comet
5037 Connecticut Ave, NW

You can see Comet Ping Pong set up a tent with heaters so they should be able to welcome lots of supporters all weekend!

#StandWithComet Friday, December 9 through Sunday, December 11.

Comet Ping Pong Pizza is a family-friendly neighborhood pizzeria that has come under attack in the age of fake news. On Sunday, December 4, the attack became literal when an unidentified man entered the establishment with an assault rifle.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. The assailant was arrested, identified as Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, N.C., and now faces multiple charges.

No doubt this awful event and the malicious mistruths spread beforehand have left the staff feeling unsafe and on edge. They need a little light in all this darkness.

So go eat at Comet Ping Pong this weekend: Friday, December 9 through Sunday, December 11. Thank the staff for being a part of our community. Tell them you have their back. Tip well. Post your support on social media with the hashtag #StandWithComet.

We are also asking that you patronize the businesses surrounding Comet that have been negatively impacted by this fake news crisis, including Politics & Prose, Little Red Fox, Buck’s Fishing & Camping, Besta Pizza, and others.

For those of you who don’t live in D.C. or can’t make it to the restaurant, but want to help, there will be a GoFundMe page, where interested parties can make donations to help cover the costs for damage to the property, the increased security measures now required, and the wages the restaurant covered out of pocket when they were shut down.

Some of the signs of support out front:

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comet
5037 Connecticut Ave, NW

Comet Ping Pong’s response: after the terror of Sunday’s afternoon’s encounter with a man armed with an assault rifle:

“Comet Ping Pong is a beloved institution in Washington. We are heartened by the support and loyalty of our customers and our community — they are our lifeblood and we will continue to serve them joyfully for the decades to come and beyond.

Tonight, we are deeply grateful to the local law enforcement officers who responded swiftly to our call. Thanks to their good work, I am confident that we will continue to operate safely and securely, as we have for the past decade. We also honor our employees tonight, who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that our customers were safe.

There will be a time and place to address how and why this happened in greater detail. For now, I will simply say that we should all condemn the efforts of certain people to spread malicious and utterly false accusations about Comet Ping Pong, a venerated DC institution. Let me state unequivocally: these stories are completely and entirely false, and there is no basis in fact to any of them. What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences. I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away.

I want to thank everyone for their concern. We look forward to resuming normal operations in the next few days. We are confident that Comet Ping Pong will continue be a safe, happy and hospitable place for this community.

– James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong”

An event to support Comet has been organized by Erick Sanchez and scheduled for this Friday:

Stand With Comet

#StandWithComet on Friday, December 9th.

Comet Ping Pong Pizza is a family-friendly neighborhood pizzeria that has come under attack in the age of fake news. On Sunday, December 4, the attack became literal when an unidentified man entered the establishment with an assault rifle.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. ” target=”_blank”>The assailant was arrested, identified as Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, N.C., and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

No doubt this awful event and the malicious mistruths spread beforehand have left the staff feeling unsafe and on edge. They need a little light in all this darkness.

So go eat at Comet Ping Pong this Friday, December 9th (open 11:30 AM – 10:45 PM). Thank the staff for being a part of our community. Tell them you have their back. Tip well. Post your support on social media with the hashtag #StandWithComet. And please promote this event beforehand far and wide — share it on Facebook, post about it on Twitter, tell your friends about it, post it on your neighborhood listserv, or write a story about it, because it all helps.

Thank you, and see you over slices on Friday.”

comet-scene
Photo by Mike Reinitz

The ludicrous has quickly gone to terrifying.

Update: Full report from MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department has announced an arrest in an Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) offense that occurred on Sunday, December 4, 2016, in the 5000 block of Connecticut Avenue, Northwest.

At approximately 2:58 pm, members of the Second District received a call for a man with a firearm. The suspect entered the location and pointed a firearm in the direction of the victim who is an employee of the restaurant. The victim was able to flee and notify police. The suspect proceeded to discharge the rifle inside of the establishment. Members of the Second District responded and arrested the suspect without incident. Two firearms were recovered inside the location. An additional weapon was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. There were no reported injuries.

On Sunday, December 4, 2016, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina was arrested and charged with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun).

During a post arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate “Pizza Gate” (a fictitious online conspiracy theory).

This case remains under investigation. Anyone who has information regarding this case should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.” (more…)

pride
Photo by PoPville flickr user Bossi

Thanks to all who sent emails about Rainbow flags fly in Pence’s DC neighborhood from The Hill:

VP Elect “Pence is temporarily renting a house in a Northwest Washington, where several of his neighbors have friends who are members of the LGBT community. According to one of the neighbors, they decided a peaceful way to show their disagreement with Pence’s stance on LGBT rights was to hang the pride flag.”

comet
Photo by PoPville flickr user Bossi

“Dear PoPville,

What do you think of the recent craziness from AltRight Conspiracy Theorists targeting Comet Ping Pong? I just wish there was more folks could do counter the lies being spread online. The other day some guy was live periscoping from inside the restaurant. Feeding more into the conspiracies.”

Thanks to all who forwarded this morning’s disturbing article from the super successful New York Times:

Fact Check: This Pizzeria Is Not a Child-Trafficking Site

“None of it was true. While Mr. Alefantis has some prominent Democratic friends in Washington and was a supporter of Mrs. Clinton, he has never met her, does not sell or abuse children, and is not being investigated by law enforcement for any of these claims. He and his 40 employees had unwittingly become real people caught in the middle of a storm of fake news.”

prose
5015 Connecticut Ave, NW

From an email:

“This weekend Aidan Montessori School is holding its annual Book Fair at local bookshop Politics & Prose. The Book Fair is a wonderful opportunity to support the school, while also promoting reading as a fun and enriching activity for our children. Here are the facts:

When is the Aidan Book Fair?

Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(The book fair table will be staffed by Aidan volunteers until 5 p.m. on both days.)

Where is the Aidan Book Fair?

Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Why should I go to the Aidan Book Fair?

1. Because if you mention Aidan at the cash register, 20% of sales at Politics & Prose will go to support the school. You can help the school AND get a head start on your holiday shopping. It’s a win-win!

2. Because you can get a great meal: Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave., NW) has generously agreed to donate 15% of participating sales to Aidan. Just be sure to write “Aidan Montessori” at the top of your bill when you turn it in.

3. Because you can purchase books to donate to an Aidan classroom or Bright Beginnings, a child development center serving under-housed families in DC. There will be book wish lists from the Aidan faculty and Bright Beginnings available at the fair.

We hope that you will join us!”

Not to make light but I’d love some more backstory here…

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in identifying and locating three persons of interest in reference to an Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) incident which occurred in the 5000 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW, on Monday, September 12, 2016 at approximately 5:56 PM. The subjects were captured by nearby surveillance cameras.

DO YOUR PART TO HELP PREVENT AND SOLVE CRIME. Crime Solvers of Washington, DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community. Ref.: CCN #16-154-668.

Anyone who can identify these individuals or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.”