Washington, DC

We just spoke about how great the trail looks back in mid-Sept. A reader writes:

“There’s been a rash of assaults on the newly-opened Met Branch [bike] Trail. I’ve enclosed one message below. [From the Brookland listserv]:

This evening at about 7:50 I was heading South on my bike, going from Brookland to Capitol Hill to visit a friend. I was approaching the section just North of Rhode Island Ave. where there’s a parking lot and shopping plaza. About four black youths (junior-high age) were at the bench along the trail, when one of them (the smallest kid, no more than 4 feet tall) came out with a large plastic drink cup and doused liquid at me, hitting my chest. It was not water. It was bodily fluids. I stopped and got off my bike, and tried to catch the perpetrator but they all dispersed (laughing), and I realized it was futile, so I got back on the bike and continued. I made it to my friend’s house, promptly took a shower and threw away the clothes I had on, and then called 911 to report the crime. The dispatcher said that since I was no longer at the scene, they couldn’t file a report, but that they would send an officer to check out the area.”

And another:

“I was riding my bike home from work on the Metro Branch Trail about 3:45 pm this afternoon (Saturday) when a female member of a group of 6 young teenagers stood up from a bench and pushed me off my bike as I rode by. I slammed into the fence along the trail. She then proceeded to sit back down on the bench as I struggled with my bike. They did not attempt to take anything from me. This happened a few hundred feet from the entrance onto the trail at 8th and Edgewood, right by DC Prep. I rode my bike(which was all bent out of alignment) to the trail head and called police. The police responded quickly and were very helpful, but the kids were gone.

I am bruised and shaken, but basically okay.”


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