Dear PoPville – kids firing airsoft/bb guns from 2300 Block of 11th St NW at cyclists riding north and south on 11th NW

by Prince Of Petworth July 27, 2011 at 10:30 am 152 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user katiecampbell

“Dear PoPville,

Tonight [Tuesday] at about midnight my gf and I were riding south on 11th btw Clifton and Florida. I heard the sound of pellet guns being fired from the 2300 block of 11th St NW and got shot in the left leg by a pellet. It didn’t hurt much and left a small welt but obviously could have resulted in a crash, eye injury, etc. My gf was unscathed fortunately. At the same time we were going south, another cyclist was going north. I heard pellets get fired at him too. We were going down the hill fast and I didn’t want to confront kids with guns so we kept on riding back to our house a few blocks south. I don’t know if this has been a problem for multiple people, or if this is a unique event, but it was whack.

I did not call the police. Didn’t feel that calling 911 was appropriate. I guess w kids, and as someone who has shot my fair share of pellet guns at various things, a non-confrontational response is best.

I’m not sure what the best response so I thought I’d reach out to the PoP community…”

Personally, I believe the appropriate response is to call 911 immediately (once you feel safe.) As you noted, especially on this steep hill, a cyclist could get seriously hurt. I’d have to mark this up to more than just kids being kids.

Anyone else experience/notice this?

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  • Matt

    Please. You had to ask POP what to do? Call the damn police.

    • er


    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      Depends on if you’re freshly showered…

      • bell bottoms

        +1 LMAO

    • KT

      Original poster: As a cyclist, I am SOOOOOOOOOO angry that you did not call the police.

      If I weren’t a cyclist, I’d still be pretty angry.

  • 13NW

    Are you kidding? Why would you NOT call the cops immediately. Shooting people with a pellet gun is called assault.

    • me

      Because OP is apparently a complete moron. Who in their right mind would think that calling 911 wasn’t appropriate?!

      • C3PO

        LW, here is my suggested course of action:

        1. Grow a pair.
        2. Use them.
        3. Call 911.

        Really, you needed advice here? Even after acknowledging that serious injuries COULD have resulted, you’re still unsure if you should have called the cops on these wretched brats?

        Thanks for being part of the problem.

        • GDopplerXT

          Or just do #3, which does not require prior completion of #1 and #2.

          • C3PO

            # 3 really is the material point.

  • Anonymous

    Crikey, call the fracking police, fool.

  • nofiction

    You absolutely must call the cops on the little eff’ers…even though it was last night, do in now!

    Next thing you know they’ll move from bikes to take out windows or some other vandalism.

    Some one has got to take the kiddies’ gun away.

  • TR

    The police should have absolutely been called. Shooting ANYTHING at people on the street is never ok and could have resulted in a lot worse. Tolerating this behavior and not reporting it makes it more dangerous for everyone else. Disappointed in the lack of the OP’s response.

  • Anonymous

    Calling the police would have been the right thing to do, I guess, but I wouldn’t want to deal with them.

    • Hilary

      calling the police does not result in having to deal with them. the operator takes your report and then sends someone over to investigate, you can even decline to leave your name and contact number.

      • Neighbor


  • Hilary

    I have lived around the corner from this hill for years. There is always something, pellet guns, adorable 3 year olds telling you that you have a flat and then a big person trynig to take your bike, rocks being thrown.

    The only way to stop inappropriate behavior isto consistantly create consequences and a presense of community policing where the police get to know the community.

    With that sad… dude I can’t believe that you didn’t call the police!

    • RegO

      I agree, and especially since this section of 11th has had many issue with this kind of stuff in the past.

  • GDopplerXT

    That was not a “non-confrontational response”, that was a “non-response”. Sending an email to PoP doesn’t count.

    Call the cops next time.

  • Anony

    Personally, I would have called the police, grabbed a baseball bat* and rode my bike back there.

    Jes, get some guts dude. Life is like grade school. People always pick on the easiest target. Stop being such an easy target.

    *Not to crack skulls, but defend myself if necessary.

  • Tom

    Why are people so afraid to call the police? Responding to these sorts of situations is what their job is. What if the pellet had hit your eye and not your leg?

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people have been treated badly by the police in the past. I imagine they’re hesitant to call about these things now that they’ve been burned.

      • Tres


        • Anonymous

          Guess you’ve been lucky!

        • Anonymous

          a 911 call i made a few years ago has become a big problem for me. i’m much more likely to let things slide now.

          the defense attorney got a hold of my number. the defendants now know who i am.
          it’s a huge mess that i do not ever want to even risk being a part of again.

          so no, not bullshit, tres.

      • Meg

        At least he could have called non emergency and done SOMETHING.

        • Albert

          Oh Meg…must we go there again… #Call911

          • Hilary

            There is no more non-emergency number to call when you call 311 they connect you directly to 911… always call 911

          • Meg

            I honestly didn’t know that. Thanks for correcting my mistake so politely.

      • Anonymous

        What, were the cops mean to you when you got busted for underage drinking in college? This isn’t college. This is real-life BS that needs to stop. Some day those kids shooting BB guns at people on bikes are going to be the kids with real guns robbing and shooting waiters riding their bikes on the way home from work.

        Call the effing police. This “oh, it’s not a big deal, it’s just kids, I don’t need to call the cops” is exactly the type of apathetic attitude I mentioned in a comment the other day that drives me crazy. Things are never, ever going to change in this city until EVERYONE starts taking crime seriously, including the small stuff.

        • dreas

          This was me, for the record. New computer, lost cookies.

        • Anonymous

          Nope. Was told I “deserve to be gang raped” after being physically assaulted by a man. Personally, I want nothing to do with people who tihnk rape is acceptable in any scenario.

          • dreas

            I’m sorry that happened to you. But that doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility of calling the police when a crime occurs. By not calling (and, I assume, not resorting to vigilante justice), you are letting criminals escape responsibility for their actions. The man who assaulted you should have been held responsible for what he did. As should kids shooting BB guns at bicyclists. No one will ever be held responsible for their crimes if no one calls the people whose job it is to get them into the criminal justice system.

      • Anonymouse

        I can understand your attitude if you’ve had a bad experience with the police. But they’re still the people, the ONLY people, whose job it is to handle these sorts of problems. Suppose you had a bad experience with firemen — would you then refuse to call them when your building caught fire?

        • Anonymous


          And I would still call the police if it were a scenario where people’s lives were at stake. Just not for little things.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            Yes, but it’s these little things that escalate into big things. And for the record, I don’t consider this a ‘little thing’.

          • Anonymous

            Ok. I’m just trying to see this from the OP’s point of view. The mere thought of calling the police makes my heart race so I’m not sure I would have had the nerve to do it.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            I can understand that… and I’m sorry you were treated so badly.

            I think you may be projecting a little, though. I’m not trying to pick on you, but the OP didn’t say anything about being uncomfortable calling the police or about having had a bad experience in the past with them. It was more like he didn’t want to bother. It somehow didn’t seem “appropriate”. This is what makes me so angry with him.

    • Bloomingdalian

      In the defense of not calling:

      911 dispatchers have been VERY nasty to me in the past when I call about people trying to break into houses, kids taunting people and fishing for trouble, etc. It’s like they try to diminish/rationalize on the phone

      However, it does not stop me – I would still call.

      • Anonymous

        A lot of them DC 911 dispatchers are ludicrously unprofessional, and need to be fired on the spot. Maybe half of them are actually competent. My solution is that when I get one of the bad ones, I hang up and call back, and repeat the process until I get one of the competent ones.

  • Anonymous

    About 5 years ago, kids were throwing rocks at cyclists from the same apartment complex…cant remember what happened with that…

    • Bongo

      No one called the police then,so the little rock throwers grew up to be scumbag adult shooters.
      go figure……

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I remember that. Dude got a pretty nasty broken leg, if I recall. If OP wants to rationalize and delude himself that this is “no harm/no foul” or “kids will be kids” or “the small stuff,” he can either call that guy, who’s probably still walking with a limp, or I can put him in touch with my mom, who will tell him how it’s all fun and games with BB guns until someone loses an eye.

      Look, the solution is to get yourself to a safe place, identify the window from which the shot came (or the general proximity of the shot), call police immediately, and then point out where it came from once they come and demand that they at least enter the building and knock on some doors.

      But nothing happened then, and nothing will happen now. You know why? Because some victim was too lazy and/or laden with liberal guilt to be a responsible citizen. I’m sorry OP got shot, but not calling the cops and writing into POP merits all the bile towards OP on this string. This is one time when blame the victim is an appropriate response. Dolt.

    • dewder

      There was a city paper article about that, but I think it was more than 5 years ago.

      • dewder

        There is a link to the article further down in the thread, obviously my memory sucks.

  • Anonymous
    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      Any doubt that firing a BB gun at people is dangerous? No.

      Any doubt that it could kill you? Yes. Chances are extremely slim. The article quotes a law enforcement guy who says he’s never heard of this in his 30 years on the job.

      Perhaps if you over-pump the rifle and fire it an inch from somebody’s temple, you have a chance. But not from across the street.

      • PG

        Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: That’s not a real gun, is it Clark?

        Clark: Are you kidding? This is a Magnum P.I.

        Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: It’s a BB gun!

        Clark: Don’t tempt me. I could put an eye out with this thing.

        Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: You couldn’t even break the skin with that thing.

        • me

          Clark: Yes, it could, it could break the skin and cause a really bad infection!

      • Just Left CH for Good

        Go to the Gander Mountain website and check out the pellet/bb guns. The new ones are serious stuff. I just bought one that is a .177 caliber and it can kill small animals like rabbits and tree rats easily. A shot to a human might not kill but it would F you up bad

      • Anonymous

        Being hit with a BB almost certainly won’t kill you. But losing control of your bike on a steep hill after you’re hit with a BB might.

  • LisaT

    Absolutely call the cops. Today even.

    If they don’t have stats, they can’t plan appropriately.

  • CE

    Seriously, OP, someone SHOT AT YOU and you didn’t think calling the police was “appropriate”??

    • Anonymous

      It wasn’t a real gun.

      • Another guy named Chris

        Unless by airsoft he means a “nerf gun” this is legitimate. When I used to visit family out in the country we used bb guns to shoot and kill squirrels and rabbits.

      • er

        Neither are rocks. It’s still assault, and it’s still effing dangerous.

        The OP at the very least did a huge disservice to his fellow citizens/street users by not calling the police. Someone else is going to get hurt, especially if it’s not brought to the attention of authorities. Writing to POP is not a substitute for calling 911.

  • D

    Call the cops. Beginning, middle, end of story.

    “Didn’t feel calling 911 was appropriate” is perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Someone is shooting is you! Do everyone a favor and don’t write in to complain the next time this happens and you get seriously hurt. Your lack of action the first time it happened is a direct cause for any consequences should it happen again.

    • C


  • RCCR

    This has been a problem for years (2006 article):


    • DF

      Wow, I bike down that area all the time, usually quite fast and don’t have time to look around me. I’ll have to be much more careful now. I hate these damn kids in CH. As much as I love living in this neighborhood, I’m really wanting to get out. How’s Capital Hill these days?

      • Bloomingdalian

        Try Bloomingdale! If you’re cool that is ;)

        We thankfully don’t have that many crazy kids anymore..they either moved, died or went to college?

    • textdoc

      Thanks for sharing this link, RCCR. Very discouraging. :(

  • Andy(2)

    When would you call the police?

    • Tres

      For the sake of your fellow citizens, call the damn cops. This is citizenry 101 — not even, it’s elementary school looking out for your neighbors. How old was the OP — 6?

      If it were me, I would have rounded the corner a little, so that I could still observe what was going on. I would have called 911, and if I wasn’t in an insane rush to get to work, I would have stayed to help identify the scamps when the police arrived. You have a special ability to hold these psychopaths accountable that the police don’t have alone.

      • TaylorStreetMan

        +1. People always complain that the cops don’t do enough or that they’re “worthless”. Well, if they do fall short, it’s because of timid fools like the OP who don’t even TELL them what’s happening on the streets.

        I mean, how do you expect things to ever change?

  • stinkbot13

    Def. call the police next time. If you are questioning whether or not it’s appropriate (in this case, it def. was), I think 911 prioritizes calls based on the crime. Murder would obv. get priority over a stolen bike. And in this case, assault would be prioritized over other “lesser” crimes.

  • victoria

    Can we just vote the OP off the island?

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Yes, please.

  • anon. gardener

    Personally, I think it’s ALWAYS appropriate to call the cops. If you ever find yourself thinking, “Should I call the cops?” just the fact that it occurred to you is reason enough. What’s the worst that will happen? They will think you’re an overreacting nutjob, but they’re never going to say that to your face. The police are there to answer our questions. If we never called them, they would have nothing to do. Call and let them decide if it’s a big deal or not. It’s just a phone call!

    Any kid on the street after 10 pm is looking for trouble. Someone shoots a spitball at me at midnight, I’m calling the cops.

  • Guy

    It’s just kids being kids… what’s the big deal?

    • Tres

      Mmmm, trolly.

    • BeerDude

      True, “just kids being kids,” and I certainly wasn’t the most innocent kid. But when I did stuff like pelting the neighbors chickens with water balloons or taking my cousin’s dirtbike for a joyride, my parents made very, very sure that I would not do it again. Something tells me that wouldn’t happen here, and that’s the problem.

  • anon

    Are bb guns legal in DC? Damn NRA!!!

  • Angry Parakeet

    Whenever riding my bike up that hill (slow, easy target) I turn my head away from the complex so whatever missile may be aimed at me from it (and there have been a variety) will hit my helmet rather than face area.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, OP is an idiot. Srsly.

  • Chris Marchand

    I know it’s not the right solution, but you know it’s just a matter of time before these little punks pick on the wrong person and they decide to strike back with something more than a BB gun. Just a matter of time.

    • Andy(2)

      “You don’t bring a BB gun to bike ride!”

      • wmd


    • Anonymous

      I sure hope you’re right.

  • Native American JD in DC

    Shoot back with bigger guns.

    • Malone

      They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.

  • Mr. Poon

    Whack? Really?

    I continue to doubt the veracity of Dear PoP letters. This guy has a girlfriend and uses the word “whack?” I think not, PoP.

    But seriously now, has anyone ever attempted to fire a pellet gun at a moving target dozens of yards away? Without optics? It’s really, really difficult. And they hit a guy going down hill on a bike? They must have been pellet marksmen trained by the pellet marine corps.

    Also, a kid was shooting at his girlfriend with pellets, and he just put his head down and rode down the hill, convincing himself that a “non-confrontational response” was best? What man with any scintilla of virility would do such a thing?

    I think I’m calling bullshit. It’s not unbelievable that this would happen right there; it’s highly believable, actually. But something doesn’t smell right.

    Also, who in the fuck doesn’t call the cops after they get shot with a pellet?

    • Nikki

      I often think this site turned into a satire/performance art experiment, and nobody told the commenters. No way someone is this much a sissy. I hope his “girlfriend” dumped him.

      • dreas

        I think that’s the only rational explanation for this place sometimes. I can’t bear to think that there are just so many people out there without even the smallest dose of common sense.

    • photodork

      I see you got your avatar…

      • Chris Marchand

        How does one get an avatar on here? I’ve tried, but it always says “upload failed.”

    • Anonymous

      the haters need to chill out on the cyclists. whether or not they call the cops (which i imagine they did/will after reading this article), i appreciate the fact that they shared this story w/PoP. it is good and important to have as much awareness out there of incidents like this as possible. not just to the cops but also to the public as well. i do not wish the writer bodily harm, i do not imagine his girlfriend will dump him. i imagine this post was an attempt to let other people know that this is out there and to be aware of it.

      as a cyclist myself, i will keep my eyes open (or perhaps partially obscured) around that area.

      thanks poster, cheers

      • Mr. Poon

        I’m not trying to call out the “cyclist.” I’m trying to let everyone know that this letter is at least partially fake, and 100 commenters are taking it way too seriously. To shoot someone with a pellet — which is as light as a fingernail and extremely inaccurate — in the dark, at a moving target riding perpendicular to your line of sight, at this range, you’d have to lead them by about 30 feet. There’s just no way a kid with a pellet gun did this.

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that everyone ought to take these sorts of letters with more of a grain of salt.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          Ed. Note: This letter is not fake. A police report has now been filled.

          I’m not gonna go into detail about how I verify these things but there is a process that I follow.

          • Mr. Poon

            Then that kid’s punishment ought to be to be forced into SEAL school.

        • dewder

          Dumb Luck is real.

    • OP’s gf

      i must confess it’s interesting and slightly entertaining to be talked about in the hypothetical sense – the “gf”. i am happy to inform everyone that the cops were called. it is our mistake for making it sound like the intention of this post was to ask the readers of PoP their opinions about whether or not that was the right thing to do.

      the intention of this post was to inform people – cyclists, pedestrians – that this is out there, last night! now! beware! regardless of the fact that cops were called we thought that it is important to let the public know that they should be very careful on 11th between florida and clifton. we imagined that this would be a very active audience and in that regard the readers of PoP have not disappointed.

      cheers folks

      • ess

        well, it’s nice that you called the cops eventually. BUT

        a) don’t get annoyed at commenters saying you should have called them. Your partner specifically said “I did not call the police. Didn’t feel that calling 911 was appropriate.” There’s no way someone should know you later decided to call.

        b) calling them later is not as good as going to a safe location and calling them right away. Someone else could have been shot while you “reached out to the PoP community” because you were “not sure what the best response.”

        • textdoc


      • anon

        You should dump this guy who kept peddlin’ on after you’d gotten shot, without thinking he should even call police.

        • Anonymous

          Read the initial post just one more time, then reply!

  • TaylorStreetMan

    This pisses me off so much that I have to echo what has already been said 100 times here: call the damn cops!!

    What would it take for you to understand the importance of this? Do they have to shoot your eye out (kid)* – or shoot your girlfriend in the ear? What the hell!

    Be a MAN and stand up for what’s right. If not for yourself, or even your gf, then for the next person who will most definitely get shot because you did nothing. (This, by the way, is why you got shot: because people before you did nothing.)

    This makes me so mad I want to puke. On you.

    *As mad as I am, I couldn’t pass up the obvious Christmas Story reference!

  • here we go again

    were the kids on the balconies at garfield terrace? what a crap hole that place is. As long as it exists in its current state, that stretch will always be a problem. I will wait for the next 20 postings tell me I need to go mentor these thugs in training….

    • Eckingtonite

      It’s obvious that you have not set up a crepe station there and offered free crepes in the spirit of solidarity. It is your fault that they are throwing bullets instead of kisses. I hope you’re happy. You have failed the ENTIRE WORLD

  • TJ

    Years ago, I ran on the Cardozo track. Then one day I was pelted with rocks from kids on 11th Street. I ran a few more laps to see where they were, then raced up the hill to confront them. The kids were gone. Standing in front of the public housing where they fled were several men with “I dare you to come over here” looks on their faces. I walked back toward the track and called the police. They appeared 30 minutes later and made a perfunctory report, never getting out of the car. Because I didn’t live in the immediate neighborhood and had another track available, I never ran on the track again. But I’m glad that I called the police. If everyone calls the police every time something like this happens, then you have a decent chance of correcting the problem. For this reason, I strongly agree with the sentiment expressed here that the OP owes it to all of us to report the incident.

    • Anonymous

      I hate to say it, but I think the only real solution here is going to be to get rid of all public housing in DC. It’s just the source of so many problems in so many neighborhoods.

  • andy

    From the City Paper in 2006:

    On Feb. 8, Andrew Korfhage

    was riding home to Adams Morgan from an evening sign-language class at Gallaudet University when a flying brick struck him above the ankle, breaking his leg. He rode through the pain to a few blocks up the street, where he told two cops about the errant projectile. The officers drove him back to Garfield Terrace; he pointed to a set of four balconies, one of which he thought the brick had been tossed from.

    “‘We just can’t start knocking on doors and asking people what happened just because you say you got hit with a brick,’” Korfhage says one of the cops told him as blood ran down his leg, saturating his sock. “It descended into an argument where they said I was trying to tell them how to do their job, which, in truth, I was.”

    The cops won the debate; no questions were asked, says Korfhage.

  • SF

    I’m sure the GF was super impressed by your reasoning that you were going downhill pretty fast, making it harder to stop and confront the kids.

  • Anonymous

    Down the hill does not bother me. It’s UP the hill that I worry about. I’m usually pretty slow an vulnerable at that point. BTW-I’m sending this posting to our MPD listserv. No point in waiting for the OP to do anything about it.

    • Anonymous

      “No point in waiting for the OP to do anything about it.”

      Clearly. I suspect they’ve shrunk away in shame by now. I sort of hope so, tbh

  • Andrew

    While I agree that there should be consequences for actions, I disagree that calling the cops is the best thing to do. I personally would rather figure out a different source of justice, because I don’t want to provide an entryway for a young person into our flawed criminal justice system. A stupid decision when someone is young that results in a criminal record could haunt them forever, preventing employment opportunities and making it harder to secure student loans.

    Oh yeah, and the cops might roll up and shoot some kid 8 times, like what happend in Chicago a few days ago. http://bit.ly/op2GL8

    • andy

      I’m thinking it’s time to put out the Bat-Signal. Nice handle by the way.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      I understand what you’re saying, but what is your suggestion for a “different source of justice”? (Sincere question.)

      It’s easy enough to say something’s broken, but if you’re talking about abandoning the system we have to deal with this kind of thing, I’d like to hear your alternate solution.

      • Tres

        I read that as pure cop out — no pun intended. What are we talking — street justice? Sharia law? Karma?

        • TaylorStreetMan

          Me too, but I thought I’d give him a chance to explain his reasoning.

          Trying to reverse my typical method of “insult first; ask questions later”. :-)

    • Tres

      Riddle me this — if the kid continues to act out like this because there are no consequences, what will his life look like? Your argument is predicated on the idea that each crime in the city is perpetrated by a one time offender. Do you really think that most kids shoot at people, then go back to making straight A’s and helping old ladies across the street? Do you think that whatever horrible upbring leads kids down the path of socio-pathology is righted by giving them even less boundaries?

      There’s a deep seated naiveté in your thinking.

      • Anonymous

        The kid should be punished, but not get a record. The record part, he probably doesn’t even care about that now. But it will come back to harm him later, making it more likely that he will become an angry, hopeless adult who feels a life of crime is his only calling.

        • Tres

          He should be punished by whom?

          I mean, I’d like to see this debt ceiling debate over today after I scratch off the winning numbers and receive a palette full of Lagunitas beer in err which I can keep for free. But it’s unrealistic to expect that scenario — in the same way that it’s unrealistic to expect “The Masked Avenger” to swoop in an force them to perform community service. Who besides the cops is going to help the wronged party? Doesn’t the person who got shot at deserve a *realistic* way of protecting themselves?

          A record is not the cause of criminal behavior — you should at least incorporate that into your thinking. Think about it this way — would a person wrongly convicted of a minor crime suddenly become a criminal because of their record?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, if they were already of a pessimistic mindset. These kids have already lived in poverty long enough to know they have little chance of escaping it– to give them enough strike against them is enough to push them over th edge. It happens all the time.

        • TaylorStreetMan

          Not sure how he’d get punished but without a record. If you mean a juvenile record being kept sealed, then that’s already the case, no? If so, that would this discussion of a “difference source of justice” a moot point.

          I need more info about your recommended solution.

          • Anonymous

            I mean it’s unfortunate that you can’t just lock the kid up to give him a scare but not ruin his life because of it.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            Thank you for clarifying. I still don’t agree (entirely) but now I understand you.

  • Jimmy Crack Corn

    Sign that kid up for sniper school!

  • OP

    Didn’t realize there was such a surplus of vitriol… 

    I reported a non-emergency this morning and a police officer came over to my house and we talked. A detective in charge of that area has been alerted to the incident.

    Here’s what I learned that can help other people (with the original goal of writing to PoP being to alert people of a risk, not self-flagellate by exposing myself to all the haters out there): people can call 911 and report crimes anonymously and not file a report with police. I did not call the police last night because I incorrectly believed that an officer would come to my house and the whole reporting process would take hours. The appropriate response, the officer informed me this morning, was to call 911, report anonymously that people were shooting pellets from the apt building, and go on my way. A police officer would have gone to apt building and checked it out.  So now people know, and they can do the right thing in the future. @ mr poon, this did happen, and the kids were shooting airsoft guns. airsoft makes automatic electric and gas powered pellet guns shaped like assault rifles that shoot plastic or metal pellets at the rate of about 4 pellets per second at the speed of 500-1000 ft per second based on the make and model. It wasnt a buffalo bill pump action bb gun shooting copperhead bbs that we all grew up shooting cans with…@ everyone else, it’s nbd, lmao, fyad, etc. 

    • TaylorStreetMan

      I stick by everything I said.
      What you said was calling the police seemed “inappropriate” because they were just kids. There’s no excuse for this attitude. The fact that you got your ass handed to you by what seems like EVERYBODY doesn’t change the facts.

      • OP’s gf

        i must confess it’s interesting and slightly entertaining to be talked about in the hypothetical sense – the “gf”. i am happy to inform everyone that the cops were called. it is our mistake for making it sound like the intention of this post was to ask the readers of PoP their opinions about whether or not that was the right thing to do.

        the intention of this post was to inform people – cyclists, pedestrians – that this is out there, last night! now! beware! regardless of the fact that cops were called we thought that it is important to let the public know that they should be very careful on 11th between florida and clifton. we imagined that this would be a very active audience and in that regard the readers of PoP have not disappointed.

        cheers folks

  • TaylorStreetMan

    Still waiting for Andrew’s and Anonymous’ (@ 12:43) explanation of their alternate methods for handling this situation that doesn’t involve calling the police or having the kids end up with a record…

    • Anonymous

      Sorry I kept you waiting. I had work to do.

      • TaylorStreetMan

        Welcome back. And your solution is….?

        • Anonymous

          I replied above.

  • BeerDude

    OP, I think most of the commenters take issue with the fact that although you reported a risk (which is good), you did nothing to try and eradicate that risk, which I imagine the majority of us who read this blog would consider a duty as a member of the community. Not saying you had to go crack skulls yourself, but a call to the police would have worked. What if someone came up/down that hill later and was hurt?

    (I agree that there is no need for the heated vitrol on here. But it’s PoP, it comes with the territory)

    • BeerDude

      And to clarify, I mean report it here at PoP, and by eradicate, I mean at the time the risk was observed.

  • Austin DC

    Agree with BeerDude, and not just because I’m drinking. I appreciate the heads up from the OP, but it doesn’t really help. I’m not planning on avoiding 11th or making evasive maneuvers to avoid getting shot. To just say, “people are getting shot at, everyone try not to get shot,” is not going to address the problem; however, calling the police is a great way to address the problem.

    Also, to those folks who are hesitant to call 911, don’t be. It’s an easy experience, you don’t have to give your info, and it takes almost no time at all. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s wasting the cops’ time either. They will figure out what’s priority and what’s not. Your tax dollars pay for 911, so you might as well take advantage of the thing. The officers and operators I have dealt with have all been very pleasant, professional, and helpful.

  • OP

    I dont really care about the commenters.

    I’ve gotten in my share of fistfights and know when to confront people. Teenagers shooting high-powered pellet guns from an unlit balcony are not the right people to fuck with. I’d rather take a pellet to the leg and move on than go 6 or 10 on 1 with a bunch of kids with nothing to lose. It’s not worth the risk, at all, no matter how tough you are. You stop your bike and start walking up the hill, and the bricks start flying, or the guns come out. Fuck that. You grab a bat? You get shot with a real gun, very simple.

    Nothing to eradicate the risk? Thousands of people have viewed this post and have been made aware of the possibly of getting shot by pellets on that block. MPD has been alerted by other commenters, and I clearly stated above that I spoke with a police officer this morning, and that a detective will be monitoring that block closely. For people that encounter similar situations, the lesson here is just to call the cops immediately and report the incident, anonymously or not.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      You missed my point entirely. I never said you should turn all vigilante on them or grab a bat. I just said that you should call the cops in that situation. Go around the corner to a safe spot and dig out your phone.

      Plain and simple.

  • Slim

    I think I had the same thing happen to me last night. I really couldn’t tell if it was an airsoft pellet or a rock a car kicked up (it hit my bag and didn’t leave a mark), but there was a cop car literally 5 feet in front of me. I figured no one was stupid enough to do that with a cop near by and rode home. If it will help you can give my e-mail address to the OP to pass along to the cops.

  • I’m glad the OP and his girlfriend are fine; what if instead of hitting his leg, the pellet had hit his eye? would that make it serious enough to call the police immediately? I think this could become a serious situation for another biker, someone could get hurt.

    • Anonymous

      I’d call an ambulence, not the police.

      • C3PO

        Or you could call both. At the same time, in fact – they’re both 911. You’d get a shot in the eye needing an emergency trip to the hospital, and imply that you wouldn’t consider that a matter worthy of police?

  • anon

    dang people. chill out on the OP.

    sure he made a mistake by not calling the police last night, corrected the mistake this morning, and now all is right with the world.

    people aren’t always going to handle things the way you would have, and it takes a level of maturity (and class) to *not* jump down someone’s throat when they do something you consider dumb.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      It’s more than just something I think is ‘dumb’. The OPs inaction has a hand in making that already dangerous situation worse. If kids like this are left unchecked (whatever that mean to the spectrum of people here), their behavior is only going to get worse. More violent and more dangerous. And we ALL suffer that.

      So, this is anger about not doing one’s civic duty. It has nothing to do with being ‘dumb’.

      I’m glad the police were finally called, but just keep in mind all these comments came *before* we knew that.

      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      + a million

      I think it’s totally reasonable to be caught off guard and not think to call the police in the moment, and later inform the police/blog readers of the situation after evaluating it.

      Don’t judge unless it’s happened to you!

      • TaylorStreetMan

        This isn’t a case of being rattled and not thinking of it. He said calling the police “didn’t seem appropriate”!

        That means he thought about it, considered calling, then decided, naw, it’s no big deal, I don’t want to be bothered.

        Don’t you get the difference?

  • ToCareNotTo

    Dear MPD:
    The thugs that make up the Garfield Terrace Apts have been throwing rocks or shooting at cyclists for years.

    Please have video camera’s permanently recording every outside area and balcony in the area.

    When this next occurs (as you damn well know it will): arrest the criminals, put them in juvie where they belong, and evict their families.

    Consequences. Coddling criminals is a waste of time. Consequences.

    It starts out with eggs, moves onto rocks, then becomes bb’s. Then they join the Terrace crew.

    I got “rocked” back in 1998 at 14th & V. Ran after the little peckers as they raced down the alley to their house. Their “father” said I should leave them kids alone. When I told them what they did, he chuckled.

    There is no hope for those who are already lost. Save those you can, and allow the rest to be what they already are: useless crinimals

  • Anonymous

    Many people called the police a few years back when these same kids (or their older siblings) were throwing rocks at cyclists. Nothing happened. Nothing changed. Why would calling the cops now make any difference? The police department has to change before calling them helps.

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      the courts have to change, not the police.

  • 11th

    surprised to hear this. i knew about stuff in the past (WCP article from 2006), but i bike up and down 11th (granted it’s at 7 am and 8 pm) every day and have never had problems.

  • Just a pellet or BB gun? I would have called 911, then chased after them in a rage and give them the thrashing of a lifetime….

  • Anonymous

    Chill out people! Especially you, Taylor Street Man. I don’t know how you can handle everyday life if you get so worked up about something like this.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Let’s shoot at you, then. How worked up will you get then?

  • P. Viewwy

    I like my girlfriends scathed.

  • natalie

    I didn’t read through all these comments, but DID SOMEONE CALL THE COPS ANYWAY? It’d be nice to know since many of us are on this hill multiple times a day.

  • Marvin

    The appropriate response would be to stop and tutor the children with the guns.

  • e

    TaylorStreetMan I volunteer you to start a vigilante group that patrols the block were garfield terrace is located… you sure have the enthusiasm…

    By the way, does the police even care? This has been going on for years. Last sumemr I saw some boys (not older than 10) throwing rocks at passing cars on Sherman from garfield terrace …

  • Anonymous

    I was shot with a BB gun while walking on 11th Street, on the same day as the Caribbean Festival.

    I was walking north on 11th, west side of the street, and had just passed Columbia Road when I felt a sudden stabbing pain in my forehead. A man and his son walking just behind me told me I was bleeding, and that they thought I was shot with a BB gun. At that point adrenaline and rage kicked in and I ran up the street yelling for whoever it was to show themselves, and then asked folks out on the block if they’d seen who did it. Nothing. My best guess is that someone fired from their window or rooftop, or it was a driveby.

    I called the police and they were literally there within 30 seconds. It sucked that I couldn’t give them any leads to go on, but at least it’s in their system and maybe they can use my attack to detect a pattern that will lead to arrests. They were very friendly and sympathetic and assured me I had done the right thing by calling.

    In a funny postscript … the cab driver who took me home from the hospital after the BB was removed told me that his car was shot at by a BB gun near the Petworth Metro several days prior. Since then I’ve also heard that patrons at Meridian Pint have been shot at with a BB gun as well.

    This won’t stop until whoever is doing it faces consequences.


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