“It was a green slushy, lovingly hurled at him by a group of about ten teens.”

petworth metro

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday my husband had just gotten off the metro at Petworth about 7 pm and was going up the escalators when he felt something hit him in the back of the head. It was a green slushy, lovingly hurled at him by a group of about ten teens. It got all over his head, suit and shirt. Needless to say he was pissed, but there was no one else around and not much he could do.

I am sure this was likely a one-off incident, but I just wanted to let people know in case this becomes a “thing.” It was certainly benign when you think about what other vile things can happen in an empty subway, but it was frustrating and annoying at the very least.”

206 Comment

  • It’s not a one-off incident. Anyone who thinks that has been living under a rock. It just happened to be a different device this time. Roving gangs of violent DC teens is basically par for the course now. Arm yourself with some pepper spray (get it registered with the DCPD as a weapon so you’re on the books) and use when one of them comes at you.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I think using pepper spray in this situation would not necessarily improve the situation or enhance your safety…

      • I wasn’t referring directly to that situation, as it is in the past. I was referring to general incidences involving DC teens who like to attack innocent people on the street, and in/around metro stations.

        • “incidences involving DC teens”

          Come on! you’re over-generalizing by calling them DC Teens. How do we know Maryland teens don’t come here for the lax enforcement and revolving doors? If I were a MD teenager, I’d go on a crime-spree in DC because it’s basically a get out of jail free area.

    • Unfortunately, I’m afraid that given the prevalence of handguns among these gangs, as well as the sheer number of them, pepper spray may not be of much use and may just lead to a larger issue.

      Also, I imagine the slushy/rock/snowball (insert ____ here) was hurled from some distance.

    • “Roving gangs of violent DC teens”? Seriously? Teenagers are awful people sometimes. Period. The end. While it’s definitely unfortunate they don’t have the guidance or supervision to inhibit this kind of behavior, “arm[ing] yourself with pepper spray” that has to be registered as a weapon is overkill. This wasn’t the knock-out game, or a gang initiation. It was teenagers being jerks. If you feel that unsafe in your neighborhood, take a look at positive solutions to the problem (school security or increased police presence during after school hours), not violently retaliating against minors.

      • Wow, using the word “overkill” in a conversation about innocent people being attacked, AND making an issue of the use of “roving gangs” (THEY ARE). *smh* Your sense of correct priorities seems to be flawed. If you’re fine doing absolutely bupkis while being attached – that is your choice.

        • Attacked. With a slushie. Honestly, the worst thing about this situation is the dry cleaning bill he’s gonna have.

          His life was never in danger. That being said, this type of behavior isn’t acceptable. Ever. If you bothered to read, I did propose how situations like this could be prevented in the future.

          The answer is not to engage when something like this happens.

          If you can’t handle the hood, maybe you should move. Big city living isn’t for everyone.

          *For the record, I’ve been mugged at gunpoint in Columbia Heights, just one block from bustling 14th street. Did I try to fight the guy that wanted my gym bag and wallet? No. Do you want to know why? Because I value my life, and whatever brought that guy to that point in his life is something he’ll have to live with. Not me.

          • While this time it was a slushie, next time it could be a can, a bottle, a rock that incapacitate you to NOT beable to retaliate. Teach this bastards a lesson- Make think twice about it next them they decide to act like “violent” teenagers.

          • +1 I’ve been hit in the head by a rock thrown by teenage jerks at Columbia Heights Metro, but I’m not about to try to “stand my ground” with pepper spray or a gun. Because the blowback won’t be worth it.

          • I too have been hit by a rock. And your comment: “the worst thing about this situation is the dry cleaning bill he’s gonna have” is total B.S. Nobody coming home from work should be attacked, by anybody whether it be a slushie or a gun, either way is unnecessary.

          • My opinion differs from yours, Anon. Live with it.

          • “If you can’t handle the hood, maybe you should move. Big city living isn’t for everyone.” ????

            That’s amazingly offensive and illogical. This is nothing inherent about city life that makes it ok for people to be degraded and assaulted. There’s also nothing tough about accepting it.

          • Actually there is something inherent in the combination of population density and economic inequality that leads to plenty of the contentious issues on this blog (not a kid throwing a slurpee at a stranger though, that’s a complete non-issue)

      • Yeah- It’s only a matter of time before they picked the wrong person to do this crap to and get their butt’s handed to them. I just hope the law protects the original victim.

        • HaileUnlikely

          If an adult physically injures or kills a minor over a slushee, I would not bet on the law protecting the adult.

        • justinbc

          People have been saying it’s only a matter of time at least since I moved here in 2007. I think given the ratio of times they get away with it that one time it does happen, if it ever does, isn’t going to dissuade them much.

        • Handguns are illegal in DC. Outside of the use of firearms, I don’t see how a person could hand 10 teens their butts. Its just not going to happen. It’s this type of fantastical thinking that foments your frustration. Wishing for how things should be as opposed to recognizing how things are. If the reality of city living is too much to handle emotionally, i suggest people move somewhere more aligned with their sensibilities.

        • You mean like Bernie Goetz?

      • Someone said earlier – have you been living under a rock? These kids are behaving like animals and you’re making excuses for them. They should be in jail. Just yesterday, my husband and I were walking down U Street and a guy walked by, made a pistol with his finger, pointed it at my husband’s head and said “bang”. If you’re so interested in helping them…..feel free. I personally feel that they are so filled with hate that there is not much you can do.

        Go ahead and say I’m not PC enough, I don’t care, it’s how I feel.

        • Kid throws slushie, ‘throw them in jail’ but a judge can still manage to see the humanity in convicted rapist. For many unless it is connected to sports, entertainment or sex (sexualization of the black body typically for entertainment) easy to see black (male) behavior in the worst possible way. No differentiation between the kids being assholes and kid engaging in violent criminal behavior? Let’s not even talk about the people on the street with (un-diagnosed / untreated) mental health issues (“a guy walked by, made a pistol with his finger, pointed it at my husband’s head and said “bang”? )

          Speaking of the crime / criminal justice. I heard something interesting the other day regarding the reason why many of those charged with crimes in DC end up on the street again. This is one of the few places where the Public Defender’s office (highest concentration of JDs in country?) gives decent representation and kids don’t get railroaded on bad arrests and trumped up charges. I never thought about it that way.

          • So ? OP should not be concerned / angry ? is that what you are saying ?
            Because there is a racial bias in the US, OP should accept slushies thrown at him, embrace them even ? I dont get your point, sorry

          • “Speaking of the crime / criminal justice. I heard something interesting the other day regarding the reason why many of those charged with crimes in DC end up on the street again. This is one of the few places where the Public Defender’s office (highest concentration of JDs in country?) gives decent representation and kids don’t get railroaded on bad arrests and trumped up charges. I never thought about it that way.”

            Actually, what I’ve heard from the AUSA and from MPD is that there are only 60 juvenile beds so only the very worst can be held overnight.

          • The difference is much more likely the fact that felony prosecutions in DC are handled by the US Attorney’s office, instead of by the office of an elected state District Attorney. AUSAs are accountable only to the DOJ/President and thus, unlike DAs, don’t really have to worry about whether or not the local electorate approves of their decisions and performance.

        • Sounds like that kid may have mental health issues

          • ParkViewneighbor – Kids don’t belong in jail for throwing a slushie. Black teenagers who throw slushies are not behaving like animals, they are teenagers behaving badly . Using such language to refer to them makes it easy to discount them and their futures. Understand now? None of this means I don’t care about the victim or that the victim’s spouse should not be pissed the f*ck off, ya dig?

  • I came through here around 6:30 and it did seem like there were more kids than normal for that hour hanging around.
    .
    It looks like the NH side escalators will be opening soon, which is nice, as those ones present much less of an opportunity to throw things at people coming up from the station.

    • I don’t get how the MPD doesn’t notice this and address it. The intersection of the Petworth stop is extremely busy at that time, there should be police passing through the area and when they see huge groups forming they should intervene.

      • And do what? Large groups — whether adult or juvenile — have a constitutional right to be on public space, as long as they are not committing a crime.

        • S/he said “be ready to intervene”, as in watch and prepare to do something when they DO something illegal, such as committ assault by throwing a green slushie at someone….

      • MPD is too busy patronizing the Dunkin donuts on Quincy to care about your problems.

        • to be fair, large groups of teens also hang out near that dunkin donuts.

          • Yup, sharing a joint and shoving each other / yelling at each other. But it’s either the teens or the cops – they’re (unsurprisingly) never there at the same time.

          • I’ve actually seen a couple of strong conversations between the (supposed) owner of the joint and the kids hanging there. There was a lot of swearing, throwing stuff, and f words. I feel kind of bad for the poor Dunkin manager who has dozens of kids hanging out in his store for hours and hours

            but then i remember Dunkin is gross

          • I stopped by the Dunkin the other day and noticed all the booths w/benches had been removed from the store. I asked the manager about it and she said that customers kept destroying them so they took them out. That’s really sad.

          • I read LBP’s “joint” reference = marijuana cigarette

          • You are correct, Anon. And yes, i feel badly for the very nice people who work at the DD – yes, the food usually makes me sick on the rare occasions I try to eat there (too much grease!), but the people are nice and don’t deserve to have their store trashed or used as a lounge or have these gaggles of teens effectively preventing paying customers from coming in.

      • “when they see huge groups forming they should intervene.”

        Are you attempting to limit the amount of citizens that can gather on a public street?

        • I have no idea exactly what rubydogdc meant by “intervene”, but the cops have just as much right to gather on a public street as people do. And it makes perfect sense to me to have police show up to monitor what large groups of people are doing. If something bad happens everyone is going to say “where were the cops” so why shouldn’t they be there already?

  • justinbc

    Wtf flavor is green from a slushie machine? Is this some Ghostbusters tie-in?

  • They were hurling eggs a few weeks ago. They almost hit a toddler walking with his Mom and they threw two at a passing bus and hit the windshield. It would be nice if pillars of the community or cops were around to do something about it. These gangs of kids are large, and I wouldn’t feel secure ever confronting them myself, especially since they act in broad daylight surrounded by many people – all who do nothing, I’m guessing for fear of retaliation?

  • Glad it wasn’t something more dangerous that was thrown. But seriously, is there something unique about DC teens? I’ve lived in many cities in the US and around the world (and before you ask, yes, just as diverse as DC), but I’ve never seen so many teens who were such jerks and completely unafraid (unaware?) of consequences. What’s going on?

    • I imagine that there are a couple of factors at play here. One factor is diffusion of responsibility, in which people feel less responsibility for bad behavior when they are part of a group. This is probably the biggest factor, and is not limited to urban teens since kids in suburban and rural areas also misbehave when they get together (e.g. smashing mailboxes).

      A second factor is a general lack of care for the community starting at a young age. They see their parents, guardians, peers, or neighbors throwing garbage on the ground, drinking/doing drugs in public, committing crimes, or behaving badly. If no one is caught doing these things it becomes acceptable behavior.

      I am also amazed at the language that a lot of teens use while walking around in public. They seem to have graduated from the George Carlin School of Swearing, in that the f word is used in every part of speech. They just happen to scream rather than talk, so it’s much more noticeable.

      • So I agree with almost everything except the swearing. I swore like a sailor when I was a teen (still do really) and did not GAF who heard. I also had a tendency to scream when I talked (still do). I was a white girl from suburban Maryland. Definitely not a DC thing. Also, you may not be aware of this, but it’s quite common in some parenting circles for certain swear words to be permissible as long as they are used in context and not in a pejorative manner.

        • +1. Swearing is one of the things I can’t get too worked up about. But I do agree with the bit about a general lack of care for the community.

      • + 1,000 to everything Anonymous wrote. THIS.

    • they’re contrite when caught and face consequences and unapologetic otherwise. it’s just amusing to them. You see the heard mentality in action. I give them no passes — just a wide berth.

      Second PP that it could have been much worse, like rock, bottle or other blunt object with potential for injury.

    • I wonder whether the DC lead crisis in the early 2000’s (when a lot of today’s teens were born or were small children) might have something to do with the violent crime we see today. The Chicago Tribune has an article called “Studies link childhood lead exposure, violent crime” that made me think of this.

      • MInor caveat: lead crisis wasn’t just in the 2000s – that was just when the high lead levels were publicly reported. So I’m not sure that theory stands.

      • Wasn’t the early 2000s when they switched from chlorine to chloramine?
        .
        IIRC, the biggest factor in childhood lead exposure is chipping lead paint — see the Washington Post articles about all of the Baltimore residents (like Freddie Gray) who received settlements from slumlords because of lead exposure (via chipping paint) as children.

  • Last July some teens fired rockets into the Columbia Heights Metro as I was coming up the escalators. For a split second I thought it was a shooting but quickly realized what was happening. I steeled myself and did not even acknowledge it except to look at then with a bored expression. I would have felt differently had I been hit.

  • I saw this last week on the Green Line at Gallery Place – bunch of kinds hurled a drink into a train car as the doors closed and nailed two mid-20s women.

  • Incidents at this location have been happening every week.It’s a serious problem that doesn’t seem to be recognized by the city.

  • I think the issue could be that to these teens DC is their playground. They can hop trains or buses to anywhere and roam freely in the streets and “mingle” with the crowds. Suburban kids are pretty much stuck in their neighborhoods unless a friend has a car and there are only so many places you can hang out that are open late (iHOP, Denny’s, 7-11) and cause trouble. Hormonal teens in a fairly thriving metropolitan area with access to public transportation can be a recipe for disaster.

    • It’s 100% cultural. My girlfriend used to live in Reston, the teens in the town center there were kind, quite, and polite.

      • Haha you’re right Reston kids and elsewhere kind, quiet and polite. Never mind that suburban kids are more likely to commit mass shootings, practice hazing, and drunk drive. I agree with Ethan. I grew up near Union Station and whole heartedly confess to dropping things (hats, ice cubes, etc) on tourist from the balcony above the food court (I was swiftly kicked out). That was a very small moment of jerks adolescent behavior. I also rode the metro to the end of the line and back to make out with my boyfriend, hung out at the zoo, and skipped class to shop in Georgetown. I did not nor did any of my friends ever drink underage or even smoke marijuana. This incident friggin sucks and the types of incidents described have definitely heightened since my teenage years. I think its what Ethan stated above coupled with a growing aggression to outsiders, tourist were the only noticeable “outsiders” during my years.

        • Suburban kids commit mass shootings, but urban kids kill en masse. Also, suburban kids drive drunk more because they don’t have metro and have cars to drive. And practice hazing is vague, not sure if you’re confusing that with college kids? Bottom line urban kids are more prone to crime and doing these types of things than suburban kids, or else the burbs would be just as unsafe as the city. I don’t hear about people getting sick off all the crime in the burbs and moving back to the city. Seems to only go one way.

      • Oh really? And I’m sure none of them ever did drugs or drank either.

      • Those Reston teens may seem kind, quiet and polite, but they are actually on dangerous hallucinogens most of the time and are known for making hobos disappear. (Having been to Reston, I know that the drugs are the only way to make it bearable). Be careful out there!

        • when was the last time you heard about gangs of teens in reston roaming the streets, beating, stabbing, robbing random people…. I will wait for the articles….

          • My point was more that just because you aren’t directly observing teens being assholes, it does not mean that they are not assholes. Also that Reston is wack af.

        • What they do on their own time is of no concern of mine. Kids harassing others often violently is of interest.

      • jphammer78, what culture are you referring to? DC culture?

    • Yeah i’ve lived in other large cities with plenty of socioeconomic/racial diversity, with public transit, and none of this happens. It has to be something specific to DC culture?

  • Have these kids recently discovered the show Glee? If it weren’t for the fact that the suit is probably completely ruined, throwing slushies is probably among the least concerning things these “roving gangs of violent DC teens” have done.

  • Sure, there are a lot of jerky teens around, but seriously, could there ever be enough police around to prevent their antics? What we really need to do to stop this problem lies in good parenting from the earliest ages on up. Not expecting women to have children who don’t want to have children would be a start (better health care, pregnancy protection, and abortion availability, better education.) Better child care options, better education and work options for young people so they might be in a position to be better parents when they do have children. Better eduction for kids so they learn to be good humans if they aren’t learning that at home. These are the only things that will really prevent such behavior, as is seen in other communities. Police may be necessary, but they won’t solve this problem.

    • Even Police know that you can not police these problems away as you have mentioned.

    • We should also maybe just give them a stipend to stay out of trouble, if we pay them they will behave right?

    • +1 to all your suggestions, esp. better / easier access to abortions and to decreasing the stigma around it.

        • I don’t think LBP is suggesting that we force women to undergo abortions who don’t want abortions. If a pregnant woman is unprepared to be a parent, unable to parent, and DOES NOT WANT TO BE A PARENT, she should have options other than having and raising a child. unfortunately, those options – including sex education, contraceptive care, sexual health care, and, yes, abortion – are too often not accessible to too many women.

          • Thank you, BRP, you summed up exactly my thoughts perfectly! I am in no way advocating forced – or pressured – abortions. I am advocating for better access to reproductive health care in all its forms and for less stigma surrounding all these things.

    • No way will police be able to solve the problem. People need to learn to govern themselves. How do we incentivize them to learn this lesson? The answer is simple. Stop treating other people like children, and they will stop acting like children.

      Surely people should be allowed to control when or if they have children. Better abortion facilities would be available of there were less city restrictions on them. Better, cheaper child care options would be available if there were less restrictions on child care facilities. I haven’t looked in to the rules on abortion clinics, but currently there is a 90+ page manual set up by city bureaucrats dictating timing, number teachers per students, what types of food may be served, the credentials of the staff, amount of space per child. Etc. Etc. “Leave the mother the choice to decide what’s best for her children, given her circumstances?” Of course not. The mother, you see, is a child who needs to be forced to act the way the bureaucrats want. They know best, and for that reason childcare is ridiculously expensive in DC. No low cost innovation.

      Better education would also be great. Stop forcing people to pay for other kids education. Schools that survive, and many won’t, will have to make the case to parents how they will deliver value. Those schools will have the right to expel troublemakers. Because both the school owners/adminstrators and the students/parents are voluntary participants in the education, a much higher standard of both will be expected, and delivered. Some to those schools will establish scholarship programs for talented students without means to pay. Many “students” who currently rot in a “school” (little better than a prison), developing no love for learning, or respect for institutions, and are learning nothing, will now have to find something else to do with their time. But, of course, your reaction “Let people do what they want with their own money? Let parents pay for their own children? Let adolescents choose to not attend indoctrination camps? UNTHINKABLE! Other people are children, and “we” (by means of the state) need to FORCE THEM to do what ‘I” think is right.”

      Yes these children need better parenting. Start with the parents. Why are they having children irresponsibly? Because the state, and those who support it, treat them like children. They act accordingly. “Why should I find a boring, responsible man one with ethics with whom to have a child? Those men are boring! Why should I think through the consequences of my actions? Why should I look to lock down a permanent stream of income from a provider, a man, who will expect something in return for that commitment. That might mean that I will be expected to make a case for why I will be a good mother, and companion? I don’t want that because that also sounds VERY, VERY BORING! Because ultimately the government will pay my rent, my healthcare, my children’s education, my food etc I don’t want to have to deal with an annoying MAN!” And the bureaucrats, and their supporters, many of whom want more redistribution say “Yes, other people are children, and I am one of the few, elite adults. Since I know best, ‘I’m going to continue to authorize my representatives in government to force other people to do what I think they should, and I will call for more of the same.”

      The incident above is a result of a systemic problem in society. One that resides in the minds of nearly every outraged reader, or person who experiences such things. “Well certainly this is the fault of others. I’m not to blame.” But if they consent to the state which is behind all these problems, and is nothing but a group of people FORCING other people to do their will, they are. More police will not stop these problems. What is needed is a change iin our attitude towards others. Treat people like children enough and eventually they will act accordingly. Stop using politics to FORCE good on society, and good will emerge on its own, because most people are not children, and have the capacity to act responsibly.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I am irritated/pissed off by the mild stuff and frightened by truly violent teens but I am absolutely terrified of you:

        “Start with the parents. Why are they having children irresponsibly? Because the state, and those who support it, treat them like children. They act accordingly. “Why should I find a boring, responsible man one with ethics with whom to have a child? Those men are boring! Why should I think through the consequences of my actions? Why should I look to lock down a permanent stream of income from a provider, a man, who will expect something in return for that commitment. That might mean that I will be expected to make a case for why I will be a good mother, and companion? I don’t want that because that also sounds VERY, VERY BORING! Because ultimately the government will pay my rent, my healthcare, my children’s education, my food etc I don’t want to have to deal with an annoying MAN!”

        • I suspect Steve is also the same Steve the Parent who got all pissy with me and chastised me/us about “random hookups.” I also strongly suspect Steve is part of the so-called “men’s rights” troll groups who is oblivious as to why women are repelled by his caveman philosophy.

          • Ooh, well spotted! I was skimming too quickly to notice the emphasis on “MAN”/”MEN.”

          • I am also willing to bet it’s the same asshole – I mean guy. Sorry, I must have lost too many brain cells being a slut, and you know that single motherhood gig just automatically makes me ignorant.

          • My previous comment was moderated out, so I will just say that I also think it is the same person and let you imagine what colorful language I used to punctuate my sentence.

          • To be fair, you wrote in complaining about seeing a new guy every few days and not feeling safe with these strangers sleeping over. Sounds like random hookups to me.

          • Steve the Parent’s response had nothing to do with the safety aspect of LBP’s roommate having “random hookups” and everything to do with his belief that “random hookups” are intrinsically not a good thing for women — specifically women — to engage in. Specifically, that women are erroneously thinking that “a rejection of traditional values [is] a celebratory expression of freewill.”
            .
            It was particularly unhelpful because when you have a touchy issue you want to address/resolve with a roommate, the best approach is usually something like “Behavior X is bothering me because ______. Would you consider Y instead?”, rather than, “You know what, you’re totally deluding yourself by engaging in Behavior X.”

        • I’m impressed that Dan got past the first sentence or two of that screed. I lost interest 🙂

          • I think he offended a bunch of people from all angles. I’m most horrified by his suggestion that urban areas simply need more abortions.

          • Kps, can you point to where he said that? The bulk touched on childcare and education which is obviously a case against we just need more abortions.

          • @ Anon Spock – really? Pls read the beginning.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I agree with KPS here, but would also point out that other people argued that (i.e., “need more abortions”) above before Steve even posted his comment. And FWIW, I think that is misguided because studies have shown that pregnancies of poor young mothers are no more likely to be unintentional or unwanted than are those of non-teen higher SES mothers.

          • +1 to HaileUnlikely’s comment re. “studies have shown that pregnancies of poor young mothers are no more likely to be unintentional or unwanted than are those of non-teen higher SES mothers.”
            .
            Part of the issue is that some young women don’t see teenage motherhood as an undesirable outcome. So it’s not solely a matter of providing sex ed, contraception, etc. — more a matter of addressing why someone would perceive having a baby as a teen as something they would want.

      • I suspect Steve is really the Popville pseudonym for Ayn Rand.

      • yeah, bc life was so much better for everyone in that libertarian paradise that was the 1880’s.

      • But actually, in this case, the people involved are children. So there’s that.

  • washington20009

    Pepper spray does not need to be registered by the owner/possessor in DC. The only registration requirement is on the seller (and only if located in DC).

  • This is absolutely not a one-off incident.

    Last Thursday, I left the Petworth Safeway and while walking by the metro felt something hit my arm. When I realize a group of teens had thrown something at me (based on their reaction after it hit me) I continued walking and ignored them. They started following me and continued throwing stuff at my back. I am a woman and was outnumbered by the large group of teens and I was afraid at that point. I was prepared to walk in to the CVS and call the police but luckily they stopped following me when I crossed over New Hampshire. I probably should still have called the police but I was panicked and trying to get safely home.

  • Hope he called the police

  • justinbc

    Doesn’t Metro have cameras at all of their stations? If not, that’s inexcusable. Not that video evidence would make a difference in prosecuting these kids for anything in DC.

    • Yeah- But if they are receiving any type of Government assistance- they should be stripped of them- atleast temporarily if not permanent for repeat offenders.

  • A few months ago I noticed a group of kids throwing cups at metro passengers. It happened like three days in a row, at the same time of day, at the same stop — kids getting on at Petworth, throwing cups as they got off at Columbia Heights. (Fortunately, the cups were empty in these instances.) I notified a station manager of the pattern., and actually noticed a police presence the next few days.

    My hours shifted at work, and I stopped going through there at that time. So I don’t know if it continued after that. But I was impressed WMATA actually seemed to do something about it.

  • washington20009

    A group of teens hit me with a rock on the back of my head a few weeks ago. When I pulled out my cell phone and told them I was calling the police, two of them chased me down the block swinging punches at me. My advice based on this? Retreat to safety first, then call 9-1-1. And be very wary of groups of teens.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Agreed. Regardless of what you are doing with it (filming, taking photos, calling a friend, calling police), when you are confronted with an active threat that you might need to physically defend against or escape from, the last thing in the world that you want to be doing is interacting with your phone.

  • Yesterday it was a slushy, today it was the knockout game, tomorrow its a gun or a knife. . . You want to stop this, let people carry.

    • No thanks. There’s already plenty of folks shooting each other on the streets of DC. We don’t need more.

      • seems to work in Virginia.

        • It’s been widely discussed on this blog that many of the guns used in violent crime in DC were obtained in Virginia. Last thing we need is even more guns for criminals to get their hands on.

          • Discussed, never proven…. Also, how many incidents do you hear like this going down in Virginia?

          • Stuff like this happens in the areas of Virginia with similar populations. For instance, downtown Richmond and parts of Hampton Roads. You can’t compare post-war suburbs around DC with DC proper. As for your assertion that there’s any doubt that guns in DC came from Virginia; are you speculating that they materialized from thin air? Came from Maryland, which has far fewer guns? Some other state further away, but somehow magically not from Virginia?
            .
            To be fair, we don’t actually know that much, because the government is legally barred from researching this stuff.

          • The point he/she is making is there aren’t many knockout like incidences in Virginia. From the perspective of a Virginian what should they care that DC’s citizens are using VA guns to kill each other?

        • Virginia actually prosecutes criminals. Guns are not the solution!

          • They really do. I grew up in DC, breaking a couple dozen laws every weekend. We used to joke/warn that “Virginia is where you go to catch a case.”
            .
            Getting arrested in DC or MD was about half the time a non-event in the longterm, plus we were usually near public transport so you could run and get away. Getting arrested in VA charges were pretty much guaranteed and you were usually stuck in a car in a traffic stop and fleeing in a vehicle is not something anyone wanted on their rap sheet.

  • That sucks. I’m sorry.

    The best solutions are 1) go to your PSA meeting, complain loudly and frequently. 2) call the cops, every time. If there’s no record, they can’t address it. 3) call transit police if it’s on the actual metro station. You may get a better/faster response. 4) if you’re the brave type, I’d skip the pepper spray but pull out your cell camera and snap their photo. Do this at your own risk, but it’s less escalatory than committing assault, which will end badly for you in one way or another (defensive or not).

  • Throw a slushy back at em?…

  • It might not have worked in this situation, but if I’ve said it once here, I’ve said it 1000 times. HIT BACK. These kids rely on their sense of invincibility. They are well aware that nice white people typically won’t fight back. Pop one in the nose and watch the rest of them run away. (And yes, this is from real experience.)

  • not a one-off incident. I too have had stuff “lovingly, playfully” hurled at me by teens at the same metro stop, When I got the police involved they said these kids are just playing around…

  • Kids riding the train home from school together to their metro station is a roving gang of teens because one of them decides to act out and throw a slushy to prove how cool he or she is?

    • You bring up a good point. These attacks seem to have become worse when the city made the metro free for students. Perhaps the answer is to end that and if student really wants to go to a school outside their neighborhood they have to be committed to it and really care about their education. It might cut down on the punk kids on the metro. Or their parents would be picking them up at school instead of unsupervised kids getting into trouble on the way home with school.

      • Congratulations on this incredible display of white privilege.

        • It’s a “privilege” to get a good education (that’s FREE) and not want to be assaulted with eggs, rocks, and Slushies on the street? It’s “privilege” to be display good parenting skills? If so, then I’ll happily claim this “privilege” – white or otherwise.

          • No, it’s privilege to believe that the answer to a few kids misbehaving is to deny free access to Metro to all in the hopes that their parents will pick them up from school. Not all kids have that luxury. Many of them behave just fine.

            Despite the perpetually shrill rhetoric of Popville comment threads I have yet to see any actual evidence that “roving gangs of teenagers” behave any differently here than any other urban center.

            Should kids be able to assault people with impunity? Of course not. But to suggest the solution is to take away metro access so that the ones who “really care about their education” will still go to school is both wrong and absolutely drenched in privilege.

          • Agree 100% with anon 3:30.

          • “White privilege” = Inflammatory racial rhetoric designed to make people feel guilty about their point of view that you don’t approve of. Get over it.

          • It’s certainly class privilege, though, don’t you think? To be ignorant of all the reasons why kids may not be able to be escorted to school every day? I mean, even well-off families have trouble doing that sometimes.

          • “Get over it” = “i’m the only one who’s allowed to speak and no one can criticize what i say”

          • Its not class privilege… I get that some parents can’t escort their kids too school. Its ignorant of you FridayGirl to assume I don’t get that. Some good kids are going to lose out. Instead of attacking my thoughts thought, why don’t you try offering your own ideas on the subject?

    • I agree that the travel is an issue. I think there is a strong case to be made that “school choice” has made the problem worse. I’ve lived by Union Station for 20 years and I have NEVER had a problem with the Gonzaga boys. They wear a lot of school logo gear and it’s pretty clear where they come from. If I did have a problem, I could walk up to the school and I’d bet they would listen to my complaint.

      Charters and the lottery for DCPS has resulted in large packs of teens moving throughout the city. If they were at a neighborhood school, it would be easier to know who they are and where they live. Let’s be clear, what’s going on here is not “teens being teens.” It’s criminal. I’ve got a couple of teenagers of my own. If they behaved like this, I would beat them. And I don’t believe in hitting children.

      • I kind of hate to get rid or school of choice. I think it is a good opportunity for kids to get out of an under performing school and see life from a different angle. I just think letting kids travel unsupervised across a large city sets them up to get in trouble. If travel was a little more difficult, I think it would help ensure the kid and parents are more invested in their education. Plus the longer kids are traveling in groups without parental supervision the more likely they are to get in trouble. I went to school in the suburbs and was far from an angel. High school students are kids and will get into trouble when the opportunity presents itself. A free 40 minute trip on a metro is just asking for trouble.

        • But you’re making the assumption that parents have flexible hours or are stay-at-home. Many of the kids you are referring to likely either 1) have parents with substance abuse or mental illness issues that make it difficult for them to function properly; or 2) have multiple jobs that often require odd hours (e.g. really early in the morning, really late at night, or both).
          .
          Personally, I think making transportation more difficult would only create more absenteeism in schools (which would further end up hurting kids who do not engage in criminal activity because being absent too many times gets you in trouble…)

          • HaileUnlikely

            The data that I have seen suggests that way less than half of the present high-school-aged kids for whom the school choice policy is relevant have two parents at home in the first place. Two-parent households are much more the exception than the rule in neighborhoods where the neighborhood school is doing so poorly that the DC school choice policy is relevant.

          • I take issue with your point. Those are weird stereotypes. Many of the kids don’t have parents with substance abuse or mental illness. Some of the kids do. Some kids do have parents with multiple jobs. I agree with that. The kids in the two groups you are referencing though are the most likely to have issues. One group because their parents are absent. The later group of kids because their parents are at work and its easier for these kids to take the scenic route home, instead of rushing home and knocking out their homework.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The DC government could actually evaluate the impact of the free-metro-for-DCPS-kids program on crime, absenteeism, and lots of other things if they cared to do so.

          • “The kids in the two groups you are referencing though are the most likely to have issues.”
            .
            Right. You just supported my point exactly, though. The parents who would most need to reign in their kids aren’t the ones who would be able to do so anyway. Do you think getting rid of free travel on Metro is really going to keep these kids home and behaving? Or do you just have a case of “not in my back yard”?

        • Agreed. I don’t know what the solution is – but free rein across the metro system without responsibility or accountability isn’t working.

      • I park in the parking lot with the Gonzaga kids for work and they drive their SUVs back to their suburban homes after a quick stop into Walmart or Chicken Rico. I see very few making the walk towards Union Station or Gallery Place.

        • Try walking up to Union Station. The Gonzaga boys are there. Of course they aren’t screaming, shouting profanities, throwing things and threatening commuters, so they are a bit harder to notice.

          I admit, after Lacrosse practice sometimes they are a bit stinky. Otherwise, they blend in with other commuters because they are civilized human beings.

          Do they threaten you in the parking lot? Just curious.

          • oh ok. After work, I head to the parking lot and not towards the metro so that makes sense that I wouldnt know how many kids are headed up there.

            No they dont threaten me in the parking lot. Sometimes joke around as I graduated from DeMatha so we have sort of the WCAC rivalry going.

    • Over-simplified nonsense, and you know it. Shame on you.

  • Based on the comments in this thread, it seems like the building consensus is that when assaulted by a group of unlawful teens, youths, utes, whatever, that one should lay down, smile, and ask for another. Their right to randomly attack strangers is inviolate. *Shrug*, grin, shake head…oh, those jerky kids.

  • All of the teens in my neighborhood (North Michigan Park and around Fort Totten) are all very nice and polite. Just another reason I love my neighborhood!

    • I for one am truly delighted to hear this. I love kids – that includes teens – and nothing makes me happier than see them happy and whole. The other teens – the Roving Gangs – break my heart as much as they infuriate me.

    • HaileUnlikely

      All of the teen-agers who *live* in my neighborhood (northern tip of Takoma DC) are also very nice and polite, but that is not to say that my neighborhood does not have problems with teens; it’s just that the ones who cause problems don’t live around there. Recently a school-aged teen robbed a citizen at gunpoint in my neighborhood and was apprehended and arrested; he lived in Greenbelt.

  • It would be better if this conversation focused on what we each could actually and practically do to make this area safer. Right now, it is an explosive mix of large groups of teens (some openly using drugs), a couple well-known violent crazies (like the guy with the splotchy face), a decrease in regular police presence since 2015 summer’s campaign, and a basically unattended Metro station (station manager is never there and when he is, he pretends not to notice anything). Happy to start sending one-off emails but it seems like an opportunity for community action.

    • Speaking of the guy with the splotchy face, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s ran into him (and been nearly assaulted by him). Just a matter of time before that guy seriously hurts someone.

      • Yup. I called the cops on him after he chased me into the laundromat and yelled “I will f#ck you up, b#tch”. Cops did nothing but knew the guy and said they get calls on him all the time. Something’s wrong with our criminal justice/health system when we just have to wait around for this guy to stab someone before anything can be done. And they’ll just let him out in a couple hours anyway.

  • Stuff like this turns off new residents (read: taxpayers) when they hear about sinking MORE money into programs, services, and other freebies to try and keep these kids from acting atrociously.

    As the voting demographics continue to change, it’s just a matter of time before they’re finally pushed out of the city entirely. Shape up or get shipped out.

    • I had no idea that only “new” residents paid taxes. Where can I find the forms to get back the income and property taxes I have been paying to the DC government for the past 16 years?

  • My wife and I were assaulted, I punched in the face to be exact. Love teenagers but hate them in a group …unfortunately this is an on-going problem that the police are not addressing AT ALL.

    Glad he wasn’t hurt.

  • It’s not just teenagers. I lived in Manhattan for many years, in an area where they both had a lot of street festivals and also many of the parades would end (including St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day and Puerto Rican Day). All the residents of the neighborhood would basically hide in our homes and then live for days with trash everywhere. Large numbers of people in neighborhoods not their own are buttheads. Add in alcohol or drugs and the behavior gets worse. Hot weather? Even worse. Now factor in socioeconomic differences, cultural differences, the tensions being exploited by the media, the visibly widening wealth gap, and you sort of have a recipe for resentment and foolishness that can even lead to violence. What happened to the OP is unacceptable, but crime in DC or anywhere is not limited to the loud and obnoxious. I’m much more likely to be hurt (and so are you) by a privileged driver texting or coming home from happy hour who misses that red light or cuts that turn too close. I don’t know the solution – I have a temper and fear that I would start yelling and cursing and get myself into further trouble, so I understand those who are frustrated by the idea of letting things like this go, but I don’t see that jailing kids for being buttheads gets you anything but more resentment and hardened kids.

  • My idea is to carry a couple of cans of Silly String. It won’t hurt anyone and it is a huge distraction to the sprayee. It can be sprayed from a distance and will stick in their hair and on their clothes, helping police to identify them after they run. It might pause a brutal attack long enough for bystanders to get involved.