Ruckus at Columbia Heights Metro around 5:30pm Tuesday

by Prince Of Petworth May 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm 102 Comments

Photo courtesy of @DCPundette

From various twitter reports about incident at Columbia Heights metro Tuesday around 5:30pm:

@MrTinDC I saw a cop fall off his Segway leading to taunts and a bunch of teenage girls screaming and shoving.

@acdha Just rode past: 5-6 squad cars + officers on bike on sw corner. a large crowd watching a guy being cuffed

@kenzemack High School Girls getting in a fight and screaming at each other

More info via email (I can be reached at princeofpetworth(at)gmail):

“About the situation at the CH metro tonight that you have been talking about via twitter. The group started fighting in the ally behind the victory heights building on Irving around 5:45ish. Looked to be a bunch of teens beating the crap out of each other. People were all just standing around watching. I went into CVS and informed the cop there and he radioed it in. As I was walking back down Irving the group was coming out of the ally and continuing the fight. I assume the cops showed up shortly after that.”

You can follow @PoPville on twitter here.

  • angrychicken

    I think this started behind my apartment in the alley behind Kenyon and Irving Streets. There were about 20-25 teenagers screaming at each other. At one point I saw a kid pull some girls wig off her head and run down the alley with. I’ll admit it, I laughed.

    • Cate

      This might explain why there are torn remnants of hair on 14th & Columbia. I’ll admit it, I winced as I stepped over it.

      • Tres


        • Paul


  • ontarioroader

    What in Gods name is going on in here, what was that ruckus?

    Uh, what ruckus?

    I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.

    Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

    • Jen H.

      Watch your tongue, young man. Watch it!

  • Eckingtonite

    I am extraordinarily pleased at the use of the word “ruckus.”

    I eagerly await the inevitable retaliatory kerfuffle.

    • Anonymous

      LOL! At first I thought it was a free concert!

  • Micah

    I don’t think anything all that serious actually went down, and I base this on very limited information, but it certainly illustrated to me how quickly and completely the cops can get overwhelmed. There were a LOT of kids at the scene that the police seemed to be chasing around in a very disorganized manner.

    • Anonymous

      Reminds me of the cops chasing us back in the 80s. Man we did some messed up stuff, but no gunplay! Just pre-planned brawls.

      • Anonymous

        i did the same thing as a kid. did you grow up to be a burden on society?
        i don’t think i did.

        • Tres

          I’m going to identify myself as one of the 98% of people here who didn’t do stuff like that, and also didn’t grow up to be a burden.

          • Anonymous

            I know both of you and let me assure you, you are indeed burdens on society.

  • Joey

    is 14-18 years old too late for an abortion?

    • J

      nope. It’s the late late-term abortion. we call it the death penalty here in america.

    • Anonymous

      people tend to freak out after the 20th, or 21st trimester.

    • The NeighborHood Reporter

      Abortions can be retro-active

  • Anonymous

    Stay classy, Columbia Heights.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr. Graham for allowing this garbage to afford living in this area. It’s good to know my tax $’s are working to make CH a safer place to live.

    • Anonymous

      you shouldn’t talk about the tweeters that way.

      • Anonymous

        Recognize that funny was the aim… you fell far short.

  • diogenes

    Councilman Graham has stated that he would not want to live in an area comprised solely of people that look like him. Maybe it’s time for him to move out of ward 1 and take with him all the spawn of multi-generational welfare momm–the future criminal class of DC.

    • DC

      Or maybe you should move so you don’t have to worry about running into people who were unlucky enough to be born into poverty.

      • Morty

        And yet plenty of poor people of all races seem to get by in life just fine without starting a shit show everywhere…

        • WDC

          Yup, what Morty said.

          When I passed the aforementioned ruckus, there were kids holding their kids up in the air to watch the scene. Cause that’s what you want your toddler to see as entertainment. Folks seemed to be in a good mood, which is a little disturbing. That’s the local idea of a good time? Watching a cop fall down and kids fight each other?

          • Anonymous

            what? are you serious? wtf? i effing hate people.

      • Dave

        Using your logic…poor people seem destined for crime… Solution? KILL THE POOR! OR… maybe just acknowledge that these people have a choice of how they want to behave in society and penalize them HEAVILY for making bad choices (Also end the government safety net for irresponsible fuck ups and addicts)

        • So, Just Sayin’

          and penalize them HEAVILY for making bad choices

          … to make them even more poor!

          By god, you’re a genius!

          • Anony

            Poorer . . . genius . . . just saying . . .

      • Anonymous

        and what have they done about it since being born into it? did they try to better themselves to break they cycle? i guess we should just keep giving the man a fish instead him learning to fish right? Gov’t assistance is not a right it should be a safety net for the short term.

        • Anonymous

          you should go ask “them”.

    • ChrisDC


    • Rukasu

      I wouldn’t want to live in an area of only people the wear bowties and ugly glasses either

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    It’s time for those who cannot afford to live in the City to move where they can support themselves. It’s simple economics. It’s also disgusting how a small poor minority can hijack a developing area, and the City sUbsidizes it.

    • anonymous

      and where exactly can they support themselves? the dc suburbs are way too expensive especially including the need for a car, the exurbs/rural areas have no jobs or ways to make a living. so where would you like to ship people up and move them to? just out of your life, right? my hunch is that you just want your rich neighborhood to yourself. maybe you should be a big brother or big sister instead since, for the record, this “small poor minority” has been here a hell of a lot longer than anyone meaning they aren’t hijacking anything. it’s the crap chain restaurants and shops that are hijacking the neighborhood. I don’t exactly think columbia heights’ development is progress.

      • Native American JD

        Anywhere but here.

      • Anonymous

        No they aren’t. You can buy a 3 bedroom house in Forest heights for $70k.

  • nothing to see here folks

    I live right there – was home at the time – sorry to disappoint the banshees running amok crowd, but nothing really happened.

    Yes, groups of high school kids do sometimes run around taunting & messing with each other. I usually go outside and let them know they’re being watched. A couple of times I’ve broken up brewing fights. A couple of times called the cops. A couple of times teachers from Bell, knowing something was brewing, have actually followed groups of kids and intervened.

    But it’s more sickening to see the immediate ugly responses posted here. They’re adolescents – not always the best at impulse control. They’re from a wide variety of backgrounds. Sometimes they fight. Unlike reality TV, they don’t get paid for it.

    This is a city – there are no vacant lots to “rumble” in so it happens in the alleys.

    • Anonymous

      What a typical handwringing educated liberal response… “The fault isn’t the kids causing trouble, it’s society!”

      • ProfChris

        What a typically cowardly conservative comment–by remaining “anonymous.” Come out in the light of day.

        • Anonymous

          Because the whole world knows who ProfChris is…

        • Anonymous

          Lol, like “ProfChris” is any less anonymous….

      • anonymous

        right, because the “lock children up for 20 years if they do anything!” response is intelligent. sorry, but when this crap happened in my white-bred uber rich neighborhood outside dc, nobody got up in arms about “there goes the neighborhood!”… ’cause yeah, kids fight. everywhere.

        • Hello

          We had fights in my high school (which was NOT uber rich), but nothing like this, or what has been going on at the metro. Not large groups of students engaging in belligerent exchanges and public brawling. To the people who shrug this off with a “it’s not a great thing, but kids will be kids” attitude: do you think you are helping these kids any more than the string-’em-up commenters? Do you imagine that chronically low expectations is a service to these children? What about the ones who don’t behave like that, do you think it’s a good environment for them to see (presumably) responsible adults shrugging off the extreme misbehavior of their peers?

          • anonymous

            nobody’s saying to shrug it off, I’m simply saying that talking like these children are worthless, beyond hope fuckups that need to get locked up is wrong.

  • Fritz

    Anonymous – the small minority (who are a majority) have lived here for generations, long before the city subsidized gentrification program came to town. Poverty is a problem, not poor people. If your solution is that washingtonians must leave – you should move to the burbs.

    • Billy Bob

      Amen brother

    • Anonymous

      “City subsidized gentrification” HA!

      Sounds like some sociology BS from a $30k/year liberal arts school.

      Next time take “economics”, “finance” and “world history”.

      • Anonymous

        not as far etched as you think it is. the city has indeed subsidized much of the gentrification taking place. you should look into it a little more, unless you’re just interested in reaffirming your currently held beliefs.

        • Anonymous

          I think that was kind of the point. “THE PLAN” is also known as history of the world 101. Get with it or get ground under it.

  • Pink thought

    And cue the “move to the burbs” comment! Always thoughtful, always intelligent. Thanks for contributing something worthwhile.

    • Tres

      C’mon. Each burbs comment is like a snowflake: from afar they all look alike, but under a microscope we can see the unique fragile beauty in each one.

    • ProfChris

      Actually, it is. But the burbs have their own problems. Masked behind closed doors, of course. Prescription drug abuse and other nastiness. God forbid any teenage girls are fighting or abusing each other LOL

      • Pink thought

        … and so begins the plot of Peyton Place 2011!

        • bloom


  • Fritz

    And your a typical NIMBY who just want to move the ‘problem’ away rather than address it or look for systemic solutions.

    • Anonymous

      It’s outrageous. Where do people get the nerve to dislike violent criminals in their backyard? And how dare they put the safety and wellbeing of their children ahead of the “systemic solutions” that would only take atleast a decade to implement and yield results?!

      • anonymous

        “violent criminals” HAHAHAAAHAHAAAA!!!!!!

        • Anonymous

          Violent criminals is not referring to these brawling brats. It refers to all of the actual criminals who are violent. We have plenty of ’em.

  • ProfChris

    No biggie. Cops swarmed. Crisis over. It was thrilling, amusing.
    Teenage girls screeching and acting stupid–how novel!Hmmm. Nothing to see here, folks. Next draw of ale at Meridien Pint’s on me…

  • Anonymous

    Again if u cannot afford to live in DC move to where u can support yourself. Its not the ones paying half a mill to live in CH who are causing the problems. A disproportionate number of poor cause the majority of crime, FACT. As far as the arguement that they have lived here the longest…whatever, where are the native Indians then.

    • Pennyworth


    • Anonymous

      Um…they had a little thing called genocide happen to them. You’re suggesting genocide for black residents of Columbia Heights?

      • So, Just Sayin’

        Just the poor ones.

        Buh DUM bum

      • ChrisDC

        You said it, not I, Anonymous.

      • Anonymous

        That’s kind of taking care of itself, isn’t it?

  • Anonymous

    I missed a street fight darn

  • victoria

    I remember an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” where Laura and Nellie had a pretty vicious fight.

    • caballero

      My favorite episode, I think, was when those bully brothers came to town. Among several trespassings against the townsfolk, I recall that one of them broke the eggs in Caroline’s basket when he grabbed her arm. The grand finale was when Reverend Alden put the aforementioned fellow in an armlock before all the churchgoers, and everybody marched them out of town.

  • 11th

    missed the fight (just got off work, fml). big groups of kids fighting each other sounds terrible. thank god no weapons. that said, show me any high school where fights don’t happen nearby. i grew up in rockville and can remember teachers manning the walk home from middle school because of brewing fights, rocks and bottles being thrown at cars and buses following football games, fights breaking out in the stands at basketball games and getting picked up again afterwards. i thought that was some BS back then and think this is some stupid shit now.

    the retroactive abortion jokes aren’t too funny, not to me anyway. if you want to make the situation better (stricter laws and enforcement or more help and guidance, either way), great. if you want folks to move out as prices rise, great. but saying kids shouldn’t exist, that’s not helpful and smacks of something nasty.

    • textdoc


    • anonymous

      I usually operate under the assumption that abortion jokes are ALWAYS funny, but yeah, if you’re saying these kids’ lives aren’t worth anything then that’s pretty lame.

    • J

      I’m not saying that they shouldn’t exist. In fact, I honestly think a bunch of adolescent kids brawling is, well, somewhat normal for kids that age. Doesn’t mean it’s acceptable, but it is part of growing up. you test your limits and boundaries, and those of other people, and you learn about yourself, the world, and the people around you.
      My comment alluding to the “late late term abortion” was meant to be funny. Then i woke up this morning and remembered that a lot of readers here don’t have much of a sense of humor. That said, the death penalty, the practice of society deciding that there is no room for you on this planet and that you should be put to death, is just that, a late late term abortion. While I might joke about this, truth is that the United States executes/puts do death/LATE TERM ABORTS the highest proportion of it’s population in the entire world.
      Lighten up folks. happy hump day.

    • james

      Yes, this. I grew up in the white-breadiest of white-bread suburbs, and there were fights all the time, both in school and after. Get a bunch of teenagers with no impulse control together, and odds are that eventually a fight will break out. Doesn’t matter if they’re poor kids in DC, middle-class kids in the suburbs, or upper-crust kids at a prep school. Eventually, one hormone-addled teenager will say or do something another hormone-addled teenager doesn’t like, and they’ll go at it. The only difference is the location and the clothes the kids are wearing.

  • Anonymous

    First rule of fight club.

  • Pennyworth

    *inserts generic outraged comment. better schools needed, welfare reform, ghettos, subsidies, gentrification, morals, home-training, yada yada yada.

    most of us couldn’t care less about these kids and their fights. we’ll just keep on sacrificing a percentage of our money to keep them fed and complacent and relatively in order.

    i mean, god forbid people in a capitalist country should get what they’ve earned … that’d just be too uncomfortable to see everyday.

    • GCK

      America’s a darn fine country to be rich in. It’s absolutely the worst First World country to be poor in.

      You can call it “getting what you’ve earned” if it makes you feel better. All the other advanced democracies call it “unconscionable.”

      • caballero

        I don’t know, kiddo. I’d rather be poor here than most places in the world. And my family, which is poor and living in a poor country, thanks me every month for the money I wire to them.

        Stop you hand-wringing and step aside while hard-working immigrants take what listless native-born Americans (of all colors) feel they are entitled to. Work beats complaining every single time.

        • Dave

          I don’t know you, but I think we are best friends.

        • H Street Landlord

          Great response

        • photodork

          Good point but be advised your shtick is starting to get old.

          And Colombia is on its way up!

        • anonymous

          really? damn, I’d rather be poor just about anywhere in europe.

          • Emmaleigh504

            me too

          • The Real Jason


          • caballero

            If you choose to be poor, you probably are better off in Europe. Why bother working when the nanny state will take care of you? But most immigrants still prefer to come to the U.S. Why? Because it offers a way out of poverty if you learn English, develop some marketable skills, and work hard. Pretty simple, really.

      • Anonymous

        The funny thing about people is that it’s not the amount of poverty that makes a difference in the first world –third world people would consider poor people rich if they say them — it’s the lack of self-respect brought on by poverty-grovelling politicians and rampant substance abuse.

        Case in point: the banelieus in France and the slums in cities like Manchester, UK, or Northern Ireland.

        It’s disrespectful of poor people who work their way out of poverty to suggest that violence is ok because their is *relative* poverty.

  • Anonymous

    Jeebus, people. Kids screamed and pushed each other and someone stole a wig. Big frickin deal. And yet this is enough for PoP commenters to bust out with the usual racist “lynch all the black kids” routine.

    I like Target and I like my condo but sometimes I wish I could have the old Columbia Heights back.

    • Seema

      How long have you lived in Columbia Heights?

      • Anonymous

        14 years.

    • Anon

      Yeah, I really wish we could go back to those Halcyon days of it being a disgusting ghetto destroyed by race riots.

      • Anonymous

        Obviously you haven’t lived in the neighborhood very long.

  • Greg

    Its time we stopped hassling these kids and focus on the real talent.

    Bumfights 4: Return Of The Ruckus (2006)


  • lilnemo

    Kids will be kids and we used to have after school fights even in the small midwestern town in which I grew up, but I still wish we had more cops walking the beat at peak hours in CH to help keep the peace (like after school and on weekends). This is one of the densest, busiest, and most diverse neighborhoods in the City. I think DC should have more cops walking the beat instead of sitting on their ample asses in squad cars – small events like this can blow up into bigger events in no time at all. I hardly ever see cops around unless they are driving through.

  • Disgusted in DC

    I admit, I laffed over the wig stealing bit. It made me think of Helen Lawson’s wig being flushed down the toilet by Patty Duke. But, these mobs of girls fighting can get out of control very quickly, they scare people, and people can get hurt. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The message needs to be sent to them that this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated, but unfortunately, there probably isn’t anyone in their lives – other than the police, to make that message unmistakably clear. As Mr. Furley might say – “Nip it! Nip it in the bud!”

    • LisaT

      Somebody watches a lot of TV Land, huh? :)

  • Mr. Poon

    I walked by this last night on the way home and I can confirm that this was no big deal. Teenagers yelling at each other and stealing wigs is far worse than the trouble I caused in the white, semi-affluent suburbs long ago. If you don’t think this sort of thing happens at Burger Kings in Kansas every day, you’re a fool. Instead of blaming Jim Graham or the federal government, blame human nature.

    With spectacular irony, that something like this gets 100 comments and sparks a debate about about poor people is a commentary on many of the commenters rather than the teenagers who required a few cops to bust up their petty nonsense.

    • Anonymous


  • Bitter Elitist

    I’m still laughing at the use of “Ruckus.”

    I saw the aftermath yesterday. Dozens of people just watching as it were TV.

  • LisaT

    This just came across the 4D listserv. Seems relevant here. Good opportunity to get involved.

    Attached is a flyer provided by Daniel Malec, a Petworth neighbor, who heads up a youth-oriented, conflict-resolution project at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). The project is working with schools in Wards 4 and 1, and it aims to teach young people how to resolve conflicts peacefully and constructively.

    Daniel Malec has both an academic background in conflict resolution and is seasoned in the same starting with work in central America.

    Below is the content of the flyer. Please distribute widely and consider coming to the community listening meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th, from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Petworth Library Meeting Room, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW. For more information contact Daniel. His phone number and email address are noted below. – JM





    Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Time: 6:00—7:30pm

    Location: Petworth Library Mtg Room

    4200 Kansas Avenue, NW

    Supported by the Columbia Heights / Shaw Family Support Collaborative

    Please contact Daniel Malec if you are interested in participating: [email protected], 202-319-2237

    Free Food and Child Care will be provided (contact us if you would like child care)!

  • Clarissa

    THANK YOU for posting this!


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