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Dear PoPville – Assaulted by Security Guard at DC USA Parking Lot

by Prince Of Petworth July 12, 2011 at 10:30 am 235 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

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.

  • la_niña

    I have done this exact same thing several times – I find it ridiculous that there is only one “acceptable” way to enter/exit – 14th Street.

    I understand why they would not want people to use the ramp on Park – I would never do that but I do not see why you cannot do it on Hiatt.

    The behavior on the side of the security officer was extreme and even more depressing is that after he “shooed” some of the onlookers away nobody intervened!

    • Anon

      I’ve done it, too, after ignoring the sign because I don’t agree with it (yes, I’m an asshole that way).

      But this was a great example of people reacting at an already-escalated level of confrontation. Whatever happened to simply asking her to not do it again?

      That he jumped almost immediately to a physical response indicates he’s got a hair trigger and shouldn’t be working in situations where his buttons get pushed. (Which is one reason why people find it difficult to consider security guards professionals.)

      • MichelleRD

        Again, how should the guard respond if the person on the ramp is a thief? Or someone who’d just parked a car bomb? Kidnapped a baby? And how should he make that determination?

        My preference is that he make an attempt to detain someone who is refusing to stop after he’s told them to.

        • ess

          um, if the guard thinks that someone was committing a crime, he could a) detain her or b) call the real police so they could detain her.

          There is no indication that the guard thought she was committing a crime, nor any indication that she in fact did anything wrong. I think the default should be that people are not committing crimes, and they shouldn’t have the burden of proving that if there’s no reason they’re arousing suspicion.

          • U St

            There’s no indication of what the security guard thought because we’re only getting one side of the story.

            And personally, I think the whole thing could have been avoided if she didn’t try to run away or duck the security guard making her seem more guilty than she really was.

          • MichelleRD

            I think the default should be that the security guard shouldn’t waste time wondering why someone is walking on the ramp and simply stop people from walking on the ramp. And people should comply.

    • yellowjacket

      I am sure that most of the writers never have, never do, and never ever will walk up parking ramps in garages. Never. Not at the mall, nor at the airport, nor the stadium. LOL! Sometimes we think in a vacuum!!

      I’m sure they’ve always happily complied when yelled at by someone with the size and demeanor (proportionately so) of metalmouth Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me). And if Jaws should need to grab them by force, and take them down — they would quickly see the error of their ways, mistake, comply and understand.

      The poster should not walk on the ramp. And, drivers in garages are also responsible for going 5-10 miles an hour watching out for pedestrians. Everyone knows that as well.

      Frankly, I see that all in all, she was calm and didn’t fight back despite being grabbed. I’m impressed with her nonviolence actually. He escalated the whole affair when he put his hands on her. He’s lucky she didn’t respond with a kick to make him impotent. The security guard is supposed to be working as a professional and he’s lucky she didn’t remained as calm as she did.

      You can’t “protect” someone by squeezing them and dragging them down. If there had been a car, then YES, but there wasn’t. This force was excessive for a person who is not following the rules by walking up the ramp.

      • yellowjacket

        she didn’t/remained as calm as she did

  • yellowjacket

    I’m glad you said something. He might reprimand you. He might even be looking out for your safety from vehicles, but then he assaulted you and he used his size or stature to do what he wanted.

    I’m sure he was very hot being a security guard in a parking lot in this weather yesterday so for that I feel bad that he couldn’t control it, but he assaulted.

  • Anonymous

    You are not allowed to walk on the ramp – everyone knows that. It’s dangerous, there is no sidewalk, and it’s a liability to the parking garage if something happens to you. If she was unwilling to stop and be questioned about the incident, the guard needed to intervene. Don’t get me wrong, squeezing her wrist until it hurt was inappropriate, but her ignoring his admonishments and waving her ID in his face wasn’t without fault.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      +1. The guard obviously overreacted by assaulting you, but it sounds like you just kept on walking, ignoring him and when he physically stopped you, waved your ID in his face and lied to him several times.

      Sounds like the guard is on a power trip. Sounds like the OP isn’t acknowledging her part in making the situation worse.

      • textdoc

        What TaylorStreetMan said.

        • me

          ^^Add me to the list of people agreeing to this. Sorry, OP. I know it’s a hassle and the guy was out of order, but was it really worth just realizing you were walking where you shouldn’t be and just acknowledge that you got caught rather than exacerbating the issue? It happens. You go where you aren’t supposed to (maybe you don’t see a sign, or whatever) and then someone yells at you to stop, go around, and don’t walk there. Pitching a fit tends to bring drama into the situation and then it just goes on from there. You say that you believe that you can walk anywhere as long as it’s not private property… well, the DCUSA lot is. That’s why they hire security guards. Sorry.

          • TonyS

            yep agree… it is private property and it sounds like a safety and liability thing. the guard shouldn’t have touched you but seriously why didn’t you just do what the security guard asked and avoided the whole situation in the first place?

            i wasn’t there but it sounds like she was looking for a fight

        • noodles

          Agreed. OP should not have been physically handled at any point; totally unacceptable. But the account of the incident also paints a portrait of a very persnickety person who will not accept anyone correcting their behavior, even when they are in the wrong.

          • what

            +100 for using the word “persnickety”

      • JMC


        “It’s a free country” – are you in fourth grade?? Also, DCUSA *is* private property.

      • bad_e_bad

        Drama by both parties.

        • Razman

          This girl is clearly a piece of work. I would suggest giving her lots of room.

      • Zandunga

        A parking garage security officer is responsible for the safety of its patrons. The OP didn’t care about her own safety in her suicide mission of using the ramp when there was low visibility. She should be grateful that the security officer cared enough to stop her. The OP is a threat to herself and needed to be restrained.

    • the totten.

      +1. Agreed that the security guard is in the wrong and behaved completely unacceptably, but actually you’re not allowed to walk on the ramp. There IS a sign (i’ve seen it many times when i’ve considered walking in/out of that ramp myself…). Yes, it’s inconvenient to walk around the block, but it’s also safer for everyone.

    • Stan

      +1 Guard did react inappropriately. I’m sure they don’t get paid enough to try to enforce the rule for little princesses who don’t think the rules apply to them. Hard to generate much sympathy for someone who responds so absurdly to a rude security guard. There’s security everywhere. Some of them are rude. That doesn’t give you the right to act like a child.

    • shayne


  • cathy

    it’s absurd that private security guards think they can use force like that on such a trivial issue. give them hell.

    • GDopplerXT

      it’s also absurd for the OP to think that there can’t possibly be rules in effect that apply to him/her.

      • Idaho Ave

        While the OP sounds like a whiny brat the Security Guard was way out of line. There is never a reason to assault (or make contact with anyone for any reason). I doubt his job duties specify he is to physically detain anyone. I also doubt the City has empowered security guards to assault people.

        • Denizen of Tenallytown

          Security guards at DC USA are allowed to detain people. I’ve seen it done to suspect shoplifters coming out of Best Buy.

          • cathy

            he could detain without injury if he had the least bit of training. it was an abuse of power.

  • TaylorStreetMan

    Not defending the security guard’s actions at all, but it IS private property and if they have a rule about no pedestrians, I’m sure it’s due to liability issues.

    I agree that you should be able to walk up the ramp, but they should provide a railing or something that identifies that raised portion as a walkway and protects pedestrians from cars.

    • 14th St Heights

      I think an out-of-control security guard who assaults patrons of DCUSA would be a bigger liability issue. I dunno, just sayin’


      • TaylorStreetMan

        Yes, he’s also a liability issue.

        But do we have to choose one or the other? Fix them both: Have and enforce a rule for not walking on the ramp; and fire employees who lose control and assault people.

  • tj

    I am happy the security guards don’t let strangers walk in and out of the parking garage.

    Doesn’t sound like assault. Sounds more like they were just doing their job.

    • anonymous

      wow. what planet are you from?

      • TCres

        If it was one of the local teen’s you wouldn’t be complaining

        • The Heights

          Good point.

        • anonymous

          what a stupid comment.

        • er


    • shayne

      It’s not assault. There is a simple fix, when a security guard for a private parking garage tells you that you can’t walk someplace… you probably should listen. End of story.

  • anon

    “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”

    Isn’t DCUSA’s garage private property?

    • TaylorStreetMan


  • andy

    If you go into a private business – for example, a nightclub – and you attempt to go into an area that you are not allowed to, or exit using an exit you are not permitted to by staff, do personnel have the right to force you to comport yourself or exit appropriately?

    The answer is yes.

    Did the security guard exercise this authority sensibly and with an eye toward proper control of the situation?

    The answer is no.

    • textdoc


      The security guard was definitely out of line, but the OP isn’t blameless here either.

    • JMC


      You can’t do whatever you want where and whenever you want. That goes for everyone, including the guard who was doing his job but should not have restrained the OP.

    • Anonymous

      Believe it or not, bouncers actually have no right to use physical force unless they or other patrons are in physical danger. I used to work security for a few bars around DC, and we had mandatory classes on when we could or couldn’t touch somebody. In any situation that does not involve direct threat of physical harm, all security staff can technically do is ask the person to leave, then call the police to enforce a trespassing violation.

      The police won’t ever punish a bouncer or security guard for using physical force, however, so people just assume bouncers and security can push you around however they want.

      That being said, they do have the right to detain you if they observe you breaking the law on private property.

  • Show id

    I get it it didn’t go the op way, but it sounds to me that the op was not following the rules. The ‘real’ police? Really? Obviously the op is not respecting the security guards and their work, thus the explanation why she wouldn’t show her id, lying, etc. Just because you are small compaired to the guard you are not intitled to be above the law. If I wer in your position I would show my id, cooperate in eccery way then complain later to he manager.

    • anonymous

      okay, maybe some security guards don’t get enough respect, but they ain’t law enforcement no matter what you try to tell me. shoot, a “security guard” at my office is 9 months pregnant. the security guard should’ve just yelled at her and let her go. she wasn’t loitering there, just trying to get through.

      • L

        Ummm, real police get pregnant too.

        • Rudy

          and nurse…

        • anonymous

          no shit. but they aren’t on the beat when they’re a week away from delivering. what was the point of your comment?

  • A

    I agree that he had no right to lay his hands on you. I also think that you were in the wrong by escalating the situation when you refused the guard’s very reasonable statement that you are not allowed to walk up the car ramp. Regardless of whether or not you think this is a free country and you can walk anywhere you choose (WRONG), it is standard practice to disallow pedestrians on car ramps.

  • Show id

    Sorry iPhone over correcting my words

  • RnR

    The security guard definitely should be disciplined or even dealt with by the police for hurting you, but you really aren’t entitled to walk wherever you want in the parking garage. You could have simply asked him to explain why you couldn’t be there, asked to speak to his manager, showed him you ID, explained where you were going etc.

    • yikes

      Is it really within their rights to demand you show ID?

      • TonyS

        this is the question — what rights do security guards have in these kinds of situations? sounds like none of us know.

        • dt

          Security guards have the same rights as any other normal citizen. However, as an agent of the property owner, they also have the right to ask you to leave the property. If you don’t, you are tresspassing and they can call the cops to arrest you/kick you out. That’s about it. They have no rights to demand anything of you or detain you, and once you’re off the property the exact same rights as anybody else walking down the street.

          • dt

            Er, make that “once you’re off the property they have the exact same rights as…”.

        • 14th St Heights

          I worked on a grand jury last year and asked a prosecutor if we are required to show ID to a police officer if we’re just walking down the street and get confronted. He said you’re allowed to walk down the street minding your own business. This is not the Soviet Union.

          • elcal

            Non-soviet Russia is still like this.

          • anonymous

            That’s not true. It is a crime punishable by imprisonment not to carry identification.

          • dt

            In the US?? No it’s not a crime at all. There is no mandatory compulsion to carry ID with you at all times (unless so mandated by local law, although I don’t think DC has any law like this). I believe there is some federal case law that you have to identify yourself if requested to by a cop, but that’s not the same as actually carrying ID.

  • IsoTopor

    If you want results, I’d say lawyer up and sue DC USA’s owner, property management company, and the security company. I’d definitely file an assault complaint too.

    • anonymous

      riiiight. this is exactly what the country needs.

      • So, Just Sayin’

        Actually, it is. Corporations understand nothing but money.

        Get this — when real people harm corporations, it’s a crime. When corporations harm real people, it’s at best a civil matter. See, for example, insurance fraud (a crime) v. wrongly denying coverage for a life-saving transplant (a civil issue if it’s an issue at all). But when real people try to seek justice, then we have idiots drinking the FOX News Koolaid saying that actually taking corporations to court is somehow a blot on the American character.

        In this case, the OP thinks she’s above it all and walks up a car ramp even though every fool knows it’s not for pedestrian use. Then the security guard channels Paul Blart, Mall Cop and demands her ID and manhandles because she did not respect his authori-tay. That security guard will continue to pull his Rambo act time and time again until the company that hires him insists on real training for its guards. They will only insist on that if they think their money is at stake. And they will only think their money is at stake if either there’s a risk that the DCUSA reputation will be so bad that no one will patronize its tenants or if she takes their ass to court.

        Wake. Up. The courts are the way that real people can hold big corporations accountable. Don’t side with the corporations who are trying to take those tools away from us.

        • Anonymous

          best summary and advice on here!

        • TaylorStreetMan

          I generally agree with you, but what I think people find unappealing (at least I do) is the attitude put forward by IsoTopor that the very first step is to “lawyer up”.

          What about talking to his manager? Or approaching the managers of DCUSA? This is a serious issue that I’d be willing to bet they are completely unaware of. You might get results. You might not. Even if you don’t, though, you can still take steps to embarrass them into doing something. There are alternatives.

          Following the “lawyer up instantly” advice, the first they’d ever even hear of it would be getting the lawsuit dropped on their desk. But then again, given the OP’s willingness to needlessly escalate a situation to an unreasonable level, it’s probably a very appealing option for her.

          • IsoTopor

            Point taken about the “lawyer up” attitude. I agree with you that taking to the management could be helpful, and that from the OP’s description, she behaved in a way that escalated the situation, instead of just accepting this as a battle not worth anyone’s time, and following the guard’s directions, however rude they may have been delivered.

            However, once the guard used physical force against the OP in a situation where it was neither justified, nor did he have the authority to use it, that’s where I would draw the line of to sue or not to sue. I don’t think suing as a response to physical violence directed at you is an inappropriate response.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            I see what you’re saying, but I’d much rather see him in jail for it. File a police report and press charges.

            Worst case for him, suing the company would cost him his job, which is no small thing of course, but sitting in jail for a while (or the threat of it, at least) hurts a whole lot more. Maybe then he would learn to keep his hands to himself.

            To me, wanting to sue just feels like wanting a pay day for a situation that was totally avoidable.

        • GDopplerXT

          Well, that’s all very inspirational but there is also personal accountability and there is most definitely such a thing as a frivolous lawsuit (and we don’t need more of those.) The way I read it, OP is 50% responsible for the incident and should file a complaint and leave it at that.

        • what

          I wonder how the lawsuit will turn out; we’ve got a complaintant that has openly admitted on an online forum that she lied. Unless there is a video camera somewhere that caught the action, I’m going to guess that DCUSA’s attorneys are going to jump all over the OP’s character and rightfully protray her as a liar.

          • Anonymous

            is lying a crime in this context? I don’t see how it is.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            No, but having admitted openly to lying certainly can’t help her credibility in a he said/she said situation such as this.

          • Anonymous

            lying in the context of being harassed by someone who does not have a legitimate need for or right to your personal information is understandable to me.

          • yikes

            I wouldn’t give a violent guard my real info either. it isn’t lying, it’s self preservation. And the fact that he went looking for her at WSC makes it clear he’s out of control and that she was smart to lie. though she would have avoided the whole incident if she was smarter…but that’s a whole other issue.

          • KS

            Or, the fact that he went looking for her at WSC makes it clear that he wanted to let them know that one of their employees disregarded the rules and that, if the situation continued, they could be in violation of their lease and subject to fines.

        • anonymous

          riiight. I need to wake up because I don’t think this woman deserves a huge settlement for making a bad situation worse. am I supposedly this fox koolaid drinking idiot here? don’t you think the world would be a better place if they held the person accountable for his actions first (since it’s obviously his interpretation of his training that led him to behave this way)? she had a huge part in it as well and to ignore that is ridiculous. you sound like a shark.

        • oboe

          Actually, it is. Corporations understand nothing but money.

          Yep. Thread winner.

          Frankly there’s zero accountability for corporations in the US. The only recourse is through the civil courts. That’s why “tort reform” is so hugely important to a small number of shitty conservative Dems, and pretty much the entirety of the Republican party.

    • MichelleRD

      Terrible advice. I agree that corporations have way too much power in the legal system. BUT as an individual, I hold DCUSA responsible for certain aspects of my safety and security–and that includes not allowing pedestrians on the garage ramps.

      So what if she’s walking on what looks like a walkway. As soon as she steps off and gets hit by me, a driver not expecting a pedestrian on the ramp, who pays? Or let’s say she’s a shoplifter trying to avoid guards standing by the doors at the front. Or a thief picking pockets on the elevator and looking for an escape. How is a guard supposed to determine her reason for walking on the ramp? He’s not. He’s supposed to stop her from doing it.

      He should have found another way to subdue her but that’s poor procedure and training, not assault. I sure as hell wouldn’t park in that garage if there weren’t security guards ready and able to take action. The OP’s at fault for forcing it.

      • GDopplerXT

        All very good points.

      • Anonymous


  • yellowjacket

    If you hadn’t said anything you would have been just another small person whom a large man felt like he had the right to grab and knock down… for walking up the parking ramp. Probably his approach of dominating was not effective. I wouldn’t have dared give him one bit of real information either.

  • rabble

    “I left quite shaken up, as you can imagine, with my wrist throbbing and starting to swell.”


  • dcindc

    I’m sorry that the OP was hurt, that was uncalled for. However, isn’t that garage private property, and if so then the management of that property has the right to enforce their rules. Also there are generally reasons that rules like that are in place, there may be a liability issue with people walking up that ramp that the OP doesn’t think about.

    It sounds like the security guard told her several times not to walk there “all the while insisting that I wasn’t allowed to walk up the ramp…also insisting that there is a sign indicating as much”, she ignored him, lied to him and refused to cooperate by showing her id.

    • So, Just Sayin’

      She had no need to show him her ID. He had no right to demand it. That’s not a matter for which cooperation was needed.

      He’s not a cop. He’s a private security guard, answerable only to his bosses.

      The OP was a fool and an idiot and probably thought she was above being reproached by a mere security guard. But she still had zero obligation to show that man her ID.

      • CE


      • SpringSt.

        Exactly, was thinking the same thing. She had zero obligation to show him her ID or tell him the truth.

      • Scoot

        There are some semantical issues with this post.

        Perhaps she did have a “need” to show him her ID (so that she could get out of the situation unharmed), but she has a right not to show it.

        The security guard has a right to demand the ID but the person whose ID is being requested has the right to refuse to show it.

        I’m not quite sure why an ID would have even been necessary in this situation. It’s not like personnel with specific ID credentials are allowed to walk up the ramp.

        • NE Groover

          I have to disagree with you here. She told him that she worked for WSC, if that’s the case, he had every right to ask for credentials to prove it.

          • Scoot

            Why would the person have to prove she works at WSC? Is it a crime to lie to a security guard? Does the parking lots security guard check WSC IDs in the normal course of his employment? Why would he? Is there an exception allowing WSC employees to use the ramp for pedestrian access? Why would there be? And since there is no law requiring individuals to carry an ID at all times, what would have happened if she couldn’t produce one?

            And also, according to the story, the security guard asked for the ID before she told him that she worked at WSC.

          • SpringSt.

            Security Guard was demanding her ID before she said she worked at WSC.

        • Anonymous

          If he’s a security guard at a gate/entrance, then it IS his duty and obligation to see the building ID of someone entering a restricted area. Duh.

          I think some of you are interpreting ID as “drivers license” or something. He wanted to see her building ID, or WSC ID or something.

          The guard was right to stop her (even physically) but not right to hurt her. But I am NOT with the OP–she should have obeyed the signs and the person in charge of security. No sympathy.

    • Jane

      Private property open to the public is open to all of the public. You can’t just change the laws because you own the land.
      He had no legal right to demand her ID, and certainly not to attempt to detain her.
      If she was breaking the law, he should have called the cops, otherwise the only thing he can really do is tell her not to walk up the ramp.

      • Denizen of Tenallytown

        Private property open to the public is open to all of the public.

        Sure, but having areas that are restricted for all members of the public is fair game. Otherwise I could go climbing on the roof without recourse.

        He had no legal right to demand her ID, and certainly not to attempt to detain her.

        Wrong and wrong. She said she worked at WSC, so the burden of proof was on her to prove it. Security guards do have the authority to detain people on private property.

        • TonyS

          “Security guards do have the authority to detain people on private property.”

          therein lies the rub

        • Scoot

          They do have some limited authority to detain people on private property (if there is reasonable cause for doing so), but they don’t have the authority to compel someone to show an ID. In the District of Columbia, even the police authority to compel proof of identification is quite limited. So let’s be clear here — she had no legal obligation to show her ID nor did she bear any burden of proof to her claim that she worked at WSC.

          As I recall, the security guard does have the authority to compel you to leave the property if you don’t grant his request to show an ID; so for practical purposes, if you don’t mind showing an ID, then you ought to.

  • The Heights

    OP here mixes a reasonable complaint that the security guard used too much force to detain her (which he had every right to do under the circumstances, but with reasonable measures) with an obnoxious sense of entitlement. Her “ugly story” (a bit of hyperbole since she caused the situation in the first place) would never have happened if she hadn’t acted in accordance with her dictum that “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.” She is generally correct, however, that she should not have been hassled for taking photos. You can take photos in public – just make sure what you think is public isn’t actually private (such as the Ellsberg St. development in downtown Silver Spring).

    • SSRS


  • Show id

    Initially I thought it was some sort of a joke, but I can’t believe some one who is telling us they lied to authority figure actually wants support.

  • GDopplerXT

    It sounds like OP probably was assaulted (certainly in the legal sense), but I’m not feeling much sympathy to be honest, given that he/she ignored the security guard to begin with, trying to elude him and monkeying around with fake stories, ID-waving and fake phone numbers. Why not skip the shenanigans and ask him to explain the rule? And then maybe grow up a bit and realize that despite it being a “free country” you’re not entitled to just do whatever you want to do all the time.

    • Patrick


  • Andy(2)

    -1 for the security guard – physical assault is not the answer – and he should have called the real police instead of knocking you down.
    +1 for the truth – if the OP had just told him what she was doing it likely wouldn’t have elevated to the terribile situation she was a part of.

    • Hispanic and Proud

      Andy(2), you always know what to say. Great job. You are amazing!

      • Andy(2)

        Thanks – I guess I have a fan?

    • Hispanic and slightly shameful about it


      • Jimmy Crack Corn


      • Bloomingdalian

        lol Sorry – That was very random and pretty hilarious.

      • Not Hispanic but wish I was


        • !Andy(2), Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tú‏!

          • Hispanic and Proud

            Hey Ricky, Shake your bon bon!

  • what

    Sounds like both parties were in the wrong. OP needs to take some responsibility for how this event escalated. If a security guard tells you that you can’t walk up the ramp, you need to respect that and not walk up the ramp. Instead OP acted like an entitled little b*tch that could do whatever she pleased. Security Guards work to keep the premise safe. OP failed to heed any instructions from the guard and came back later and started snapping photos. In post 9/11, I would expect a security guard to ask what the hell you are doing. Just because you’re a petite chick doesn’t give you a pass It’s their job to secure the place and keep it safe. That said, before everyone jumps all over me, the Security Guard did go too far by assaulting OP.

    • RnR

      I don’t think its abnormal for them to hassle her for taking pictures. Their job is to stop shady stuff, someone taking pictures of ramps and refusing to explain why is pretty weird, especially in DC.

  • Ace in DC

    Wow, I am actually surprised that the security guard was proactive (albeit overly aggressive) in doing his job. I generally only see them on their cell phones or trying to spit game at the young women. Really, the only difference between the DCUSA security guards and the thugs they are supposed to be protecting the place from is a silly uniform.

    You should definitely contact the management, the contracted security company, and pursue action.

    • Rosie

      They open the door for me when my hands are full.

      • WDC

        You must be cuter than me.

  • Rich

    The security guard was clearly being a “dick” but the walker here sounds like a typical arrogant DCer whose never been told “no”. Ramps are usually dangerous enough for cars given the poor sightlines, so walking is just asking for trouble.

  • NE Groover

    The ramp, in the photo the op submitted, doesn’t appear to be pedestrian friendly which does not help support her case.

    Why would you continue to the defy the orders of the security guard!? I mean, seriously, turn back around if the guy said you can’t walk up the ramp.

  • Anon

    “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.”

    It’s called an umbrella.

    • Rosie

      Right? God forbid you ever have to walk a single block in the rain… I walk to and from the metro 5 blocks every day no matter what the weather is. And no run-ins with security guards yet.

      • TonyS

        i walk 6 miles to work in the driving snow uphill

    • er

      So, the poster disobeyed a posted regulation on private property, refused to listen when the security guard hired on the premises told her to use a different entrance, and then refused to show identification that might indicate she had a right to be there (on private property) after lying about it?

      Also, she drove a car one block because she didn’t like the rain?

      OP, how old are you and what was going through your head at the time?

  • yellowjacket

    Original Poster — Please have a large male friend walk up the ramp, and keep walking. See how it’s handled. Also, get those witnesses to describe what they saw.

    • yellowjacket

      I trust you’ll take a lot of comments here with a grain of salt. We’re mostly anonymous. There are clearly a lot of people who have never walked in your shoes and they can’t even come close to imagining it.

      You’re no angel. Don’t walk on parking ramps again. Still most of your reactions make sense. The part about ripping your shirt absolutely sucks.

      How much do you want to bet me the security company won’t let it happen again? I believe. This is just a guess. The management is saying to them, “You do your best, convey information to the pedestrian, and watch, but don’t physically harm.”

      I literally wonder what the clientele in the garage is like and how often the security guard takes down people, and which people.

      • Another guy named Chris


        I guarantee the security guard would not put his hands on someone his size. He is just picking on someone smaller than him. If it were someone actually committing a crime, they would simply run away. In fact, I want to test this theory out as I have lots of excess testosterone today.

    • BeerDude

      Yes, do this. And in the instance a car comes down the ramp and hits your friend….

      • Red Riding Hood

        I’d do it — whilst skipping with my basket full of cookies and knee-highs in my cute outfit for gym. I wouldn’t get hit by a car, because I’d look out for a car — but the obese guard would grab me, rip my shirt, and then take me down — to protect me of course, and then I’d bite his ear off. It would just be too messy in the end.

  • Jessica

    What are the odds this guard would put even half the effort to stop a real crime taking place on his watch?

    • JMC

      Pretty good from the sounds of it. Sounds like a dilligent guy.

  • billindc

    What the OP doesn’t seem to understand or care about is that if she was hit on that ramp she would be easily able to sue the owner of the property for significant amounts of money. And given the limited sight lines, it would be quite easy to get hit in that situation.

    Ergo, property management will reprimand or fire their security staff if they don’t enforce the rules that people should not use a vehicle ramp for pedestrian traffic and someone gets hit. In fact, that’s exactly what their lawyer would recommend if a lawsuit occurred. She then makes the situation worse by lying and blowing off some stiff trying to hold onto his $10/hour job. Did he over-react? If the above claims are true then yes….but the OP created the situation and then escalated it.

    • Eli

      +1. This is entirely the OP’s fault. I don’t blame the property owners and their staff one bit for trying to limit their liability and protect the safety of pedestrians.

      • mphs

        +1. And, the OP is a driver herself. How would she feel if she hit someone? Would she be happy paying for a new bumper and windshield? How about getting the sued and losing insurance coverage? Not to mention, feeling bad about the squashed pedestrian.

  • herewegoagain

    Is the two foot wide curb the same as “the ramp?” (Drawing parallels to streat construction.) If they didn’t want people on the curb, why did they make it look like a side walk?

    • Eli

      To keep cars from running into walls, pillars, machinery, etc.? Everything that’s flat is not meant to be walked on.

  • Clorox

    Your story sounds like something told by either Scarlet O’Hara, or Mayella Ewell. Jeez – everybody knows you’re not supposed to walk on that ramp. and just FYI – the entire shopping center, including the ramp is private property.

    In my opinion, you got off easy. The guards are authorized to subdue and remove anyone they see fit. If your widdle wist got a bruise, it’s because you resisted. Try that kind of bullshit attitude with a cop and you’ll end up in jail. Put some ice on it, and shut the fuck up. And don’t ever walk on that ramp again stupid.

    • Boo Hoo

      This comment made me LOL at work. Well said.

    • skellie

      +10000000000. I was waiting for someone to say something along these lines

    • Banksy

      +1,000,000 for the literary/movie references!

  • Andy(2)

    Any one see the irony in not wanting to walk an extra block yet the OP is going to a gym to work out.
    Reminds me of this: http://www.goodexperience.com/broken/i/04/02/america-fitness-s.jpg

    • anonymous

      oh yes, but I’m desensitized to it. not any different from the millions of people who drive to the gym.

  • me

    I really want to see the OP come on here and defend her actions after seeing all of these comments above that we have all made……. I wonder if it has given her anything to think about and reflect upon.

    • The Heights

      I doubt the responses she’s received are what she expected, given the horror of her ordeal.

      • skellie

        lol..”the horror of her ordeal” she created the situation.

        • The Heights

          Obviously I need to dial up the sarcasm.

    • Rosie

      I’m wondering the same thing. Surely she’s read the posts and is in shock right now.

  • JMC

    How it should of gone (and how it would have gone with two reasonable parties):
    “Hey! You’re not allowed to walk up that ramp! It’s dangerous!”
    “Oh, but I didn’t see a sign.”
    “Well there is one, but regardless, you’re not allowed to walk there – you might be hit by a car.”
    “You’re right – thank you, and sorry I did not realize this wasn’t a sidewalk.”
    “No problem, just please stay off the ramp. Come with me, I’ll walk you safely back down.”
    “Thanks for looking out for me. You don’t get paid very much and have kind of unpleasant working conditions, but I appreciate your help.”
    “No problem, just doing my job. Thank you for understanding.”

    • me

      No… that would have been too easy.

    • JMC

      I can’t believe I wrote “should of.”


      • ¢hris

        ha ha. can’t believe I had to re-read that twice after you made the comment and still had to take a moment to think about what was wrong

    • yellowjacket

      Exactamundo. lol

      That dialogue might have worked. Don’t you think there was a power-trip tone involved? If I have lived in this city one day, I have heard the tone.

    • anony

      The problem with this is that it was at night and a large man was asking a small woman to go back down into a garage. This would put most women on edge. There is nothing inherently trust-worthy about a DCUSA security guard. I suppose the OP could have called someone or asked the security guard to get another person to walk with them so she wouldn’t have to be alone with him, but I probably wouldn’t have been thinking about that in the situation.

      • anonymous

        “The problem with this is that it was at night and a large man was asking a small woman to go back down into a garage. This would put most women on edge. ”

        something important for security guards to keep in mind. they have NO IDEA what it’s like to be a women and be inherently more vulnerable and more desirable a target.

      • TaylorStreetMan

        Had this ever entered into the OP’s argument or reasons for acting like a spoiled, entitled brat, then you might have a stronger point. I don’t believe for a second that this entered her mind. She just didn’t want to have to follow the rules.

  • JMC

    Reminds me of last night when I was pulling out of the garage at work. There’s a stoplight at the end of the drive. It was just turning green for me and a pedestrian was stepping into the crosswalk to pass in front of me.

    I honked gently as there were a bunch of people behind me trying to get home, and the light is short. He walked right up to my window and screamed F**K YOU!, punched my car, and passed in front of me.

    No, dude, F**K YOU. Wonder if that was the OP I encountered.

    • Banksy

      Gaaah, I’ve been in this kind of situation before — only it was at real intersections downtown. I was driving and had the green light, and these barfly douchebags simply ignored the “Don’t Walk” light and crossed in front of me. When I honked, they gave me the finger and/or yelled at me, as though I was the one in the wrong. It’s happened at least twice — and I don’t even drive that often. Entitled assholes make me stabby.

    • Anonymous

      If it’s a driveway/curb-cut in MD or DC, even if the driver has the green light, the pedestrian still has the right of way. The DC code is posted in one of the comments on this site somewhere (one day I’ll book mark it for easy reference).

  • Anonymous

    blah blah blah private property blah blah. assault is assault plain and simple. you cant touch another person w/o their permission.

    • The Heights

      Not true. Try shoplifting and using that argument when you’re detained. Or trespassing. Try again.

    • me

      So, I guess cops routinely ask criminals if they are allowed to geab them before taking them to the ground? You are an idiot.

      • Anonymous

        cops are not private security guards. security guards dont get the powers of cops.

        • Stacy

          Actually, there is a class of security guards that have some police power. I can’t remember what the proper name for them is. But I was on a jury for a case that took place just a few blocks away from DCUSA. Two security guards held the defendant after he flashed a gun. They had some police powers and were able to detain and possible place a person under arrest until a “real” cop showed up and took over.

          Of course, I have no idea if the DCUSA guard has such powers.

        • The Heights

          There are limited abilities to detain without police power. As I said above, the ability of a shopkeeper to detain a suspected shoplifter is one.

  • Anonymous

    another entitled person in DC

  • Neil

    Okay, I’m 90% sure there’s a sign that says “No Pedestrians” somewhere near the entry to that ramp. Why? Because I saw and ignored the sign when I walked out that way to Hiatt Place recently. Luckily the security guards didn’t notice, I guess, or I might not be alive today!

    I think the OP comes across as entitled and oblivious; the security guard a jerk who didn’t like being ignored. “Assault?” Okay…

    • Anonymous


  • Dave

    The police officer was right: this is assault. A security guard has no more authority than any other private citizen. Talk to management, and if they don’t respond with an abject apology, sue.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t seek legal council. You might have to answer for your actions on their private property.

  • Scoot

    I would first like to mention that constitutional protections like being free to exercise the choice to walk in a particular area (notwithstanding that being free to walk where you want is not protected by the constitution) only protect from government infringement, but not from private infringement. Private security guards patrolling private parking lots are not agents of the government; therefore, they cannot be sued for a constitutional infringement.

    On the other hand, I would have taken a photograph of the injury and sent it to the security guard’s supervisor as well as the on-site manager for the company and the management for DCUSA. In the end, it’s your word against his word, but you’re the one with the bruises on your wrist and he’s the one who has to explain to his manager why he bruised someone for trying to walk up a car ramp — in other words, whether or why such a drastic response was warranted.

  • Anonymous

    I’m kind of surprised no one has suggested that if it is pouring rain and the OP really doesn’t want to get wet, she should pay the $2 to park in the garage for the hour she is working out. No ramp problem and dry hair!

    • GDopplerXT

      Or the fact that she drove one block to go to the gym. I get that it was pouring rain, but if it’s raining hard enough to drive one block then it’s raining hard enough to park in the garage.

      I know that there is no such thing as common sense, but there are many things about this story that would have been different had it been me. I’m having trouble relating.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Awesome. Somehow that didn’t even cross my mind!
      Add ‘cheap’ to the list.

    • textdoc

      I was wondering the same thing!

      Not germane to this discussion, but Captcha forming an actual word: CYST.

  • If walking isn’t allowed on the garage entrance ramps, it should be! The garage is a taxpayer-funded, underutilized fiasco. More pedestrians should walk through it, it would help relieve the 14th Street entrance bottleneck. Not many cars use the garage and they can easily go around the pedestrians, who will naturally stay cloe to the side. It’s not “dangerous”! Cars and pedestrians should be able to coexist there without people being run over by cars going highway speeds.

    • billindc

      People get hit on car ramps all the time…and if you don’t disallow it, more people use them and more people get hit. It’s frankly stupid to make the argument that we should exacerbate a bad situation by making it worse.

      • Scoot

        Do they? I don’t know about the statistics of pedestrians being hit on parking lot car ramps but I would imagine it’s pretty low (maybe you’re confusing parking lot ramps with highway and interstate ramps?).

        If you allow mixed use of the ramp and alert drivers to watch for pedestrians, then that is going to lead to fewer pedestrians accidents because drivers will be forced to exercise due diligence in looking out for pedestrians as opposed to speeding into a parking lot as they do currently.

        Obviously the solution to this issue would have been to design the ramp with a pedestrian sidewalk, but apparently that thought never made it through the bureaucratic, autocentric entanglement that is DCUSA.

        • GDopplerXT

          “If you allow mixed use of the ramp and alert drivers to watch for pedestrians, then that is going to lead to fewer pedestrians accidents…”

          Actually I have to stop you there. Keeping pedestrians and moving vehicles separated will lead to fewer pedestrian accidents. Period. If they are separated, there can be no collisions between them.

          • Scoot

            Except that parking garages do not normally separate pedestrians from moving vehicles, nor is it practical to do so, nor should they. Parking lots like DCUSA are full of people (entering or exiting their cars or simply using the lot as a through-route; in addition, almost all of the ingress and egress ramps cross over a sidewalk), and therefore not accounting for this inevitable mixed use is a fundamental failure of design.

            The failure is magnified by the fact that the DCUSA lot is not out in a suburban or rural area, but in fact in the middle of a very dense neighborhood with an abundance of pedestrians. The person in the account is not the first individual to use the ramp for pedestrian access, and certainly won’t be the last by virtue of the fact that the design fails to account for pedestrians.

            There is a very large body of urban planning material suggesting that attempts to create enormous barriers separating pedestrians and cars is at best fruitless, and at worst, harmful to pedestrians. It encourages drivers of cars to ignore pedestrians because they are perceived to be “absent” — in turn, drivers go faster in their cars, negatively affecting the safety of everyone.

          • GDopplerXT

            Scoot, we’re talking about the *ramps*, not the whole damn city. Focus, please.

            If you keep pedestrians off the ramps then there can be no collisions between cars and pedestrians there. You can’t argue with that statement.

          • MichelleRD

            OMG. Are you serious? The fact that it’s in a dense area is even more reason to keep pedestrians off the ramps. Have you ever driven on them? It’s so weird (and weirdly all-American) that people think they have a right to access anything at any time and then get pissed off when someone walks away with the grill from their back yard.

          • Scoot

            GDopplerXT Said: “If you keep pedestrians off the ramps then there can be no collisions between cars and pedestrians there. You can’t argue with that statement.”

            OK. How about this one: If you keep cars away from DCUSA, then there can be no collisions between cars and pedestrians there. You can’t argue with that statement, can you?

          • Scoot

            MichelleRD Said: “OMG. Are you serious? The fact that it’s in a dense area is even more reason to keep pedestrians off the ramps. Have you ever driven on them?”

            I’m not quite following the logic that the more pedestrians you have in an area, the more you should make regulations to enable cars to drive ever faster and more carelessly?

            To your question, I have indeed driven on that very ramp and others many times. They are very poorly designed. I completely agree that people should not be so entitled to walk wherever they wanted at all times, but perhaps we can agree that this incident would not have happened if the ramp were designed better, for instance by having a sidewalk on one or both sides, or if the parking lot allowed more valid pedestrian ingress and egress.

          • MichelleRD

            Scoot, you don’t understand my argument because you’re stuck on the idea that it’s to allow cars to drive “ever more faster and carelessly.”

            I mean, come on.

            The rammps are designed to get cars into an uderground garage. ALL such ramps pose the very same problem for pedestrians, which is why almost NONE of them have sidewalks.

          • GDopplerXT

            Scoot said: “OK. How about this one: If you keep cars away from DCUSA, then there can be no collisions between cars and pedestrians there. You can’t argue with that statement, can you?”

            Scoot, you’re losing the plot here. No, I can’t argue with that because it’s a natural extension of *my* argument that separating vehicles from pedestrians leads to fewer collisions between the two. And since you may not remember, *my* argument contradicted your assertion that *mixed use* would lead to fewer pedestrian accidents. But I’m glad to see you’ve come round to my side, even though your tone still suggests that you think I’m wrong.

          • Scoot

            “*my* argument contradicted your assertion that *mixed use* would lead to fewer pedestrian accidents.”

            Your argument actually doesn’t contradict my argument, because my assertion was that having mixed use reduces pedestrian accidents. Your assertion was that separating pedestrians from cars reduces pedestrian accidents. It’s possible that both modes can reduce pedestrian accidents (even though the data has shown that the mixed mode actually enhances safety for pedestrians as well as drivers; further, the attempts to operate under the alternative mode of separation is virtually impossible and usually poorly designed and implemented even when it is attempted).

            I simply don’t agree with the assertion that the *only* way to reduce accidents between pedestrians and cars is to separate them.

          • Scoot

            MichelleRD Said: “The rammps are designed to get cars into an uderground garage. ALL such ramps pose the very same problem for pedestrians, which is why almost NONE of them have sidewalks.”

            Michelle, is your assertion that ramps do not have sidewalks because ramps are dangerous to pedestrians? I would say the reverse is true. Ramps pose problems for pedestrians because they do not have sidewalks, not because there is something inherently dangerous about a ramp.

            If they did have sidewalks, don’t you think they’d be much less dangerous and people would be able to use the sidewalk instead of walking directly into the area reserved for cars? Is there something about a designing a sidewalk to run parallel to a ramp that would preclude cars from utilizing it to get into an underground garage?

          • GDopplerXT

            Scoot, first, in all seriousness, thanks for a lively debate.

            Second, you are correct that my argument didn’t technically contradict yours, so that’s a fair point.

            Finally (and this I think fits in with what MichelleRD is saying), the ramps are there to allows vehicles to get into the garage; without them, vehicles cannot get into the garage. However, pedestrians do not need to use them, as there are other means of entry to the garage designed only for pedestrian use. I also don’t see any particularly compelling reason to design for mixed use of the ramps when there is ample pedestrian access already provided. Everyone can get where they need to go and you eliminate some of the potential for accidents. What’s the problem with that?

          • billindc

            Scoot….going back to redesign the garage ramps isn’t the point. The point is that as they are they are dangerous to and not designed for pedestrians. The building management has a fiduciary and general obligation to keep pedestrians from vehicle only access ramps. If you don’t thinks so good luck to you…but you can bet that DCUSA’s insurance company does.

          • Scoot

            @ GDopplerXT, don’t get me wrong; I’m not proposing to remove the ramps. I’m simply proposing to design them better. Clearly, there is a need and a perfectly valid way to design this lot to accommodate pedestrians and cars at the same time. Simply widen the ramp and add a sidewalk to one or both sides. Does this in any way limit the ability of cars to enter and exit the garage? Does it impact the structural integrity of the building? Does it take away a substantial number of parking spaces?

            Clearly, the parking garage serves a purpose for pedestrians: it provides a through-route to DCUSA, it sells daily and monthly parking passes to people who do not necessarily use DCUSA stores (meaning they are exiting the parking lot as pedestrians even though they enter as drivers), and is located in a very dense pedestrian district in which all of the ingress and egress ramps cross into a sidewalk. These reasons and others should have compelled the designers to consider pedestrians in their plans. But most parking garage designers (especially the worst ones, who probably designed the DCUSA lot) do not consider pedestrians, they only consider cars. And that is a clear failure of design. But it can be remedied.

            The next time you are at DCUSA, walk past the shipping and receiving entrance ramp on Park Road. There is a wide sidewalk on that ramp to accommodate merchandise and personnel. This shows that a ramp can be designed with a sidewalk without impeding vehicular traffic.

            Then walk to the Hiatt Place exit where this woman had the fateful encounter with the security guard. There is a wide slab of concrete on the west side of the exit that can clearly accommodate pedestrians, and yet it tapers to a narrow strip and permanent fencing has been installed to keep pedestrians out. There is also a very wide sidewalk next to the Hiatt Place entrance for maintenance personnel. Why not provide similar access to people using the garage?

            @billindc said “going back to redesign the garage ramps isn’t the point. The point is that as they are they are dangerous to and not designed for pedestrians.”

            With due respect to billindc, this type of thinking illustrates the laziness that has been allowed to permeate urban and traffic planning and to a smaller extent, garage design over the last 5 or 6 decades until only recently. It’s possible — and fairly easy, actually — to design a garage ramp that is safe for pedestrians even if it is to be primarily used for cars. And that’s precisely the point. It is all about good, effective design… NOT about improperly training a security guard to enforce a regulation that is only in place because of a design failure.

      • Tricia

        Two things about this discussion about allowing pedestrians on the car ramps on DC USA.

        1) The ramps are extremely narrow and the one off of park has a sharp curve. Where is this space for cars to “go around” pedestrians that people have alluded to? I have driven on these ramps multiple times and I’m worried about hitting my car on sides. There is no room for pedestrians on the ramps, especially on the Park side.

        2)I also don’t understand the statement that cars are “zooming” into the parking lot from the ramps. Maybe once inside the parking lot, cars go faster then one would necessarily prefer, but getting into the parking lot is a different matter. Most cars go extremely slowly because of both the tightness and poor sightlines of the ramps and also because they have to stop to get a ticket for the garage.

  • MichelleRD

    What’s the proper response from the guard if the person walking up the ramp had just stolen your wallet?

  • Anonymous

    I want to shrink myself to 5’4″ and 115 pounds so I can get away with doing whatever I want!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tiger

    “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.”

    It would actually be battery,the assault part is the verbal threat of bodily harm and battery is the actual physical impact on another person

    • The Heights

      That’s the common law definition. Local statutes often define assault in the way the policeman and the OP used it. I’m assuming DC defines assault to be an unlawful touching much like common law battery.

  • mark

    Like most parking garages, DCUSA’s seems to have been designed by someone who couldn’t cut it as an above-ground architect. Still, walking up that ramp is a terrible idea. OP, next time, just pay your $1.50 to park in the garage. Even if you only drove a block to get there.

    On the other hand it sounds like SG was grabbing OP from behind as a way of interrupting something that he wasn’t in a position to prevent. This was a really stupid confrontation.

    I think generally DCUSA is in denial about some of the shortcomings of that garage. Otherwise, since they feel strongly about it, they would stand a security guy near the ramp to physically get between a the pedestrians and the ramp. OP wouldn’t have walked through the SG if he was standing in the way. (If SG had done that, then HE could have written a post about being “assaulted”).

  • Tiger

    Pretty obvious that the OP gave the typical DC entitled attitude but that doesn’t in any way excuse the security officer for physically grabbing the person unless she continued to disobey, then it was justified.

    Turn around walk in the other way and file a complaint instead of trying to walk through a much larger person who obviously had a power trip. Sorry you have bruises.

  • maxdc

    I’m always baffled as to why people feel the need to share every minute, inconsequential interaction with as many people as possible. So he touched your wrist. Wah. You sounds like an entitled whiner.

  • Nikki

    “It’s a free country…”

    Aaaaand you’re done. No adult, or anyone who expects to be treated as one, makes such an asinine argument.

  • skellie

    if i was the security guard and I saw some girl leaving via a route that people aren’t supposed to go, and I asked her to stop and she didn’t…I would probably assume she did something bad. Maybe she broke into a car or stole some merchandise. The non compliance is very suspicious and then not showing an id and lying? I mean just effing stop when someone tells you too. It was for your own good and everyone else’s.

    • Rosie

      but how could you ever assume a small white girl would steal something??!!

      • skellie

        race and size have nothing to do with whether or not you are a criminal or an honest person. I am a small white girl and to be honest when I was younger I stole stuff and guess what I was tackled and handcuffed by a security guard not a cop and I deserved it.

        • Anonymous

          it was a joke.

        • C3PO

          skellie, is your sarcasm meter turned off today?

  • Anonymous

    why does a private security guard have the right to see someone’s id?

    • Anonymous

      Because she needs to prove that she works there… She said she worked at wsc.

      • Anonymous

        read the story, he was demanding the ID before she said she worked at WSC.

    • Andy(2)

      Because its a free country and he can do what he wants.

      captcha: FU54

      • TonyS


    • photodork

      See Scoot’s post at 11:36 AM:

      “The security guard has a right to demand the ID but the person whose ID is being requested has the right to refuse to show it.”

    • C

      Agree with the post above – he may have wanted to see proof that she worked there, not her identifying info.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s say the same women planted a bomb and that was her way out to avoid the video cameras in the building, and suppose people were hurt as a result. Wouldn’t we all be all over the security guards for allowing such a person leave that way? I suspect he knew she was lying about working there (probably familiar with the people who work there) if he didn’t challenge her and just call the police they wont be there in time to do anything. So whoever is supporting her actions think twice… The last thing you want is a person walking on the road as you drive around curves out of a narrow driveway.

  • KS

    It seems like the guard asked for her id after she lied about working at WSC. As was mentioned earlier, he may have been asking for a staff/employee id, not necessarily her driver’s license. It’s likely that, as a tenant of DC USA, WSC has a clause in its contract stipulating that its employees comply with security guards in the building. (And that they could be fined for employees’ failure to do so.) I’m guessing that’s why he wanted to see her id (so he could have her name when he went to WSC to report her noncompliance). That also explains why he went to WSC to look for her.

    Anyway, I agree with the general consensus. It seems to me that both parties were in the wrong here.

    • KS

      Duh. I re-read and realized he asked for her idea prior to her lie. Regardless, as has been noted, he had every right to ask for it.

  • C


    I am usually the first person to stick up for other women in these types of situations. It is scary and not OK to have a larger man grab you physically, regardless of the circumstances.

    However, I agree with the majority of the posters – the self-entitlement in this description amazes me. If a security guard yelled at me repeatedly not to do something, it wouldn’t occur to me to continue to do it. I’d say, sorry, maybe grumble, do what he said, and go on my way. Sometimes rules are annoying, but, uh, usually they are there for a reason.

    I’m sure DCUSA has its share of issues with shoplifting, trespassing, loitering in the parking ramps, etc. Running away from a security guard and lying to him = suspicious. He should be reprimanded for being so violent, definitely, but the situation shouldn’t have taken place at all.

    And I REALLY wish this poor girl hadn’t mentioned the part about not wanting walk 1 block in the rain. It made me way less sympathetic towards her from the get-go, unfortunately.

  • Anonymous

    we’re a weird city, aren’t we?

  • Erik

    Or we could stand up for civil liberties despite thinking this person is acting “self-entitled.” You know what security guards arent “entitled” to? Detaining citizens by force. Hell a cop would be hard pressed to have found reasonable suspicion for detainment.

    Let’s actually defend and support our rights, instead of saying this kind of activity is allowed because of what our snap judgements about the OP’s personality are.

    • JenDC

      Um, I think most people were making “snap judgments” about her actions as she described them.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Yes, and the guard’s actions don’t retroactively justify the OP’s disregard for the rules that are in place to keep everyone safe (even if their real reason is to keep DCUSA from getting sued!)

      This has nothing to do with OP’s civil liberties. Civil liberties to what? Trespass?

      I haven’t heard very much support in almost 200 comments (trolls aside) for the idea that she deserved to be assaulted due to her actions.

  • Anonymous

    I think this country needs a lot more bitch-slapping!

  • KK

    Asshats. These were likely the same guys I see standing in the atrium, trying not to be noticed as they crowd around a titty magazine while they’re on duty.

    I hate DC.

    • Stavros

      I’m with you, KK. I can’t think of another city in the whole wide world with inattentive security guards and guys who are into boobs.

  • Anonymous


  • anon. gardener

    Once upon a time, I worked as a security guard in DC. One particularly thankless assignment I had was to prevent people from walking through a building entrance while it was under construction. Every day I had to deal with thoughtless people like the OP, who were determined to take the shortcut through the construction zone and disregard the authority of me, the peon security guard. Being tall, thin and female, all I had in my toolbox was an intimidating stare.

    Rules are there to protect the community. You know why none of the bystanders called the “real” police? Because unlike you, they had a little bit of respect for the security guard, who was only doing his job. Sorry it was so unpleasant for you, but you escalated the situation by acting evasive and suspicious. My sympathies are with the guard, even if he overstepped the bounds.

  • Sarah

    This is incredibly disturbing to hear. I am so sorry that you had to go through this, and I’m glad that you went to the police. This is unacceptable, even if you weren’t allowed to go up that ramp.

  • Pennyworth

    Glad to see PoPville respond properly to this.

    I’ll just go ahead and waltz into a restricted area and ignore the security guard telling me to stop.


    btw captcha = BE 2K -__-

  • gardyloo

    I would have posted earlier but I have STWS.

    • Anonymous



  • guy

    i wasn’t there so i don’t really have much of an opinion on this.

    • yellowjacket

      simple, yet profound

  • Mitch

    Sorry, OP was breaking the rules, trespassing, lying to the people who were charged with enforcing the rules. I have no sympathy for her getting hurt while the security guards were trying to do their jobs. Its not like they clubbed, hit, shot or detained her in a cell for hours.

    Hey OP, how about enter where you are supposed to and stay out of areas that you are not allowed in, and let security guards do their job and police deal with more important things than women who think they are entitled to special treatment.

    If this take police off the streets stopping REAL crimes it would really upset me.

    Oh and OP, that raised area in the picture is called a median, used to separate vehicles traveling in opposite directions, not your personal sidewalk. Just because you can walk there, does not mean it is a sidewalk for you.

    • yellowjacket

      It’s like a giant frat party in here.

      • Anonymous

        the downside of gentrification.

  • mv

    I’m a little late to the game, but I can’t believe the comments here… I read the OP’s post and was absolutely appalled at the security guard’s behavior, and I was agreeing with everything she did. I will not show my ID to anyone unless it’s a police officer or guard on/near a military base. I would have been wary of a large man approaching me at night in that manner, even if he was wearing a security uniform, and I definitely would not have stopped for him. I’ve heard of enough assaults or worse that involve someone posing as a uniformed security guard.

    Didn’t anyone read to the end of the original post? She said she went back and there weren’t any signs indicating pedestrians are not allowed to walk. According to the picture, I would have assumed that was a sidewalk as well, especially since there aren’t any signs.

    Yes, OP sounds slightly high maintenance what with the driving a block because of the rain, but come on, haven’t you ever done that? At least she went to the gym which is more than most Americans do. I don’t care how spoiled she sounds, it is NEVER okay to try to physically force someone unless you are a police officer or military guard. Also, doesn’t the part where she was forced to the ground make it even more dangerous since they were in a parking garage? Sounds like this security guard wasn’t quite looking out for what is safe and needs a different job.

    • Anonymous

      it’s a one sided story. don’t make up your mind about it.
      but here’s the take-away: don’t walk up a car ramp.

      • mv

        No, I would say the take-away is for the security guard to not overreact. Everyone else has made their mind up.

        • Anonymous

          that only works if you are a security guard.
          for the rest of us, the lesson is clear.

          it doesn’t matter that everyone else has made up their mind.

  • mv

    I appreciate your level-headed responses.

    I would still say that she didn’t have to show ID, and the guard should never have touched her. Lesson learned, never walk up a parking ramp even if there is what looks like a sidewalk and no signs.

  • Hispanic and Proud

    She sounds like a typical DC snob. I don’t fall for her crap. Why should she get away with breaking the rules?

  • Austin DC

    Yeah, sounds like everyone was a loser, but that dude was way out of line for hurting you. I hope he gets his comeuppance. Like, maybe a dinosaur will bite down on his wrist.

    In the meantime, since walking up the ramp didn’t work well, maybe you could balance it out by driving up the escalators.


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