Dear PoP – DC Crime Wave?

IMG_3468, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

Well we threw a small get together Saturday night and several of our friends from thr CH/ Mt. P area came and helped us drink and be merry until about 1 am. Our Mt. P friend is a distance runner and an avid walker, especially when it involves not giving a DC cabbie any money to hear him gripe about how hard DC cabbie life is (not that they come out to Petworth anyway). So he was walking home and happened to take park road over. Well he made it past Giant and the courtyard and crossed 14th, noted the DCPD cruiser by the metro, and was cruising past Pollo Sabroso when he suddenly found a leather belt around his neck with 2 guys not exactly asking if they could borrow his phone and ipod. The one guy came up from behind and pulled a mobster piano wire choke hold with a leather belt while the second guy jabbed him in the abdomen with an unspecified object that possibly was a gun or at least that was the intended effect. They made off with one of his phones and his ipod, but not his other phone (don’t ask) or wallet. He used phone 2 to call the police and when they showed up over 5 min later (?) he filed a statement and became just another statistic.

To get to the point of this rant WTF is going on? I understand the increase in crime and many of the reasons for it, economy, unemployment, gentrification, gangs, etc. But W(here)TF is the police in all this? How many windows need to be broken? How many crimes must be committed before we see an increased effort by the Police to crack down on crime in CH and all throughout the city? Is Fenty too busy firing people for not letting his 9 yo boys beat up on 8 and under basketball players to do anything? I will say I was at least relieved to hear he got mugged in CH and not Petworth because I would hate for anything to happen in our neighborhood that might cause our friends to not want to come visit us here. :)”

I’m sorry to hear about this incident. It just sounds awful. Recently, I have no idea if crime is increasing or if I’m just getting more emails about it. I’m definitely not complaining but I get emails every week related to some crime incident from Shaw all the way up to Ft. Totten.

A friend of mine lives on a very nice section of 15th Street and I asked her if she feels safe. She said no. But she explained that she receives alerts every time a crime happens in that vicinity and at that point started feeling unsafe. I certainly believe in being aware of one’s surrounding but I’m not sure these alerts are so healthy. If I combined all the crime emails I received for a month and read them all at once, I’d never leave my house. I’m not sure if I’ve become a bit of a fatalist or what. But I probably walk the city, well, more than nearly anyone. And 99 times out of 100 I have no problems. I don’t mean to be flippant about this but I’m seriously wondering if I posted everytime a car accident occurred we would then feel there was an uptick in car accidents?

Sorry I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent. I truly am sorry to hear about this incident. I do wish MPD, the Council, the Mayor, the Prosecutors and the Courts were able to do a better job. And I do think we need to keep up continued pressure on the powers that be. But one of my fears remains that we will lose a bit of perspective reading about every mugging that takes place. Sadly, muggings happen and I think they always will. The question is – are we seeing an increase in muggings or are we just becoming more aware when they happen?

You guys tell me, do you find it useful reading about every crime that occurs in our neighborhoods? Do you think there is a crime wave under way? Do you think Fenty needs to make the issue of crime a bigger priority?

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