I had a rather rattling experience about an hour ago, and since the police were less then helpful, I thought I might turn to this forum.
This evening I left work on 18th and K for home. I live on 15th and R, but it was raining so I decided to take a cab. I got inside, and noticed his chair was reclined all the way back, and he was sipping for a large coffee mug. Suddenly he was driving only with his knees, and drinking with both hands. I asked him if he would please drive with his hands on the wheel. He grumbled, but complied. Less than a minute later he turns on the overhead light, again starts driving with his knees and starts checking his teeth in the rear view mirror – you can’t make this up. I once again ask him to put his hands on the wheel.
He doesn’t listen, and leaves the light on. I noticed his eyes were very bloodshot, and he had very dark circles. I couldn’t tell if he was drunk or just exhausted. At this point we are a block from my house, so I ask him to pull over on the corner. I go to pay and he grabs the money and tells me he only has $20, no change. I told him that I am going to need change, so I take my money back. He grabs the wheel and starts racing up 15th to the gas station. He starts yelling at me. Calling me a stupid bitch and an ugly whore. I was quite afraid, and asked him to pull into the gas station. I pick up my phone to call 911, and he starts screaming, saying this is going to get ugly and he’s going to fuck me up if I’m calling the cops.
As I went to read his cabbie license he slammed the visor shut and said I could not have it. I wanted to take a picture and see if it matched the man driving. I was terrified and hoped out at the station. I never had good service on U street, and can’t get a signal. I went into the gas station, and the attendant was extremely unhelpful. There was a young man in line who I think felt sorry for me – I was visibly shaking at this point. The man went over and talked to the cabbie. I was too shaken to listen. I’m not sure what ensued, but he came back with the man’s name and number, and said that the cabbie had “waved the extra fee to drive to the gas station” and then would “drive me home for free”. I was not getting back in the cab. I didn’t know what else to do so I paid him and got his license plate number as well.
That is long – but sadly it doesn’t end there. I was standing outside the door of the gas station, waiting for him to leave, but he sat there forever. I didn’t trust him not to follow me home. He finally left and i started to walk out. I get on the corner of 15th and U and see him idling by the light. So instead of walking home I walked to the police precinct on U street. I walked in the doors, and the first thing the middle aged woman behind the desk was – “what do you want”. I’m a young lady, standing there in jeans and a tshirt, clearly shaking, and this is how she treats me. Well, that was enough to make me burst into tears.
I try to explain the story, but honestly, I was a mess. A young, female cop walks up the front, stands in front of me with her arms crossed and asks me what happen. No offer to sit down, to help me calm down – she asks, me, at least 3 times, what I did to escalate or provoke him into yelling and threatening me. I was aghast. I said no, and repeated that I had his name, id and license number, and that I was afraid he was possibly driving drunk. The women who was at the front desk (she was not in uniform) tells me twice that he wouldn’t just yell and that I must have done something to cause his anger. For the first time in my life I was speechless. I explained who happened but they still said I provoked him.
When I finished, the officer and the woman both stood there, arms crossed, and simply stared at me. I started sobbing louder and they just kept staring. The officer said she could not to anything. I was just as uncomfortable as I was in the cab, and simply ran out of the building.
I’m still in shock about the whole thing. I’ve had very little interaction with police, but I know that is not how one should treat someone coming into the station looking for help. Would they blame a rape victim that walked in? I should call in the morning and ask for a supervisor I guess, but in my shock I didn’t really think to ask for the officers name. ! don’t really know what to do. It didn’t seem like anyone else was in the building at 9:15pm on a Saturday. But will it do any good? At this point I’m more furious at the way they treated me than at the way the cabbie treated me.”