Scary Scene on the Red Line Metro this Morning

photo by @thinkerhoff used with permission

Just came across this scary scene on Facebook. @thinkerhoff tweeted:

“group of 4 teens on the train toward G.mont just set off the fire extinguisher and smoke bombs @ RI”

“Happened around 8:40 at RI heading towards Glenmont. 4 teens who boarded at Gallery Place.”

“Dude had an asthma attack.”

“We were all choking”

We were all stuck and coughing. They ran off at Rhode Island station

56 Comment

  • kids will be kids

  • Absolutely terrible, but one of the less awful things rowdy teens could do on the metro.

  • Teens should be banned.

  • Earlier this month D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said “I reject this notion that wild bands of roving students are attacking people on the Metro.” You know, you can reject the notion that the world isn’t flat; that doesn’t make the world round, it just makes you look foolish.

    • I would like to see the rest of her statment. If it was a “kids will be kids” type dismissal of the issue than I agree she looks foolish. If is was part of a larger statement about new plans to identify and punish the minority of DC teens who abuse the free pass privileges than I think it sounds more reasonable.

  • Even if you feel this was attempted murder (which it most likely is not), that still wouldn’t warrant the death penalty. I’m all for being tough on crime, but that’s a bit much even for Popville.

  • Those kids get a free ride to terrorize.

  • I remember when all of this random violence and hooliganism was supposed to die down once it got cold. This summer is gonna suuuuuuuck.

  • It really is only a matter of time until one of these incidents involves someone with a medical condition, who can’t survive breathing smoke or being punched in the back of the head.

    • And someone will assuredly find a way to say that “these poor little innocent kids couldn’t have known that their harmless prank would cause someone’s death” or to blame the person for having the condition in the first place.

      I have asthma. This is not cute.

  • literally nothing will happen or change. this much is now clear.

  • Privatize WMATA

  • These things happen in D.C. is because the District government does not have a legitimate juvenile justice system. We’ve all been teenagers: They’re not dumb. They know what they can get away with and where. In D.C. they can get away with just about anything. And they do every day.

    Council Member Kenyan McDuffie now wants to *pay* adults not to commit crimes. Things will get much worse before they even seem to get better. Whether in Alabama or the District, one-party rule, led by the extreme wing of that party, is a terrible way to govern.

    • +1000 every government needs checks and balances

    • When all our council members care about is pandering to the electorate by making them feel like helpless victims of circumstance we end up with silly legislation and lack of action that results in criminals running amok without any fear or punishment. Yes, there are circumstances in the past that have led to the current state of affairs but excusing this criminality as if “they can’t help it” is only making the problem worse. In line with criminal justice reform, we need social reform that encourages strong family ties, parental responsibility, dignified life goals and a focus on community as a whole.

    • >Council Member Kenyan McDuffie now wants to *pay* adults not to commit crimes. Things will get much worse before they even seem to get better.

      Does everyone realize that this is a program that has actually worked in California? It’s not just some made-up hare-brained idea. It’s something that has had success elsewhere and is worth testing here, even if you think it sounds crazy on the face of it.

      • We had a debate about that a few weeks ago. The murder rate fell in one mid-sized CA city after it was implemented. But, that does not mean the program was proven effective or that it caused the decline.

        Based on that linear logic, we could say that decriminalizing pot has lead to more crime in DC.
        So at best we can say is that is showed some promise. Not that it was proved successful.

  • At about 11 AM on Tuesday i saw four African-American males with a big red fire extinguisher crossing the new Rhode Island ave metro bridge walking west from the station. Thought it was strange at the time but did not think much about till this happened. Might check the Rhode Island Ave metro station sec footage from yesterday, prob not a coincidence.

  • We may not have 4 legged rats in our Metro, but we certainly have the 2 legged version.

    • uh… I am pretty sure I’ve seen 4 legged rats in several Metrorail stations.

      • Really? I’ve never seen a rat in a metro station. I’ve seen a mouse two or three times in 10+ years. Compared to Philly and New York, where watching the vermin is a better way to spend your waiting time than playing Candy Crush.

  • I’ve been trying to figure out where to send a FOIA request for these types of incidents on Metro. I’ve had some trouble locating this information, so, please, if anyone knows, post a reply here? Thanks

  • In their defense… dat mix-tape fire doe

  • I moved to DC after stints in London and Boston and I was really surprised then how little the presence of law enforcement officials were on the metro rail system.

  • But seriously, I don’t remember “teens” running-a-muck being such an issue even 4-5 years ago. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. In the last few months I’ve seen at least 4 groups of kids in metro stations or on trains singling out random people and making fun of them and then escalating into some pretty intimidating yelling and cussing. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it get physical. Once at Woodley park it must have been 30 kids at least, many of whom were yelling at this random lady who was looking down trying not to make any eye contact. Crazy stuff.

    • I was affected by PoP’s recent “no comment allowed” post from the caring lady concerned about how we write or talk about our youth in DC. I ride the metro a lot, and no doubt, this crazy beating and bad behavior thing is rearing an ugly head of late way way more than normal. It’s like knockout game plus. But today, as I was at Gallery Place I took her words to heart during an event much like has been reported here of late. Rather than flee, or try not to react/ignore, I stood there and tried to almost became part of the group. What I saw was the the young lad had quite a posse of young ladies, giggling, showing interest in his near criminal mis-deeds. Rather than prod me like he was with all the other riders, he actually said “hey” to me, or more specifically something like, “Top of the Evening to You Kind Sir”. Sometimes I wonder — these boys, little wannabe punks (?) or joke-sters, just yearn for attention from their peers. Especially from a cadre of young girls. Act all tough, rebellious, show you can stick it to the man, and maybe for sure he’ll get some? While not fully understanding the consequences of some of the “misdirected” bad behavior he undertakes. Almost like the frat guys the kind lady referred to in her plea, but about 5 years younger, and all representing the Nation’s Capital. Fortunately, in this case — without real mayhem and blood too. Shall I dare say — Give some love and guidance to our young brothers, don’t just chalk them up as lowly 2 legged vermin, how would you like us talking about your teenage kin that way!?

      • I take your point, and I largely agree. I work in the criminal justice system, and in my 9 years in this field I have learned that people are just people. All of them. Even the “worst” of them. Just people. I’ve never seen any good come from treating people with disrespect. I can see that your integration with the group could have a calming influence on them. I hope, too, that you are also the kind of brave, stand-up citizen who would step in to speak up for a stranger should that group start harassing someone. As another metro rider with asthma, I’d have needed help on the train described in this post.

      • Point taken. But I’m not chalking them up as lowly vermin, I’m just struggling to understand what I’m observing. Trying to understand why this seems to be so common, and figure out how to break the cycle. I spoke up once on the metro to try and diffuse a situation like these and became the new target. It was an extremely frightening experience, not sure I’ve ever felt more alone or vulnerable. I have a lot more to lose nowadays, a family depends on me, and I just don’t know if I can take risks like that again unless I see things getting physical.

        I think taking an unconventional and thoughtful approach is needed, ultimately these kids need genuine long term help and not just blame in the here and now. But so does the person who is the victim at that moment. I just don’t see how blending in with the aggressive party helps the victim in the immediate term. But neither does inaction. It’s just a tough situation. I think we need to be okay with criticizing anyone who exhibits that kind of behavior. It is not okay under any circumstance. Criticizing the behavior is not tantamount to dismissing the actors as vermin or worthless.

        If my kid was acting that way, could I blame a 3rd party observer from making assumptions about them based on based on their actions? I don’t think I could. They would probably make some assumptions about me as a parent too. And you know, if my kid is doing things like that, maybe they are right? It’s tough. I’m just trying to understand these things so I can be a better person, citizen and parent. I think I should look up the “no comment allowed” post you referenced… And maybe look at pictures of kittens on the internet because this stuff has got me feeling pretty bummed out.

  • Yes Marty i agree kid will be kids but where do we draw the line. This goes on almost every day and it not funny anymore. They should start charging these kids with a stiff fine. Let see how they will feel with a police record.

    • Agreed something has to be done. I just don’t think saddling these kids with a criminal record will do anything other than guarantee they don’t have access to the higher education or jobs they will need to get themselves out of the socioeconomic situation that helps encourage this behavior. So what to do then? I wish I had the answer.

      • fortunately, charging these young men with crimes doesn’t saddle them with a criminal record because DC seals them. also please note that people they disable or kill are also not able to access higher education or jobs. speaking as someone who moved to DC as a died-in-the-wool liberal 15 years ago, has been mugged twice (once to steal a phone, once to just kick my ass for fun), attempted burglary by elementary school students trying to shatter my back window with bricks during school hours (saw them flee into the school; nothing done to try to find them of course), I am now a hell of a lot less liberal than I used to be. It’s very sad but until you wind up in the emergency room from a beating I don’t think you really understand what’s at stake from this violence.

  • honestly i am more concerned about these teens terrorizing on the metro and streets then i am of isis.

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