Back on March 30th a reader had written in to ask about an apparent mugging that was broken up by a nameless hero. I have no doubt that the hero would not consider himself one but he certainly did act courageously and I think warrants the title. At any rate, he wrote in to clear up what actually happened that evening. Here it is:
“A friend of mine sent me a link to your post about the assault that took place on 14th and Irving last Monday. I’m the “random dude” from the story. I wanted to drop you a line to clear up a couple of errors from the original post and give you a quick update. The main point that I want to correct is that the lady who was assaulted, or I should say, the lady who I witnessed being assaulted (there was a second lady assaulted earlier) would probably be quite upset to see herself described as old. She couldn’t have been older than 40 or so, though as a rule I really try to avoid speculating on women’s ages. The other correction that I would offer is that I don’t believe that the man was mugging her. Here is the quick version of my story:
I was taking the 14th street bus home from the office and got off at 14th and Irving. As soon as I stepped off the bus I heard shouting. I turned to look. About 10 feet away from me a young man was screaming at a woman. He was inches away from her. I couldn’t make out any words but the woman looked terrified. I had a beat to take this in when, suddenly, the man drew back and punched the woman in the face. The next thing I knew I was on top of him. I wish I could tell you exactly how I got there. I just remember my body hitting his and then his body hitting the ground with me on top. I’m a pretty big guy and I used to wrestle in high school, so at that point keeping him pinned down wasn’t too difficult, though he was trying to get me off him the whole time. Continues after the jump
I remember the woman calling 911 and I remember yelling for someone to get the police. There were tons of people around and I think someone ran off to check around the corner. I remember someone telling me that they were on the way. I don’t know how long I was holding him, but it couldn’t have been more than a minute or two before the police came and slipped the handcuffs on him. When they picked him up a bottle of vodka started rolling away, I don’t know how it didn’t break. Immediately afterwards, a couple people came over to tell me that they had seen everything and I asked them if they would give statements to the police.
At that point a young woman came over and told me that she had been assaulted by the same man a few minutes earlier. Apparently, he had walked past her and punched her in the arm. She went into D’vines and when she came out, she saw me holding him down and stuck around to give a statement to the police as well. I should note that the guy must have hit her pretty hard because when the police photographer came over almost a full ten minutes later, she still had a red mark on her arm. I really don’t know what the story with the guy was. He had a cut on his eye that I initially thought I had caused but that everyone else said he had earlier.
What I pieced together was that he had gotten into a fight a few minutes before we ran into him, possibly when getting off the metro at the Columbia Heights stop, and was taking it out on anyone who got near him. The two women who were assaulted were just unlucky enough to be in his way. The important thing is that both the women seemed to be ok afterwards.”