Dear PoPville – More Loitering/Quality of Life Concerns

by Prince Of Petworth May 18, 2011 at 10:00 am 141 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user maria jpeg

“Dear PoP,

I have been having a lot of trouble with a rowdy group of group of teens and 20-year-olds hanging out on my front lawn in Park View. Though I would not mind it THAT much if they were simply hanging out, a lot of their behavior is a disruption not only to my house but to most of the block. Their activities include selling/smoking pot, drinking then throwing empty deuces on my lawn, really loud verbal confrontation, blasting music from their cars late into the night, leaving containers of half eaten take-out on my walkway and general ruckusness.

I have called police non emergency but per usual with that number leads nowhere. Neighborhood cops come by to break them up but they come back a few hours later. I have even tried talking with them and it seems to go in one ear and out the other. They are never nasty and are sometimes even apologize to me when I ask them to leave but the next day they are back. During the winter months this would really only happen on the weekends but now that the weather is nice they are more or less there all day everyday.

Is it over kill to call 911? I have talked to police about the problem and they knew all about them before I even mentioned my address. Apparently they have claimed my lawn and sidewalk as their “spot” years ago before i moved in.”

This is such a frustrating situation. We had a recent discussion about a reader who wondered if he could resolve a similiar situation without being “that guy”. Many will be quick to tell you to move. I think people who dismiss these complaints have never really experienced it. It’s easy to say suck it up when you are not woken up at all hours etc. It’s particularly troubling that this behavior is occurring on your property. I’m afraid, if illegal activities are ongoing and it is disturbing your quality of life and the quality of life of your neighbors then you should call 911. It’s a shitty situation and it sucks doing it but if you spoke to the group and they keep returning then the situation will not resolve itself. Sadly, if the police come the behavior will likely just move to a different nearby location but I say you do what you gotta do.

Ed. Note: See other people still use the term ruckus as well…

  • Anonymous

    Start video taping it. If it makes it on the news, the cops will have to do something about it.

    • giacomo

      only problem with that is that when the kids get arrested for dealing or see it on the news they know what house the video came from #whyabrickcamethroughyourwindow

    • Two words: WATER CANNON.

      • LisaT

        A friend bought me this for my b-day, to go after the alley pee-ers.


        • Emmaleigh504

          I only skimmed the link, and didn’t see how far it can shoot, do you know? I would really love one for the pee-ers in my alley, but I’m set a little back from the alley and a few floors up.

          • LisaT

            I’m not sure about a precise measurement, but I’ll say pretty far! As in, I can be on the porch, several feet from the gate, which is a few feet from the curb, and I can hit the middle of the street or way up into a tree that’s near the street. Plus it makes an awesome sound. We taped a mag-light to it one night and had a good time. Yes, there was drinking involved. But it was fun. :p

          • Emmaleigh504

            That sounds like it would do the trick for me, thanks!

          • LisaT

            Have fun! We joke about it with out neighbors, and they think it’s funny, but they know I’m serious and will be “saturating” them if need be.

          • LisaT

            “our” neighbors, that is.

    • Native American JD

      Build a fence.

    • yadayada

      Don’t move to that type of neighborhood to begin with? You should have known that you were likely to have to deal with that kind of thing.

      • I heard the Lord once said

        “verily, you are a jackass”

  • Elle

    What if you invested in some landscaping that made your lawn and sidewalk less desirable for hanging out? A fence or wall (tasteful, of course), some hedges, maybe some cactus? An attractive barrier might be just the sort of subtle mechanism that gets them to move on.

    • petvet

      Not a bad idea, very creative solution.

    • Anonymous

      Not a bad idea, and in fact maybe a creative one … but seriously annoying as a homeowner to think that the best response to a bunch of roughnecks trespassing on your lawn, about which the cops can or will do nothing, is to drop a couple thousand to make their activity move somewhere else (as opposed to actually requiring them to partake in civil society and just stop it).

      • Anon

        …that will possibly be destroyed by the folks you are trying to move along, or anger them, causing the aforementioned brick through your window. If you try landscaping – shell out the bucks for large specimens of chinese holly – VERY sharp-edged leaves. And have the plants anchored in the ground so they can’t be easily pulled up. And glass shards in the surrounding soil. If you have a fence installed be sure to have the contractor prepared to install it on an implement day – and all at once so it is fully installed the next time your visitors show up… good luck. It’s not an easy problem and it is sad there is not more police support for fixing it.

        • Native American JD

          I think Gallery Place has a Mosquito for sale.

    • Anonymous

      There is a home version of that “mosquito” device that apparently annoys the ears of teens that you could install.

  • anon

    Call the police and don’t feel guilty. I have the same problem. I have the same issue with guys playing craps outside my house, smoking pot, drinking huge amounts of alcohol, leaving all their bottles and trash on my lawn then, often times getting into fights which move between or onto parked cars. ALL between the hours of two and five am. If police would zig zag these side streets between calls (instead of staying parked in front of 7-11 all night) then maybe the gentlemen gambling outside would move their activity inside their house.

  • Denizen

    I think your situation is a little different from some of the other complaintants because they are coming on to your property, which is trespassing. I appreciate that you are trying not to be “that guy,” but since they are gathering on your property, there are probably some more effective things you can do. There is a device that outputs a high-pitched sound that only young people can hear (no joke), and I’ve heard that this actually works. Also, have you considered security lights? It might be a pain for a while, but once the kids have moved on, you probably won’t need them anymore.

    • Anonymous

      “There is a device that outputs a high-pitched sound that only young people can hear (no joke), and I’ve heard that this actually works.”

      lol. where have you been?

  • Greta

    I think Elle’s suggestion is probably a good one, if you can make your yard a less inviting place for them to be they’ll likely move on somewhere else. Plant a bunch of thorny roses or the like and you’ll have the added benefit of something nice to look at.

    • slb

      Similarly, maybe OP could try planting a female ginkgo tree next to where they hang out–they smell like vomit in the summer and fall. Living next to something smelling like that sucks, but if it works, it’s maybe a small price to pay. Plus, if it’s effective, you could always get rid of the tree once they’ve established another place to hang out, and cross your fingers they like their new hangout enough to keep it.

  • Anon

    Call 911 every single time you want the problem to go away.

    You shouldnt feel bad, you should just do it over and over again until the police take it seriously.

    • Eric


    • photodork

      +1000. Call the police every time. Make sure you leave your contact info for follow-up. Littering, noise violations, drug dealing, trespassing, etc.

      If you aren’t satisfied with the police response, start taking notes on your calls and get your ANC/Councilmember involved.

      Make sure through your calling of the police that the message gets sent to them that this behavior is unacceptable there.

      • Tres

        Exactly what I’d do.

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately I had the same issues with a house of rowdy neighbors, who did all sorts of illicit things. During the 2 years they were there I called 411, 911 and contacted my commissioner to put an end to it. Police were out 5-10 times a week, and nothing ever seemed to happen. As a tax payer, I don’t like seeing my resources being wasted while my neighbors continued to keep terrorizing the neighborhood…

        • Tres

          A house of rowdy neighbors is a different legal ballpark than OP’s situation.

          I’d ask a lawyer in the know about legal action can you take against trespassers. Are there any reports that can be filed, a complaint — anything that would get the kids’ names on paper? How about a simple police report? Make sure the officers are filing a report every time they stop by, and get the report #. Save them.

          Call 911 everyday, multiple times if needed. Make this law enforcement’s problem — they work for you. They should be doing patrol anyway, and a great place for them to focus on is your house. If you make it so they can’t avoid your house, they’ll start proactively dealing with the situation.

          • scarecrows NOW

            legal action? against these teens? ha! never gonna happen.

          • Tres

            You can file a trespassing restraining order. Once subject to the order, perps are subject to criminal charges when they trespass, which presumably would result in fines and maybe arrest. I was hoping someone with a legal background could chime in as to local laws. If you trigger a single arrest, the kids might find a new spot — particularly if they’re carrying dope.

            Doesn’t hurt to get creative if all else fails. Although I’d assume police/ANC/council involvement would suffice.

  • Anonymous

    Dear PoP-

    Can we get a PSA that there is no longer a police non-emergency number? 311 goes to the city-wide call center, has nothing to do with the police.

    • ForTheShorties

      There is however a non-emergency text number – 50411.

    • saf

      Several people tell them every time this comes up. It never seems to sink in.

  • anon

    Simple solution – landmines.

    • anon

      I think this is more of a Claymore type of situation.

      • anon

        I keep wondering what the little Guard Duck from Pearls Before Swine would do.

        • greent

          Aim, Fire, Destroy, all while smoking his cig.

  • If you can’t beat em, join em. Obtain your own high-wattage boombox, along with a CD of The Weather Girls Greatest Hits, a tube top, feather boa, and white rubber boots, and dance the night away to “It’s Raining Men” on the sidewalk. They’ll either get the hint or you’ll get arrested. Either way, you won’t have to deal with them.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly what I was thinking. Either country music, heavy metal rock and roll, or Van Halen should do the trick. Maybe even some 80s Rush music.

      • J

        Never under-estimate the power of death metal to get people to move the hell on. I suggest “raining blood” by slayer. I used to put this on when i was throwing parties and wanted everyone to leave…worked like a charm.

        • Eric in Ledroit

          that would be “Reign in Blood”

          • J

            the album is “reign in blood” but the song that I use (and would suggest using in this scenario) is “Raining Blood”

          • Eric in Ledroit

            ah i stand corrected. can’t say i pay much attention to slayer’s song titles.

      • PG

        Barry Manillow might work as well.

      • Anonymous

        BY TOR and the Snow Dog

    • Anonymous

      Studies show that loitering teens are repelled by classical music.
      How about a fence, and a rent-a-guard-dog?

  • Anonymous

    i find it absolutely amazing that they guys can do this everyday. i have neighbors that do this too.been going on for years. i just can’t fathom what a boring ass life they live.

    i would organize block clean ups when they are hanging out. ask them to help ( they probably won’t, but keep asking) move your bedroom to the back room. make your yard inhospitable.

    and then suffer through it till it changes or you move. the cops won’t fix this problem.

    • Anonymous

      And they can perpetrate years of community abuse through our taxes. Call 911.

      • Anonymous

        through our taxes? what do you mean?

        • Anonymous

          Things that bring non tax-base income:
          Do they work? No
          If they are teens, do their parents work? No

          Things that these people have that have income:
          Are they starving? Yes
          Are they clothed? Yes
          Do they have shelter? Yes
          So they have alcohol? Yes
          Do they have lllegal drugs? Yes

          Or maybe they are really shrewed day-traders.

          • Anon

            Do you make a lot of assumptions without a lot of information? Yes.

          • Anonymous

            yeah, that doesn’t really cover my neighbors and the issues i see, but thanks for your offering.

  • Nick

    So they claimed this area as their “spot” and part of that means playing music from their car? Maybe you could go after them by going after their cars. The police may not want to arrest them but they could keep ticketing them for loud music. That would be annoying and eventually they would either have to pay a lot of money or get the boot. Either way it could be a way of getting at them.

    • anon

      What do you mean by that? Banana in the tailpipe? Sugar in the gas tank?

      • Another guy named Chris

        Homosexual innuendo much?

  • Andy(2)

    I am surprised that no one suggested speaking with your neighbors. Strenght in numbers. Ask them if it bothers them, if they have ideas, if they would call 911 too, sit out with you at night, etc etc etc…

    • er


  • ed

    Sadly, I have to agree here. Cops won’t care. Kinda reminds me of a certain apartment building in Columbia Heights where it apparently was culturally appropriate to blast music in one’s apartment 24/7.

    • victoria

      Columbia Heights Village? This spring has been worse than ever! Plus school-age boys hanging out all day everyday with 20+ teens/young men in the plazas – north-east corner of 14th & Columbia Rd. across from 7-11. Police used to sometimes sit in a parked car here – and do nothing – but now they don’t even drive through the alley – let alone walk around and get to know people.

  • d

    They’re hanging out there because they can and you do nothing about it. I know you’re probably scared to death of these people but you need to be a grown man or grown woman about it and talk to them. Start with Hello.

    • Max

      OP clearly says he has talked with them repeatedly.

    • Daddy

      Great idea, d! You should read the post before you respond.

      When I started looking for a house in Petworth last year, I noticed the first two times I passed a certain house for sale there folks hanging out on the sidewalk. I am about to close on a house in another part of the neighborhood and I have noticed no such gatherings nearby. Knock on wood. I feel for you, Ruckus Guy.

  • LisaT

    I’d think we’re neighbors, except I don’t live in Park View. And the people causing the most problems on my street are in their 20s-50s. We have two “nuisance houses” on a small block, and they are very well known to the cops. We’re all friendly with each other and get along well. I just don’t need to hear your Tuesday night party at 2am. Or see your drug dealing. And I DEFINITELY do not need you peeing up against the side of my house. I wrote MPD and Councilwoman Bowser about the issues, and they both responded quickly and with good intent (I presume).

    We’ve taken to texting the cops (the number is 50411), which the 4D commander said we could do instead of calling 311 or 911. They’ve shown up each time. We also have “hot spots” on our block and the next on a regular basis (not at our request). All that does is drive everyone inside until they’re gone though. Oh, and shine a big freakin light through our bedroom window.

    Some other neighbors and I have discussed a block clean-up day, getting the kids involved, making it fun, etc. We’ve also talked about organizing an old school block party so neighbors can really get to know each other in a social setting and have a good time together (which often helps smooth out the conversations that need to happen regarding what happens on/near your property).

  • Native Son

    For one thing, there is no longer a non-emergency police number. 311 was turned into a city services request line a couple years ago. Secondly, I would encourage the Park View resident to continue pestering the cops without feeling guilty and to consider talking to neighbors about getting a meeting with the police. I am very concerned that people who have only been here a couple years have no idea how badly a neighborhood can deteriorate when these types of crimes are tolerated. It is everyone’s responsibility to adopt a zero tolerance attitude toward illegal behavior.

  • yo yo yo

    I concur with others who suggest maybe a low fence with a locking door, some shrubs, etc. You could also just point a security camera in their direction; it doesn’t even have to work – maybe just the suggestion of one.

    If all fails, start calling 911 regularly.

  • Anon

    You basically have one goal: to make it unpleasant for the teens and cops alike for the teens to be in your yard. I’d do what others have suggested and plant a bunch of things like rose bushes (sharp thorns) and other pinchy shrubs. They’re a lot prettier and more eco-friendly than soul-killing grass anyway. You should look for other ways to reclaim your space by doing things there yourself or with others, including in the evening. Don’t let it be a vacant zone for them to fill. Finally, post a “no trespassing” sign and call or text the police at the first sign of them being there. You have to have a zero tolerance policy. I don’t agree that the police won’t respond.

    I would be “that guy” and I wouldn’t haven’t asshole kids in my yard.

  • SF

    Do any of you guys hang out in the neighborhood at various hours to see what it’s like before buying or renting a house?

    It’s interesting how surprised people are that this is happening regularly in front of their houses.

    • LisaT

      You can do that, but a lot of activity is seasonal so if you’re new to a neighborhood, you may not get a good sense of what happens until the weather warms up.

    • Anonymous

      you’d have to do that over the course of a year to get a good sense. if you bought your place in the spring, you’d have little sense of what the summer was like.

      • LisaT

        Jinx! :p

    • Anon

      What’s your point? That if kids are standing in a yard, the buyer must purchase with full knowledge and acceptance that kids can and will stand in your yard? I don’t think anyone is expressing surprise. They’re expressing irritation and disgust.

      BTW, please include your address so kids can be directed to your place, which is a welcoming environment for their behavior.

  • Polytasker

    Do what they do at the Gallery Place metro – blast classical music. The darker, the better – the Brahms Requiem on loop for a few days would probably drive them out. Or maybe something really screechy and atonal, like Schoenberg. If there’s one thing teenagers (even the ones who play an instrument) universally hate, it’s the Pierrot lunaire cycle. Heh.

  • anon

    The picture at the top of this post is goose-ist!

  • Another guy named Chris

    OP, do you live on Kenyon St? If so, howdy neighbor, these kids are out every night. Most of them live on the block so not much can be done. The drug dealing is done from another house I presume by the CONSTANT random foot and vehicular traffic at all hours of the night.

  • The Constitutional Right..

    of free assembly does not include your lawn. And speaking of how many parts of this city are in the sewer due to people’s asserting their right to make life miserable for others, we need a serious rethinking of the “public good” when it comes to citizen behavior. Most Americans don’t have to deal with the obnoxious and threatening thugs and we law-abiding DC residents should not either. Time to tighten up and give a quality decent quality of life to those who keep this disaster afloat – that’s what a real leader would do.

  • wdc

    Call 911! There’s no nonemergency police number anymore. Followup at your PSA meeting or call the District’s watch commander. But also, landscape your yard with thorny bushes and/or put a fence in. Had similar problems when we first moved in and putting the fence in was one of the best things we ever did.

  • LisaT

    311 may no longer be the non-emergency police number, but you can still get to them through that number. Just FYI. We’ve used it many times and the cops always come quickly. Funny too, because it was a cop who told us to call that number, maybe three months ago.

    • saf

      Yeah, they transfer you to 911.

  • niceguy

    Call their parents.

    • Anon

      “Hi Ms. Brown. This is Darryl, your neighbor. I’m calling because it’s 3:30 a.m. and your son and his 24 friends are standing in my front yard again, screaming bad words, and smoking dope. Would you mind speaking with him about his behavior?

      I’m sorry… what did you say? I should shut the f*ck up and go f*ck myself? Okay, thank you for your time.”

      • Anonymous

        So true! This is one of the problems with the elementary school our kid is attending. Wonder where the poor attendance, bad language, F- the police and school is useless attitude is coming from? The parents & grandparents, brothers, sisters and cousins, the same ones who are cursing out their kids at the top of their lungs in front of school during afternoon pickup.

    • me

      Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. That’ll do something.

      • niceguy

        How do you indicate sarcasm on this blog? I thought my post was funny.

        • Marcus Aurelius

          Not as funny as [email protected]:10’s post.

          What’s sad is that there really was a time, not all that long ago, when the right answer to the question “what do I do about these misbehaving teenagers in front of my house” was “call their parents.” Now, you’re rarely talking about parents – as in two parents – and any
          parent you reach is likely to give you the answer in [email protected]:10’s post, or throw their hands up and say there’s nothing they can do about it.

    • anon

      Or tell them “I feel bad for your mother,” like the Korean grocer in Menace II Society.

  • Anomynous

    We have a nuisance house on our block. They are known to the police, but it never subsides, they party day and night and shout to passers by and other neighbors. We call it “cell block loud”. It sucks for the people that live in direct proximity, kids hanging in their yard, trash and broken bottles everywhere. The guy that lives there (in his moms house) is in his 50s and holds court on his porch. He’s pretty confrontational to my wife saying things like the neighborhood is no good with the new white people there, but never says anything to me. When I have to troll for parking, I always make a point to pull into the alley next to his house and make the dealers/party people move.
    We were talking to neighbors about one incident where my wife did call the cops, and it turns out the call they cops on them pretty frequently too. Since nothing changes, I’m guessing the guy has an in with the police and they leave him be. I’ve checked his address in police reports and shit has been going on there for years.

    • Anon

      Do you have a neighborhood association?

    • Anonymous

      I wonder if the DC government can be sued for failure to address chronic public nuisance? Take this to the courts for relief!

      • Anonymous

        No, and I don’t think one would be forming any time too quickly.

      • Anonymous

        Or write a letter of intent to sue to the Mayor, the DC Attorney General, the local ANC rep, the local Council member, Lanier and Groomes and the local Commander, all the at-large Council members. Give them 60 days to enforce trespassing and nuisance laws. Each time you request police assistance, insist that they document the names of the trespassers so you have it on record. Keep good records yourself. See if you can work in RICO laws for the crew, if that can be established. Try a FOIA request to see if any are known violent offenders or DYRS wards. So great that you are working to change a block in the city plagued by such nuisance and crime. From seeing it happen time and again, it seems it can take about 5-10 years, so hang in there.

        • Anonymous

          A less severe approach is to use what the police probably want you to use — file a Special Attention Request with the local precinct, and then follow up week after week, as long as it takes to resolve.

    • Anonymous

      I must live on your street! This is the exact situation on my block. I might very well be the neighbor you speak of :) I’m white and have received a few racist comments directed at me from the people hanging out in front of that house, but since I’ve lived here for a few years now they know who I am and leave me alone. thankfully no physical threats. Cops are always showing up to break up their parties on summer nights, but nothing ever changes. Heres hoping grandma kicks the bucket soon and due to 30 years of unpaid property taxes, they all get their asses kicked out. A girl can dream :)

  • I would totally have to call someone to complain about this because that is unacceptable.

  • Dave

    This is a message to everyone: STOP WORRY ABOUT BEING “THAT GUY”!!!… You need to be “that guy” or these people will walk all over you. Trust me, they don’t respect you, or this city. You want to make things as uncomfortable for them as possible. 311 is B.S when it comes to getting police attention. If you want police to swing through…just call and say “This isn’t an emergency, nothing dangerous is going on, but there are people who are being a general nuisance, drinking and doing drugs in public. Would it be possible for you to send someone out here to move them along?”

    Keep in mind the risks you run by allowing this trouble on your doorstep… Going on vacation? Better lock up TIGHT, because at least a few of the people who hang out there daydream about kicking your door down and having a scavenger hunt in your house. They don’t care about you at ALL… And one of these days — one of these characters is gonna have beef with someone (because that’s what they do) and when an adversary shoots at this group, those rounds will also be going through your bedroom window. Call the police, they will tag it as a low priority, but they will eventually swing through to make things uncomfortable.

    • Anon


      Dave is right. If they respected you, they wouldn’t be trashing your yard. (Please, no stupid comments that it’s urban culture. Longtime residents don’t want them in their yards either, which is probably why they’re in yours.) Since they know they can walk all over you, why not help themselves to what’s in your house and not just what’s outside?

  • Marcus Aurelius

    There is no excuse for someone trespassing on your property. It’s ridiculous for the police to just shrug their shoulders and tell you that these people have claimed your property as their hangout spot. These people are not staying there because you let them, they are staying there because the police let them. The police should be arresting them or giving them citations. I had a nuisance house on my block that was vacant; the porch became the neighborhood dice hall. The family that rented it made it the gathering place for every kid in the neighborhood. And after they left, every kid in the neighborhood kept coming. I called Jim Graham and he got the police involved. They set about tracking down the owner, who lived in Maryland, to get him to sign some kind of document indicating that no one had permission to be on the property – meaning that anyone on the property could be arrested for trespass. Ask the police what you as the owner need to do to file a complaint against these people for trespassing on your property. You did not mention this but if you haven’t done so already, call and email your councilperson to get them involved. And if you don’t get a response, go to the media. There’s no reason why someone pouring property and other taxes into the City’s coffers should not be able to enjoy his or her own property.

    • Anon

      I think people are too quick to say the police don’t get involved. They do get involved where they can legally. The person who started this post said he doesn’t want to call the police cause he doesn’t want to be “that guy.” Therefore, he (the poster) is part of the problem.

      • Marcus Aurelius

        Respectfully, I don’t think that is a fair reading of this post. This poster is not sitting on his hands worrying about being “that guy.” That’s a different thread from a different person on a different day. This poster has tried to do something – he called the police non-emergency number and he also has talked to the police who told him they know about the problem, which is apparently longstanding. His question is whether to take it further by calling 911 every time this happens.

        • Anon

          I agree; you’re right.

  • MtPer

    We’ve had a similar problem at our building in Mt Pleasant. It tends to be seasonal and kicks up in the warmer months. The groups tend to make a lot of noise and some drink (beer from market in the building) and sell drugs. We were able to keep them off a lawn area by installing a hedge of barberry bushes but they continue to hang out on our front steps sometimes blocking us as we try to enter/exit the building. Last summer, my partner contacted the local police lieutenant and scheduled a meeting between residents and the local officers. The officers recommended that we do not try to handle this ourselves and asked that we call 911 whenever we witness something going on. The police have been responsive and the problem has improved even though the same people come back from time to time.

    • Anonymous

      You live in the 7-11? That would be awesome.

  • Calling 911 is effective, but getting to know the police in your PSA, getting their cell phone numbers and calling them directly when you know they are on patrol is even more effective. Once the police know the issues associated with your block, they’ll begin to patrol it regularly. PoP feel free to pass along my e-mail to the OP if he/she wants help with this.

    • Anon

      +1 Very true. And for god’s sake, get your civic association involved.

    • rooty tooty

      Yes, yes yes. For those who don’t know what a PSA is, you can get the background here:


      Basically, once a month, the police for your local area have a meeting that you can attend and bring up concerns. All the better if you have a series of 911 calls to back up the information (otherwise they can’t show a history of problems in their records). If they are in fact DEALING pot, the police will most definitely want to know about it and will respond.

      The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Show up and explain the situation. Get the Lt’s phone number and email. Let him know if his guys are responding to your concern or not. It actually works.

  • 1300 BLK

    Awesome, I can basically repost from last time.

    1. If you show kindness and tolerance in this situation I guarantee that these guys will conclude that you are weak and the party will only get bigger. They are drunk, stoned, rowdy, and leaving their trash behind. That is such supremely disrespectful behavior in any “normal” (non-DC) context that I can’t believe I ever wondered what the right answer was. Call MPD, every time. Make sure they know it WAS you. If you’re not getting the police response you need, go directly to your council-person and the precinct lieutenant. The response will get better and the thugs will eventually find somewhere else to be.

    2. Get to know the old ladies on the block. Sometimes I don’t have to call the cops anymore because I can go out and say:

    “y’all have 5 minutes to find somewhere else to be or I’m calling the cops and waking up your mom/grandma. And I talked to Mrs. Lois down at [house number], and she’s calling the cops too.”

    Works in 2 minutes, not 5. Also works on guys who are well into their 20s, and I don’t have to wait for the cops to show up.

    • Andy(2)

      Old ladies likely know the history, have same concerns you do, are around duringn working hours and can still muster some fear in some of the hooligans.

      It takes knowing your neighbors to improve your neighborhood.

      • Anon

        All very true. But I wouldn’t advise confronting them yourself, cause you risk getting shot. It’s simply not worth that risk. Keep in mind, these aren’t the good neighborhood guys just hanging out and chatting.

        • 1300 BLK

          You can deal with your problem or you can live in fear of it. If your plan is to live in fear when faced with this level of disrespect, you probably moved to the wrong neighborhood. Gentrification isn’t simple, its a 2nd (or 3rd) full-time job.

          • Anon

            Who said live in fear? The question is how to deal with the problem. I wouldn’t tell my son or daughter, for example, to confront a group of loitering men. Would you?

          • 1300 BLK

            “a rowdy group of group of teens and 20-year-olds hanging out on my front lawn in Park View. Though I would not mind it THAT much if they were simply hanging out, a lot of their behavior is a disruption not only to my house but to most of the block. Their activities include selling/smoking pot, drinking then throwing empty deuces on my lawn, really loud verbal confrontation, blasting music from their cars late into the night, leaving containers of half eaten take-out on my walkway and general ruckusness.

            I have called police non emergency but per usual with that number leads nowhere. Neighborhood cops come by to break them up but they come back a few hours later. I have even tried talking with them and it seems to go in one ear and out the other.”

            Look, you can go at something like this full-bore, or you can move. There isn’t a lot of 3rd-way. It’s a terrible situation. The police and ANC and council-people aren’t going to do anything for you unless they know you’re serious. That means putting your foot down. Letting these guys know that the party is over, personally. Leaving your name and contact information when you call 911. Showing up at neighborhood meetings and PSAs and identifying the address and the trouble-makers, specifically. And it sucks because you can’t trust all of the police, or all of the ANC members, because some of them will be apologists for this type of behavior. And even if you do everything right, progress will likely take years.

            But maybe you would tell your son or daughter to give up their property and move? Okay.

  • 13thStreetfan

    Call police, contact your ANC rep., email your councilman, text the cops, and make service request online every time you have issues with these problems. I know it sucks but when you see illegal activities, no matter how minor the infraction may appear to be, it helps to be the squeaky wheel. We have a similar activity and one piece of information a detective once told me that stuck with me was that when describing people try to get a look at their footwear, i.e. red and white Adidas hi-tops. He explained that people will turn their jackets inside out or remove shirts or turn them inside out so when police go looking for them it makes it hard to track them down. But shoes are much harder to change on the fly. Also getting the license plates details. I know this isn’t fun but if you don’t do anything I’m afraid the problems will only get worse.

  • Parkview 2

    Call 911 and tell them you see a weapon. thats the ONLY way the cops will show up. I think the problem starts at the rec center. The “management” is well aware of the group of guys that hang out front and drink openly (well sometimes they pour into red solo cups) and they do NOTHING about it. I have had discussions with neighbors about this and they say its because the “management” is friendly with these guys so everyone is in on this together. Email CM Graham. But you really have to get as many folks on the block just as pissed off as you are.
    Im sorry you are dealing with this. Parkview for the most part is an awesome neighborhood and I know it will get better as more caring and thoughtful people invest renovations and commit to the neighborhood. And no, I don’t give a damn if the thugs get gentrified out.

    • photodork

      Please, as stated in countless posts before, DO NOT LIE TO THE POLICE.

      It only serves to harm the response system and reduce the effectiveness of the police response.

      Please do leave your contact info when making reports for follow-up.

  • Anonymous

    Get a dog.

    Call the police regularly.

    Use your neighborhood association.

    Get your councilperson involved.

  • Lolly716

    We have a 45lb “petite” boxer and when she is outside, I’ve seen teens and grown men cross the street to avoid walking near our yard! Not suggesting that you get a dog for just this reason, maybe just borrow a menacing looking pooch as needed.

  • sheepprofessor

    If you live in Park View, your closest police precinct is probably over on the 700 block of Park Rd. I bet walking in and having a talk with the cops at the precinct would be much more effective than calling 911, especially if it’s not your goal to have them arrested but just to have them move on. I have found the cops there to be most pleasant, understanding, and interested in serving the community. But they can’t try to fix the problems if they don’t know what/where they are. If you can convince them to make your house part of their regular nightly patrol, I think you’ll see an improvement in short order.

    And don’t think of it as being ‘that guy’. THink of it as trading nuisances. You don’t want them keeping you up and they don’t want to be where the cops frequent.

  • Anonymous

    In addition to the advice to call the cops each and every time, I’d add that you should take pictures of every single one of them. Get good shots of their faces, so you always have an ability to say “it’s this guy” if you see a more serious crime being committed — assault, weapon, drug deal on your property. If you don’t have a telephoto lens to do it surreptitiously from the safety of your home, I bet someone will loan you one. Make yourself a highly credible courtroom witness if it ever comes to that.

    Also, think about putting in cameras on the outside of your home. That may dissuade at least some criminal activity from happening on your lawn.

    • Anonymous

      I will volunteer for private eye duty with my big lens. It’s about time we had a network of hidden digital documentation cameras hidden in our street lights. Too bad it’s not ok to capture audio too.

  • PetworthRes

    Knockout Roses from Home Depot – very cheap, thorny and pretty. Maybe $10-20 each. If they get messed up, no big deal to replace. They’ll grow anywhere – you don’t need to do anything to them, just some water here and there.

    • BF

      Rugosa even better. And they grow fast!

  • Anonymous

    This is why I love Petworth over Park View, Pleasant Plains and much of CH. There is still plenty of thuggery and youth gun violence, but less house-front activity like OP describes.

    • sheepprofessor

      The thing I like about Park View over Petworth and other areas is that we make fewer groundless generalizations.

      The only house-front activity I see in my part of Park View (which is not big enough to have too many different parts) is my septuagenarian neighbors planting bulbs.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, in Petworth, the drug dealers use complex car shuttling operations, drive over here with me, I’ll get out, go get the drugs, and be right back. Seems like a traditional approach that works quite well. No obvious stationary targets for a raid.

  • Steve

    Call 911. The calls are categorized and geographically analyzed. The more calls you have the higher the stat and the more likely your spot will be prioritized. Also follow up with emails to Chief Lanier and Commander Missouri. That brings command structure accountability into the equation.

  • Melanie

    A kind of disgusting trick that I employed when I lived on New Hampshire, and some kids started claiming our front yard as a gathering place: when I cleaned out the cat’s litter box, I dumped all the cat crap into a box with some water… took it outside and poured it all over the places where they would park their asses. Worked like a charm. And it was free.

    • Julesonprinceton

      Now thats brillant. I live in ParkView and have a cat if the OP needs some.

    • Anony

      Ha! I have a poop bin from mulitple dogs, the OP can pick up a daily supply for free- fresh, yum!

  • Anomynous

    Maybe POP could ask a cop what they think of this kind of stuff. It would be very interesting to read their take on it and what has worked in the past.

  • victoria

    Well this ought to work on loiterers as well as cats – plus it is just damn funny.


  • poster

    If you see drug activity or weapons, you need to give that info to the 911 operator. You need to give a particularlized description of what you saw, a specific description of who has the drugs/weapon (appearance, clothes, age, etc), your name,and the fact you are willing to stand behind your “tip.” This should be enough that the cops will reasonable suspicion to frisk the hooligans. If they do have drugs then they will be arrested.

    Shooing them away isn’t working, but they shouldn’t want to hang out there if they can’t have their pot on them. Actually having them arrested might make a difference even if it’s for a minor charge.

    You might also be able to press charges for trespassing if they’re on your property. Take pictures.

  • Mike

    Spend a few evenings sitting on your front porch with the shotgun and they’ll probably move on.

  • Justine

    [email protected]; that was funny dude. You made my night with that remark.

  • Mike

    Hehe yeah I wanted to see what kind of responses I’d get to that remark. Of course I wasn’t serious…

    I was picturing some old man sitting on his porch in a rocking chair, drinking PBR non-ironically and yelling at the damn kids to get off his lawn.

  • LisaT

    For those who may be interested, MPD is currently accepting applications for the volunteer reserve corps.


    And funny, NPR had a story this morning about LA’s volunteer corps.

  • Allison

    Ever see that Seinfeld episode where George has a red laser pointer light following him around everywhere? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Puerto_Rican_Day)

    Invest in a laser pointer! :D

  • Challenger3

    When someone is trespassing on your property, you can have them banned. Call the police, thell them you want them banned. Get their photo, name, address, date of birth, and put it on a notice that says that they are banned. The police can tell you exactly what it should include. If/when they return to your yard, call the police again, tell them the person has been banned and is trespassing. This gives the police the right to arrest them for trespass and take them away to jail. After you’ve done this a few times, the rest of the group will get the idea that you’re not going to put up with them, and they’ll move on. This is the way problem people (e.g., loiterers, shoplifters, drunks, etc.) are handled at malls, which are private property, but which are open to the public. It can be done on any private property.


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