I was assaulted by a security guard in front of a bunch of witnesses last night outside the back parking garage entrance to the DC USA building. Because I live a block from the building, I almost always walk to the WSC there, but because it was pouring last night [Friday], I decided to drive and park behind the building on Hiatt Pl. I walked down the raised walkway portion of the the ramp and went to the gym.
Upon leaving via the same path, about halfway up the ramp, one of the security guards chased me up the ramp and tried to force me back down it, all the while insisting that I wasn’t allowed to walk up the ramp…also insisting that there is a sign indicating as much. I’m about 5’4″ tall and weigh around 115 lbs and the guard was significantly bigger and stronger than me….about 6’2″ and well over 200 lbs. When I got to the top of the ramp all the while avoiding his attempts to force me back down it, he grabbed my wrist squeezing it so hard it was extremely painful and at one point knocked me to the ground, while insisting I show him my ID. I kept refusing to give it to him and at one point pretended I was going to and tried to get away from him. At some point he asked me if I worked in the building and I lied and told him I worked at WSC. He grabbed me again and almost ripped my top and proceeded to squeeze my wrist even harder.
Several witnesses tried to intervene and he shooed them away…but they stayed to watch the scene. He then called for emergency backup in the form of yet another security guard who also insisted I show them my ID. I took it out waved it at them and put it back in my purse. He kept squeezing my arm and insisting I hand him my ID…which I finally did. He took it and refused to let me go and then finally did. I then gave him an incorrect phone number.
Luckily the very nice Comcast guy, Eric, hung around – he was one of the people who tried to intervene, the other one was a friend of mine from the gym. Eric stayed until the altercation was over and also gave me his contact info. I wish I had been thinking more clearly at the time, as I would have asked someone to call a real policeman and would also have gotten access to one of the videos that was being taken of the scene.
I left quite shaken up, as you can imagine, with my wrist throbbing and starting to swell. It dawned on me that I was actually assaulted. I stopped a very nice officer on bike and asked him what I should do. he said it was in fact assault and that I should definitely file a report. He offered to take it but recommended I do the official report at the V St. police station. He did write everything down in his notebook and I signed it. I later went to the V St 3rd district station and filed an official report.
This morning [Saturday] when I went to the gym, I went down to the garage to see if there was a sign posted indicating no pedestrians were allowed on the ramp and there wasn’t one. Mind you, I wasn’t walking on the part where the cars were, I was walking on the raised portion, which certainly looked like a walkway to me…and even if it didn’t…it is a free country and I believe I have the right to walk where ever I please as long as it isn’t on private property or a restricted security are like the White House lawn. I started taking pictures of the garage and one of the security guards came running out to stop me from going up the ram…which I wasn’t doing…just snapping photos. Then another guard came out and asked me very rudely if I had a problem and what exactly was I doing…did I have a problem. I told him it was none of his business.
I then went up to the gym for a while and on my way in, happened to relate my ugly story of last night to the young lady working at the front desk. When I was leaving she told me that one of the security guards came up and was asking for my name and wanted to find out who I was and did I work there. She refused to give out my information and he got upset with her.
I definitely plan to follow up on my police report and would like to find out if anyone who took footage of the incident would be willing to share it with me.”
If anyone was a witness to this scene please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail and I’ll put you in touch with the OP.