrested for attacking passengers.

  • One of these days a concealed carry guy is going to encounter this and then we will have an unnecessary tragedy on our hands. It is important for authorities to be tough on crime to prevent vigilantism from rising. Schools were ‘Waiting for Superman’ …now D.C. is Waiting for Batman (Batman is DC anyway)…. honestly it may be time to start vigilante groups. The Day a group of office going people gang up and beat up these ‘kids’ and pepper spray them relentlessly the tide will turn. Till then suffer in silence and rant in comments

    • We already have some members of the Guardian Angels vigilante group in DC. I realize that their founder is a reactionary, but their rank-and-file seem great: mostly youth of color, unarmed, with some de-escalation and martial arts training, who can do whatever is legal to protect civilians and themselves. I’d much rather have people like them getting involved first, as opposed to more police. If cops still acted like peace officers, and still prided themselves on never firing their weapon, maybe that would be different, but those days are long gone.

      There’s also a role for the real-life superheroes/masked adventurers of the sort one can find in other cities.

  • Seriously, what about mace or pepper spray & keeping it handy, to be used if you’re attacked?
    Also, are there also similar attacks on stations in SE, or just against mostly white commuters?

    • HaileUnlikely

      There have been a few black-teens-vs-black-adults incidents on the green line in the past year or so (and plenty before that as well). The only one that received any significant media coverage involved a black adult in his 50s severely beating a teen who provoked him verbally. It was really over the top. This was nothing like a fight – the man took the teen down with one punch and then continued pounding him for a couple more minutes). That was never the subject of a 240-reply Popville thread, though. I don’t think we really have good data on the incidence of these types of attacks. My perception is that they are increasing, however, it us not exactly a new phenomenon that the media cover events that they think people will read/watch/click, either.

  • I’ve worked in inner city schools & have had to break up fights, mostly among smaller children, pulling them apart like cats fighting. Of course, it’s not the same with the almost grown men & women that are HS students. But I see most white people, even men, afraid of black kids. It’s my perception & an area that people don’t want to discuss. I can imagine some black men putting a stop to such behavior as we’ve seen in the metro & wish all men & even women would stand up & put a stop to it. Yes, it’s risky. But these attackers are our youth (even if a different race, social class, education level, whatever). They’re our kids & this is friggin unacceptable in a public space like the metro.

  • Believe it or not, Metro has almost 500 dedicated police officers. Where are they when things like this happen?

  • Are the students coming from the newly renovated Brookland Middle School? Or St. Anthony’s? Or maybe the closest public high school? From DCPS Profile page: “The mission of the Luke C. Moore High School is to provide a high-quality and compassionate secondary educational setting for disengaged youth ages 17–20 who have dropped out of high school, may have adjudication issues, or have had difficulties in traditional school settings.”

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