Reports of a Woman Arrested For Throwing Snowballs Outside Wonderland Last Night

by Prince Of Petworth February 10, 2010 at 11:41 am 70 Comments

maybe just a few more.
Photo from PoPville flickr user Jess J

A few readers have sent in reports about this incident. Anyone else hear about this/see this? Following is the first report I received:

“A young woman was arrested at about 2am outside of the Wonderland Ballroom in connection with a spontaneous snowball fight involving about 50 people that took place outside the bar. The woman was not seen throwing snowballs at passing vehicles or police by either myself or multiple people I spoke to. As best as I can tell, she was grabbed randomly out of the crowd as she was attempting to walk home.

The woman, identified as Maria Louis after observers called to her, was originally detained alongside a man who was initially accused of throwing snowballs at police but let go without explanation.

The snowball fight began shortly after the Wonderland closed and people began filing outside. For about 20 minutes, people stood on either side of 11th Street at Irving, throwing snowballs at each other but pausing whenever a vehicle passed. A police car drove up, stopped, an officer stepped out, and shortly thereafter Louis was detained and put up against the side of the police car.

A few minutes later, nine police cars were blocking almost an entire block of 11th street. After I tried to inquire about Louis, I was threatened with arrest on charges of disorderly conduct. This threat was repeated by several officers towards several people standing on the sidewalk, some of them asking questions, some not. At one point, someone screamed “Hey Detective Baylor!” and one police car immediately drove up, turned on its spotlight, and officers from inside the car were heard saying “Yeah, turn the light on that motherfucker.”

The 3rd District Police Station was called 2:30am about the status of Louis and I was told she was being charged with “throwing a snowball or something” and I was told to call back. After a second call at 3:15am, I was told she was being charged with a “crime”.”

  • White-on-white crime is a disgrace. Get it? (It’s the snow.)

    • Bryan

      HAH! Awesome.

  • PM

    Seems like the disorderly conduct charge is used as a threat when ever the police/state need an excuse to oppress the free.

  • Anonymous

    sometimes, absolutely. but when there is a 50+ drunk person snowball fight outside your house after 2 AM, don’t you have rights too?

    • CHP

      Yes, you have the right to go outside yourself and ask them to move along. The cops have better things to do than arresting drunk snowball throwers.

      • Well, this sort of proves that apparently they don’t…

    • the pigs last night were out of line

      you have the right to politely ask people to stop and if they dont then just deal with it, you prob didnt have to work today anyways so you cant try to use that tired excuse, i never understood selfish people who think they are so entitled that they will ruin the fun of 50 people just for their own “comfort” (an exagerrated sense of it) you people are always the same i have encountered you many times in dc, afraid to confront somebody and ask them to stop, you just hole yourselves up in your little condo fortresses and call the police as soon as something rubs you even slightly the wrong way, in my experience you are always young professionals and the you think the world revolves around you

      • Anonymous

        you’re trying to profile me because i asked a question? lol. that’s classic.

      • ah

        What about the people who are so entitled that just for their own fun they ruin the comfort of 50 people?

      • holed up in my condo

        “anyways” is not a word.

      • Anonymous

        Drunks in the park, drunks outside the bar… still drunks

      • snow outlaw

        well said.

      • Nick

        “you have the right to politely ask people to stop and if they dont then just deal with it..”
        Bull. Maybe, maybe if it happens only infrequently, like once or twice a year, and on a major holiday. But no one has the unquestioned right to harass others by being noisy repeatedly. And while these individuals might or might not have been repeat offenders as individuals, Wonderland bar patrons could certainly be repeat offenders as a group, and probably are nearly nightly. So, if you expect that the right thing is to ask each and every group/individual who comes out of a bar noisy to please be quiet and then, when that group/individual isn’t, to just suck it up night after night, and then ask the next one and hope, well, you’re wrong. Morally wrong, I mean. And how many people do you think are disturbed by noisy crowds? 1? While 50 have fun? Don’t you think there are more people surrounding Wonderland than coming out at closing time? C’mon, man, don’t be so predictably reactive…

  • ontarioroader

    I’m going to laugh when, in the end, it turns out she had a bench warrant for some totally unrelated thing. In the meantime, everyone feel free to speculate on the violation of her constitutional rights, and general oppression of drunken snowball-fighters everywhere.

    • Mal

      Comment of the snowpocalypse! I was thinking the same thing about the bench warrant haha

  • 20011 ExPat

    From the people who wield police powers, I expect a little professionalism. Actually, a whole lot of professionalism.

    Threatening someone with a bogus “disorderly conduct” charge just because you don’t like their attitude isn’t professional.

    Using profanity in public isn’t professional.

    If this is the way members of our police force act when they know there’s a crowd of 50 people watching them, then I’m pretty sure I can’t trust them when nobody is watching.

  • Rat King of Adams Morgan

    If only there was a recent event to reflect on to gauge how MPD would react to a snowball fight on the street…

  • jcm

    She actually got charged with Assault a Police Officer, which is a felony. The city paper has a statement from police.

    Throwing snowballs at police is a monumentally stupid thing to do. Why haven’t people learned this yet?

    • B. W.

      Felony? Seems that’s a classification for crimes above and beyond stupid.

    • snow outlaw

      Assault on a Police Officer can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending solely on the whims of the prosecutor. It’s generally what police officers report when they get their feelings hurt.

  • DB

    Of Line wrote:

    “i never understood selfish people who think they are so entitled that they will ruin the fun of 50 people just for their own ‘comfort'”

    Selfish people who feel so entitled to stumble out in public drunk, engage in disorderly conduct at 2am, ruin the fun of the hundreds of sleeping people within earshot… just for THEIR own comfort.

    Try not to condescend from a position of foolery.

  • Ragged Dog

    I think they got the charge correct.. you do not antagonize the police this way. They have a hard job. They have a harder job under current weather conditions. Everyone thinks that they are cesar chavez. I sided with the crowd on the 9mm/hummer driver but only because he whipped out a gun, not this time. You all are immature. Regardless of why the neighbors called, when the cops show up, it’s time to pack it up and head home. If you don’t like it, you call your ANC/Council and raise hell.

    I just hope they got the right person. It sucks being in trouble with the law. Police reports aren’t always written with the most objective facts. And when you’re dealing with a crowd of people who turn on you, it probably doesn’t make a difference to you who you arrest.

  • Not wanting to give my name for obvious reasons

    And I’m a cop and it’s astounding how a lot of the young gentrification/non-profit/hipster crowd gets worked up when the police arrest one of ‘them’ instead of ‘thugs’. Little clue to all the complainers: MPD arrests people all the time for ‘small’ crimes: urination, open container, disorderly conduct, driving an unregistered automobile, etc. If you don’t like that you can be arrested for ‘Throwing Stones and Missiles’, get the law changed. Just don’t come whining to me when the neighborhood kids start throwing snowballs or ice at your car.

    Also, some things that won’t change our minds when deciding whether or not to arrest someone:
    1) Snarky comments
    2) Telling us that you’re a lawyer or know lawyers.
    3) Demanding to know what the charges are on the spot
    4) Chanting “Let them go”

    • Anonymous

      some of us think you guys are doing a great job.
      ya’ll have safe my skin a few times.

    • ah

      These are fair, but as for #2 that’s a useless statement in DC since surely there’s no one here who can’t make that claim.

    • anothermous

      You also have my support. It would be nice while trying to keep the city safe you didn’t have to respond to a bunch of drunk 20/30 somethings having a snowball fight at 2 am in the street.

      I can’t believe that some here are upset that the cops arrested one person (out of 50) and that they didn’t want to engage in a conversation about what the charges were.

  • I’m with the cops. They probably overreacted, and they are far from perfect, but they’re generally on the side of the good guys. Some brat throwing snowballs at their car deserves to be punished.

    And for punk who said “the pigs were out of line last night” and claims that young professionals expect the world to revolve around them, I say the problem normally lies with kids who close down the bars, have no responsibilities, and think they have the run of the streets. If you were throwing snowballs at the cops in front of my house, rest assured I wouldn’t cower behind my blinds….I’d tell you to move along, and after you give me the finger and call me names for ruining your “fun,” amidst the safety of your 50 chums, I’d personally introduce you to my baseball bat.

    • Anonymous

      you suck. i hope someone throws a snowball in your latte, or face.

    • Anonymous

      You have serious anger issues. You should probably seek treatment, or at least just stay indoors. Maybe move to the country with your inbred relatives.

    • Anonymous

      baseball dude, really? maybe you should get arrested for a felony threat.

  • jpq

    What is it about the snow that makes MPD even more disgraceful than usual?

    • Anonymous

      carefree drunks that don’t work the next day?

  • B. W.

    Everyone has giant snowballs on the blogs.

    • B. W.

      Get it?

      Wocka Wocka!

    • Anonymous

      LMAO – the muppets reference is priceless too!

  • Anonymous

    this is hilarious. i think it’s great that the cop got hit by a snowball. i feel pretty bad for the girl, however. ego got hit by a snowball and then ego too big to let girl get away. unfortunate.

    • Djdc

      Seriously, why is it ok to throw a snowball at a cop? Ever?

  • snoz

    How stupid is it to throw a snowball at a cop? Girl deserves to get locked up for being a moron. So do all the others who were pelting the police cars with snowballs –

  • Anonymous

    seriously — snowball…baseball bat? wtf.

    • Anonymous

      …that was to Caballero

  • Nony


  • Just so we’re all clear, what acceptable things are we allowed to throw at the police when we get out of bars?
    If snowballs are permissible, is there a standard density or maximum size?

    • Anonymous

      I think snowballs are generally fine. Size/density at the discretion of the thrower. Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous

    because she didn’t think she was going to get arrested! i’m from new york, brooklyn to be exact, i’ve gotten in snow fights w/ police officers there. they are human, and occasionally are able to join in the fun. no one was getting hurt, no one was in danger. ridiculous. for those of you that think she deserves a felony, i think you are horrible human beings with no life and i hope someone spikes your latte so you loosen up a little. please people. she’s going to have a freakin felony on her record.

    • It is so awesome that super cool Brooklyn cops are occasionally able to join in the fun and participate in snowball fights on the their beats. New York City is really just like a winter wonderland fairytale. How many snowball fights have you participated in with the police? Got any pictures? What do they do on the occasions that they can not play in the snow?

    • eh

      You’re from THE NEW YORK!!! tell me more…

  • Bryan

    A few points:

    1) It’s stupid to throw a snowball at a cop. Come on people. Also, generally, just out of politeness TRY to avoid throwing snowballs at people who aren’t involved your snowball fight.

    2) The cops probably could have brought her in and PARTICULARLY in light of recent events, let her go with a slap on the wrist. The officer is fine, nobody got hurt, lets move on.

    3) If you want to live in an area free from loud noises and drunken snowball fights, move back to whatever state you moved here from and don’t live in a big city where you have to deal with other people and their ideas about personal freedom. There are some lovely quiet cul-de-sacs in Virginia which are probably a lot less expensive than your condo.

    4) the fact that we’re still talking about this AND getting so wrapped up in it, is probably more a function of the fact that everyone is stir crazy from the snowgasm that’s got everyone locked up. Put on a coat and go for a walk, it’s really pretty outside. Just watch out for flying snowballs.

  • SQF

    I live across the street and saw most of this unfold. It sucks that the woman who was arrested may not have done anything wrong, but I’m surprised by the lack of empathy and sensitivity exhibited in some of the comments here. Why is it cool to scream and curse at the top of your lungs in a residential neighborhood at 2am? I’m hardly surprised that someone called the cops, especially considering that another rowdy post-last-call snowball fight took place earlier this week (complete with setting off car alarms). From what I saw, the cops handled themselves pretty well considering they were initially heavily outnumbered by a fairly belligerent crowd (screaming “fucking pigs” at the cops…really now?). Again, I feel bad for the chick who got arrested, but for all the outrage on display here, maybe we can step back and consider that this was a pretty predictable outcome, considering.

  • Anonymous

    i just don’t think anyone should get upset at snowball fights, period. even if it disrupts your sleep for a few minutes, it’s not going to last forever, and we’ve never seen this much snow — this is not going to be an every night event. cops should never be called to a snowball fight. and to whoever made that call: do you really feel better now? are you happy? good. now move somewhere else, you obviously don’t belong in a city.

    i say give the people in the snowball fight a break. if they were calling the cops bad names it was probably b/c they were asking for it. they were simply enjoying the snow for a small period of time in DC.

    • AnotherNon

      I doubt someone called the cops and said “hey there’s a snowball fight – come arrest someone.”

      But apparently this wasn’t the first time drunks had been yelling outside the bar in recent days, and it was for more than just a few minutes. Cops responded to a complait – that’s their job.

      And there is no excuse for calling cops “fucking pigs.” No excuse. Grow up people and stop acting like whiny babies.

      • Anonymous

        “yelling outside the bar” — that’s why you need to move out of the city and into the burbs.

        • live here

          No, how about some respect for the residents? A group of *adults* yelling outside at 2:00 am, unless it is an emergency, is not ok.

          this would be true in the city OR in the ‘burbs.

  • Anonymous

    I just think that everyone should get upset at snowball fights, period…because it is more than disruption of sleep. It is a safety hazard…throwing projectiles at others while they are driving in moving vehicles (such as the police officer in the squad car) or even at pedestrians could have caused someone to plow down the snowballing participants. Perhaps, want needs to be done is that someone drives into a snowball fight with a vehicle and severely injures the participants for them to understand the irresponsibility of their actions. Cops SHOULD be called to the site of disorderly conduct because that IS there job…it’s called maintaining the PEACE and LAW and ORDER. Perhaps, if you cannot abide by societal rules and live with others…then you should go jump in the ocean or move into the wilderness (not live in a CITY). You don’t belong in the city (especially dc) if you cannot live like human beings but would rather live as ANIMALS. I think that if someone has the nerve to call a police officer a nasty name demonstrating that they have no respect for law and order then that person was asking for getting arrested and rightly deserves to spend some time in jail…even if he or she was simply enjoying the snow for a small period of time in DC.

    • kc on kenyon

      so are snowball fights banned now? that’s absurd. and now people who participate in snowball fights should be injured? you have a corrupt way of looking at things.

      and tell me, was there anyone getting hurt before the cops were called to the scene? it’s my thought that everything would have been fine if the cops didn’t show up. i’m betting that cop wishes he never got called to the scene, he’s probably deeply embarrassed by the whole thing, which he should be.

      and by the way, we are animals, ass.

    • Anonymous

      Look everybody, it’s Buzz Killington.

  • I don’t understand this disdain for the police. I have lived and travelled in lots of countries where the police, indeed, were to be feared. That is not the case here.

    You don’t have to like the police or appreciate their work (that will change once you actually need their help), but try to refrain from physically attacking them. That makes you a criminal, no matter how innocent and fun-seeking you think you are.

    • Anonymous

      You really need to watch out for the Capitol Cops – they take abuse of power to a new level. But the MPD is completely different, and only rarely do you need to fear them. Generally, they do an awesome job maintaining safety in the neighborhoods. And they are exceptionally helpful and informative when asked questions.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how this woman feels now that she is spending some time in a dc jail. Do u think people are being nice to her while she’s there? I doubt it. I figure that she is probably going to get \processed\ several times…spend her a night or so in a cold, cold jail cell. And if she insulted the police officers or guards at DC jail…I think that they are going to give her a very hard time in the sense that they will probably ignore her for a while and make her wait to get her phone call. And, if she has an attitude with the commissioner when trying to get released on good behavior…I believe she will be denied a few times with a badass attitude. People…wake up, jail ain’t fun at all. So, whether police were right or wrong in arresting her…it IS still their discretion to do so. What u people do not get is that they didn’t pull a gun on her…they arrested her…and she has to work it all out in the court system. But, I bet she’ll never forget her good luck in landing in a dc jail again. And, everyone that participates in disorderly conduct (snowball fight or not)…you 2 risk going to jail. Cheers!

    • snow outlaw

      What a sad view of the world. The police massively overreacted in defense of their pathetic egos and the lesson we should take away from it is… be careful how much fun you have because you might run into an asshole cop?

  • Djdc

    Did I miss something here? I thought the story was that dozens of people left a bar (what do people do in bars?) at 2am in a primarily residential neighborhood, started enjoying themselves by having a (presumably loud) snowball fight , again at 2 am, and somehow the cops were alerted and arrived, only to be greeted with profanity and at least one of them getting hit. Case closed. Go home. Let people sleep. Now I really am sorry if the one woman arrested was singled out, especially if she truly had done nothing. You lie down with dogs…
    (All the snow has increased my PoP commenting tenfold…another downside of the storm, I agree.)

    • Nonny

      Nice summation.

  • Wooly

    A thought…
    I went to school in New Orleans and grew up in Providence. Both cities with serious public safety issues & big city police forces.

    In both cities the police dealt with “nuisance” crimes like disorderly conduct, public intoxication, noise complaints in what I felt was a very logical manner.

    Cops show up and tell everyone to get lost… You then have about five minutes to get before they start arresting folks. The charge is almost always the same, “disorderly conduct” and the result is a night in the drunk tank. Somewhere between nine and noon you get out and get handed a summons and a ticket. Always a misdemeanor but certainly serious enough wrt time, expense and the general unpleasant nature of big city lockups that you thought twice before doing something stupid. Like humming snowballs and/or slurs at a cop.

    As other folks have said the police have bigger things to deal with than a bunch of drunks and so long as you don’t force them to deal with you everyone goes about their business.

    My two cents…

  • Facebook User

    This is what one of her supporters on Facebook posted on her fan page:

    Maria, I hope you are OK, I am thinking of you!! You are so brave, having been arrested so many times for bullshit reasons!!!”

    So if that comment’s for real, it looks like getting arrested is a pastime. She will be out in a day or two, as soon as her parents post bail, and she’ll be sitting at Wonderland with her admiring friends, talking righteously about police oppression. But the bottom line is neither she nor them will likely throw snowballs at cops again, and maybe they’ll even think twice before they disturb the sleep of the surrounding neighborhood next time they exit Wonderland at 2am. In which case it was a worthwhile lesson.

    • Anonymous

      If the result is that she and her friends are intimidated into not throwing snowballs at cops again, we all lose.

  • Also from her Facebook profile:

    She’s not 21 yet, and among other dignified pursuits, she plans to attend the “squatting and anarchist struggle in Barcelona” and the “funky mobile street tactics training.”

    She also is a member of “Steal Something from Work Day!”

    Nice girl. When she finishes at NYU, we’ll be happy to have here here in DC, since she is also a fan of “The Collective to Open a Radical Space in DC.”

    • Anonymous

      At least it appears that her spirit isn’t dead yet, like yours.

      • eh

        To me it appears that she has joined several BS groups that participate in activities that produce nothing tangible, require no real commitment but allow her to appear hip and radical. She is full of spirit only to someone that is easily amused.

        I bet she bakes wonderful cupcakes and knits too.

      • Facebook User

        It’s worth pointing out that you can have spirit without being stupid.

  • sean

    this is one of the best threads ever!

  • Authoritarian-style capitalism will set you free, kiddo. Learn to love it!


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