Homicide and Aggravated Assault inside the Woodley Park Metro Saturday

by Prince Of Petworth — November 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm 90 Comments

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From MPD:

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch have announced an arrest has been made in the fatal stabbing which occurred in the 2700 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW.

On Saturday, November 17, 2012, at approximately 1:17 am, units from the Second District and Metro Transit Police responded for a report of an aggravated assault inside the Woodley Park Metro Station located in the 2700 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW. Upon arrival, they located two adult male victims, one of which was suffering from an apparent stab wound. Units from both agencies were able to quickly detain nine suspects. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived and transported both victims to a local hospital where the first victim succumbed to his injury and was pronounced dead. The second victim was admitted in stable condition.

The investigation revealed that the decedent was a victim of a robbery in the area of the 1800 block of Columbia Road, NW. After the robbery he, along with other individuals, proceeded to the Woodley Park Metro Station. Once inside, they encountered the suspects involved in the robbery. An altercation ensued and the suspects assaulted the decedent for a second time and robbed and assaulted the second victim. During this assault, the decedent was fatally stabbed.

The decedent is identified as 18 year-old Olijawon Griffin of Olney, Maryland.

On Saturday, November 17, 2012, nine arrests were made. Seven juvenile males were initially charged with aggravated assault, one juvenile male was charged with aggravated assault and robbery, and a 17 year-old male was charged with Murder Two while Armed in connection with the fatal stabbing of Olijawon Griffin.

In regards to the second victim who was transported to an area hospital and was admitted in stable condition, the 17 year-old male that was charged with Murder Two While Armed, has also been charged with Aggravated Assault and Robbery Force and Violence. The other eight juvenile males involved have also been charged with Aggravated Assault and Robbery Force and Violence.

  • Eric

    Can they try these oxygen wasters as adults?

    • Arik

      Two robberies and a murder in the span of an hour. If only they could try them as adults with a life sentence or death penalty punishment.

    • Anonymous

      No, they won’t be tried as adults.

      The DC council is too liberal to pass laws that would allow that to happen.

      They will be “rehabilitated” over the next 4 to 6 weeks before DCYRS turns them loose on society again.

      • Rich

        Does less good to charge juveniles as adults in terms of what they do in the future. It just makes vindictive rightwingers feel good.

        • Anonymous

          i’m guessing you’ve never been the victim of a violent crime

          • Yun

            One stupid assumption is as good as another, huh?

          • anonymous

            Ha. There is a grain of truth in that old phrase, “A liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been robbed yet.”

          • A Numenous

            No, there isn’t.

          • Anon X

            Are victims of violent crime more able to make policy or more knowledgeable about what should be done? If anything, its the opposite.

        • Dude if this was a family member or loved one I bet you being singing a different tune. If your man enough to take a life you are man enough to face the consequences.

          • ilbourne-MtPleznt

            The 17 year old who fatally stabbed the victim should be tried (and sentenced) as adult; end of story. Fighting is stupid, irresponsible, immature, etc. Continuing that logic, stabbing a person is terrible but stabbing someone to death is basically indefensible, especially considering it was 9 on 2.
            Regarding the parental responsibility, additional charges, etc. The other suspects should receive charges directly connecting them with the murder. After all, all of them were complicit in the robbery to begin with and the second altercation. Don’t give thieves and murderer(s) a break. And leave the parents out of it; sentence the perpetrators. Going after their parents, no matter how they raised their kids, just creates more victims after the fact.

        • Anonymous

          “Does less good to charge juveniles as adults in terms of what they do in the future.”

          Not if they are locked up and can’t get out again. Murderers shouldn’t get a second chance.

  • Anonymous

    How horrible.

  • Anonymous

    why aren’t they all being charged with felony murder?

    • anon

      The charges could be amended later. In most other jurisdictions, they initially charge with just enough to hold them and charge higher later when they have more evidence. Unfortunately, this is DC, so they’ll probably never up the charges.

  • a. why are 18 year olds hanging around adams morgan at that hour when they cannot legally get into any of the establishments that are open then?

    b. i thought adams morgan had increased police presence, especially along 18th street on a saturday night. is this then a very unusual event (that is, the initial robbery) or not?

    c. this should have been my point a., but, condolences to the young man’s family. too young, too soon, too sad.

    • Anonymous

      hanging out a friends house, eating dinner, hearing music. walking. lots of reasons are possible. and irrelevant.

      unless a curfew is in effect, they have every right to be out then.

    • So nine people, seven of which are juveniles (i.e. – under 18), and one 17 year-old were arrested for assault, robbery, and murder, and you choose to question why the oldest of the group, the 18 year-old victim, was out in this area?

      This city will not change until people like you stop blaming victims.

      • Anonymous

        Wrong. This city is never going to change until martial law is declared on juvenile offenders.

    • A. Most of the incidents in Adama Morgan don’t stem from bar & restaurant patrons. They stem from he people who go to AdMo to loiter & cause trouble. Very seldom do you hear of fights & violence inside the bars.

      B. Incidents like this are all too common there, unfortunately.

      • +1

        I have seen truancy enforcement cop cars driving around the neighborhood during the day to make sure kids are not ditching school. It would be good if they also patrolled AdMo and other hot spot neighborhoods during the nights to enforce curfew. The regular cops already have their hands full responding to more serious complaints and checking for drunk drivers; curfew enforcement is the lowest priority on their list.

    • Anonymous

      a. to rob people
      b. murder is not typical but robberies happen all the time

  • Anonymous

    Execute them.

  • Anonymous

    just kids having fun.

    but don’t worry people, council member mendelson will have these boys over to DCYRS for a week or two of sensitivity training before they’re back on the street again.

    • Anonymous

      just stop that bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    so terrifying. 2 kids get mugged by a group of nine, THEN run into them on the metro platform???? nightmarish.

    the friends and families of the victims must be devastated.

  • anonymous

    How incredibly sad. Condolences too the family.

  • leo

    I have to wonder why this was not a headline on the front page of the Post. Instead it was in the middle of the front page of the Metro section, not even the headline. A young man was viciously attacked and killed in the Metro station, isn’t this worthy of greater attention. People need to wake up because things are not going to get better and have been bad for a long time.

    I find it interesting that most of my crime related news I receive from Prince of Petworth, the regular news media just keeps their heads in the sand as do a great many people in D.C.

    • anon

      Imagine if the victim was an attractive blond girl from Georgetown or Bethesda. It’d be national news, no doubt. Instead, yeah, like you said. Buried.

      • Anonymous

        Sad but true.

      • A Blond Girl

        Sad and true.

    • Anonymous

      They think their competition is the NYT, so local coverage is just an annoyance.

      • Very true. The WaPo needs to wake up and realize it doesn’t come close to the NYT anymore (except maybe in its coverage of capitol hill and domestic politics).

        Its local coverage is truly dismal.

  • Anonymous

    If these criminal thugs are living on housing vouchers or in Section 8 housing in Columbia Heights or elsewhere in the city, they should be evicted, even if it means they are homeless. We have for too long let criminals live in subsidized housing units when there are waiting lists miles long for people seeking subsidized housing who are decent people who will not terrorize us in our own neighborhoods and on our own dime but instead will live peacefully with us as neighbors. Another collosal failing by Mendelson and Jim Graham, surprised this isn’t more of a theme echoed on POP.

    • Is there evidence that the perpetrators live in public housing? Or are you just using this tragedy to further your obvious dislike of public housing?

      • Anonymous

        I’m guessing the latter.

      • anonymous

        theheights- he or she starts the post with the word, “if.” That is the key word. But the better question for you is, are you opposed to kicking out criminals from public housing? And the question for me is, do I really have to ask that question?

        • Anonymous

          It’s a red herring.

        • “If” doesn’t change the fact that the poster is using this tragedy to rant about public housing when there’s no evidence that public housing is in any way involved. That’s how PoP threads get hijacked and turned into useless back and forth bickering.

    • A Numenous

      Word of advice to those who just started reading these sorts of blog comments. The whole anti-Graham/anti-Mendelson meme regarding DYRS is perpetrated by those who want to see more Republicans on the city council. They take advantage of other’s misfortunes to push their agenda.

      • Marcus Aurelius

        I could care less whether there are more republicans on the council, unless your definition of “republican” is “someone who believes that juveniles who commit violent crimes should be tried and sentenced as adults.” In that case, yeah, we do need more “republicans” on the city council.

      • anonymous

        A Numenous- thanks for that word of advice. By all means, we should fight to maintain the status quo and not allow other viewpoints a place in our one-party government. As one person told me years ago, black on black violence is a KKK member’s dream come true. Meanwhile, our society, ever so careful to avoid judgment or advocate punishment for the guilty, looks the other way, buries it in the newspapers, or forgets about it completely because it is “their” problem, not ours. It is a tolerable status quo for all kinds of people, those affected and those not so much affected.

      • Anonymous

        I’m anti-Graham due to him refusing a bribe from an aide but not reporting it. Among other things…

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, you’re just another knee-jerk liberal The writer didn’t say get rid of public housing, he wrote that criminals should not be able to live there. It’s a valid critique when there are queues of others waiting to get into the system who aren’t criminals. There was nothing said about getting rid of public housing and the writer didn’t weigh in on whether these particular perpetrators were living in them so start using your brain rather than your knee to think!

    • Olk

      We should all just bicker back and forth, calling each other names. There’s really no other option

    • I’d ask you to do the same. Please tell me how public housing affected this incident at the Woodley Park Metro.

  • Anonymous

    Why can’t we prosecute the parents of the minors? If they feel like they have to protect their kids from the system then they should take full responsibility for them. Your 15 year old is in violation of the curfew, then robs/kills someone, you as a “parent” should be sitting in jail with them. And I agree with PPs that if it turns out you get a voucher or live in public housing then you should be kicked out. One strike and you are out. this isn’t just kids being kids. Someone was killed. Im kind of surprised the white folks of Woodly park aren’t making a bigger stink about it…

    • Anonymous

      ” The white folks of woodly park”. I love reading PoP. Its definitely a step up from the Washington post and examiner comment boards. However there is still a nice serving size of bigotry and ignorance to get your blood going in the morning.

      • +1. Says a lot about the poster.

        • Anonymous

          are you new to DC? if this happened in tenlytown I can promise you the community would be screaming for more cops, then taking up a private fund to pay for their own security. It can be a class or a race issue but in certain areas those are one and the same.

          • Nope – Lived in DC many, many years. Like the post I replied to, I found the comment about the “white people of Woodley Park” thing ridiculous. And what’s wrong with people raising hell about crime? That’s one way to keep your neighborhood safe.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely correct. The parents need to be held accountable. 15-17 year old children have no business being out that late any night; they can only be up to no good. And a responsible parent should know that.

    • I think the absence of a stink can be at least partly attributed to the race of the victim.

    • Anon

      I understand your point, but I think it’s difficult to establish objective criteria for when parents should be held liable for their children’s actions (especially when the child is almost 18), and I’m not sure blanket prosecution of parents of criminals would be effective or fair, either. I agree that parenting plays a huge role and there are some egregiously bad parents out there–but there also might be some parents who are trying to do their best in the face of work obligations, peer pressure from their children’s friends, etc. I think of it this way: how many of us did some stupid sh*t as teenagers behind our parents’ backs and despite them telling us not to and warning us of consequences? Probably most of us, right? (Granted, not as extreme or criminal as this situation, most likely, but the point is, kids rebel and even the most well-meaning parents can’t always stop it.) I think it’s easier to make the case for parent prosecution when there’s some clear evidence that the parent was complicit. For example, if the parent left a gun lying around the house; or there was a recent case in Baltimore where a couple of young teenagers were playing around with a gun and shot a young girl, and the mother of one boy was eventually charged with helping her son move the body and cover up the crime. I think parents need to be held accountable for those types of actions, but I also have sympathy for how heartbreaking it must be for some parents who’ve worked hard to raise their children right, only to lose them to the streets.

      • I know its crazy that people started to assume the youths are residing in public housing. However, I think the policy bought up here has some merits. I think the policy keeps the parents accountable and makes a statement in general about parenthood. It states hey before you forget that there is a thing callled birth control and condoms that when you deicde to have kids without having the resources to provide for them. They were will be consequences for you if you decide not to provide the supervision and care neccessary to raise a contributting member to society. Maybe the youth will understand not only does his actinos effect his vicitims but his family members as well. I don’t see how this policy is a bad thing.

        • Anonymous

          I completely understand what you’re saying, but automatically holding parents accountable in all cases would be next to impossible to legislate and enforce, unless we become a much more authoritarian society, which I don’t necessarily think is the answer either. Certainly there are terrible parents out there, and perhaps there should be some type of policy, with very specific criteria, to hold accountable those parents who are willfully neglecting their children. But there ARE things that happen that are beyond parents’ control–peer pressure can be powerful, despite a parent’s best efforts, as can factors like mental illness, addiction, anger issues, etc. (I know plenty of families who struggle with one “problem” child’s substance abuse and brushes with crime, despite the rest of the kids turning out to be well-adjusted, law-abiding young adults dedicated to work or school.) As for people having kids without the resources to care for them…well, things happen there, too. The economy tanks and people who might have had the resources at the time they had kids lose their jobs; a father (or mother, but seems like this happens with fathers, in many cases) walks out (or, more innocuously, loses a job), leaving a two-income family to get by as a single-income family, and so on.

    • Sometimes nature just wills out. I have a sibling with massive personality disorders, borderline psychopath, and was difficult to control as a minor. It was harder for my parents since their two other kids were pretty much perfect, no drinking, drugs, let alone violent crimes. So this changeling kid really threw them for a loop. I don’t know, are you allowed to lock a kid inside a room and bar the windows? Should you have the kid committed instead? My parents were advised by doctors that would be worse.

      My sibling was only arrested for DUIs, but that could have just as easily been murder by car. I mean, if the other kids are literally perfect, I don’t know if the parents should be punished for a messed up kid in a messed up mental health system.

  • Anonymous

    No, we should not all bicker, but we also shouldn’t use this reflexive, unexamined liberalism to talk about what our neighborhoods should look like. That kind of thinking makes us as vapid as idelogues on the right of the political spectrum. Public housing has its place in our community if our neighbors who live there have a stake in the wellness of the community. There are thousands upon thousands of people who are old, infirm, single parents trying to raise up their kids, who should live among us and be in public housing but they can’t because the lines to get in are too long. Imagine how much better if we let those people who deserve to be there in and got the thugs and lowlifes out. Imagine if public housing was governed by strict accountability laws, if you take public money, you must be accountable by being free of criminal activity. We must demand these standards from our elected officials and they must lean on public housing managers to adhere to them. It’s our right as taxpayers and residents.

    • Anonymous

      Just curious, do you have any empirical evidence that public housing is not governed by strict accountability laws and housing managers don’t adhere to them? Or are you relying on flimsy anecdotes and your own preconceived notions. Also are any of the people charged residents of public housing. I’m curious of how this became a debate on public housing. I missed that in MPD’s press release.

      • policywonk

        Whether or not individual housing development managers are adhering to regulations, I couldn’t say. But as for the official standards for public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (aka Section 8) residents, local public housing authorities (PHAs) admit residents according to a mix of their own discretion and some non-negotiable HUD rules. There is a lifetime ban on public housing or HCV for sex offenders who are subject to a lifetime registration requirement and for individuals who have manufactured meth on the premises of federally-assisted housing. PHAs are also supposed to bar admission if they have cause to believe that a household member is engaged in illegal drug use. Residents are supposed to be evicted for drug-related criminal activity and are supposed to be barred from re-admission to federally-assisted housing for at least 3 years after eviction (although the PHA can make exceptions to that decision, for example if the tenant has successfully completed rehab and is no longer using drugs).

        Some PHAs attempt bar anyone with a criminal record from accessing public housing or Section 8–however, HUD has recently encouraged PHAs to use their discretion in doing so rather than imposing a blanket ban. I know there’s often an impluse to continue to punish criminals after they’ve served their sentence, but excluding individuals with a criminal record from housing (and from employment) can be counterproductive–lots of research has shown that stable housing plays a huge part in keeping individuals from re-offending. (And note that “criminal record” doesn’t automatically equal “violent thug who stabs people in Metro stations”–in fact, approximately 1 in 4 Americans has a criminal record of some sort, so it’s really not all that uncommon.)

        However, in THIS specific case, whether or not the perpetrators of the Metro attack should be allowed to live in public housing is kind of a non-issue–they should be in jail, for a long time.

        • Anonymous

          Agreed, but concerning your citation of federal public housing law, DC has some of the most protective tenant rights laws in the nation. That’s all well in good for honest people who are in a bind but it ties the hands of building managers who want to evict problem tenants, and that includes those in Section 8 are on public assistance who are criminals. This is the legacy of Marion Barry’s administration. These laws need to be reformed. That said, I agree the public housing thread is a distraction from what these animals did.

    • Maybe you can tell me – how did public housing cause this crime?

  • Nolo

    If you can’t raise kids to be better people than this, then please don’t have kids.

  • jqh

    I’d like to know where Farnsworth is with his “there’s no such thing as senseless violence” line now. An 18-year old kid is stabbed to death over a $400 jacket… a jacket he just bought with his first paycheck from a new job. Does that qualify as “senseless?” I think it’s about as senseless as it gets.

    The only thing that will stop these kinds of crimes (in the short term) is more police, better police and an increased police presence, especially police getting out of their cruisers and walking the streets. Of course there are tradeoffs involved, but it is clear that roving groups of teenagers are becoming a serious issue, whether it’s gentrifiers getting jumped in Shaw or regular kids stabbed to death in the metro. Something must be done.

    • Farnsworth

      Got the wrong guy; I never said that. Not that I disagree, though. Especially since you started off explaining the rationale of the crime.

      • jqh

        Hahahaha: Oh, I see, you meant “rationale,” not “reason,” as in “there is always a rationale for a crime.”

        Well, that’s what you call in logic a “non sequitur,” and therefore a fallacy. There is no point in saying that people do things. Everyone knows that people do things. That’s not the point of saying that a crime is “senseless” or committed “for no reason.” When people call a violent act “senseless,” or say someone was attacked “for no reason” they mean “no reason that falls within societal norms or acceptable behavior,” not “a random event in the universe beyond their control.”


        PoP comment: “It seems like this kid was stabbed to death for no reason.”
        Farnsworth: “No, there was a reason. They wanted to kill him. That’s a reason.”

  • Ziggy

    time to rethink keeping the metro open so late on the weekends – if these kids had to drive into Adams Morgan or take a taxi they wouldn’t have been there. A 1:00 am closing if more than adequate IMO.

    • anonymous

      I would prefer to see more policing in and around Adams Morgan and the Metro stations as opposed to an earlier closure. It’s not just kids that benefit from later Metro service. I make a modest salary in the nonprofit field, and owning a car isn’t in my budget, nor are taxis (not to mention which, I’m cheap and I don’t see the point in paying for a taxi when there’s an efficient, safe, much-cheaper alternative in the form of Metro–although “safe” may be debatable, in light of this latest incident.) I’m sure there are also some restaurant/bar employees in the area who appreciate the late-night train service.

    • Non e Mus

      So Metro should close early to keep kids who are supposed to be at home per the City’s curfew from using Metro to get around the city? Why not just shut down Adams Morgan early?
      Rather than shutting anything down because of 1 violent crime, my vote would be for more police and more proactive policing – recognizing that the police can’t be everywhere at once and that bad things will continue to happen even with a police presence.

    • Metro’s late-night service on Friday and Saturday nights is a great thing to have.

      It would be ridiculous to end something that benefits so many people just because a small group of kids chose to commit violence at a Metro station.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I decided to look this up myself because I was tired of relying upon uninformed speculation – including my own – about the way DC’s criminal justice system treats juveniles. I couldn’t find the actual laws online but this article, which is relatively recent, appears to summarize them.
    For murder, armed robbery, rape or first-degree burglary, a 16 or 17 year old can be prosecuted as an adult at the prosecutor’s discretion. According to the article, such prosecutions ar “not uncommon.”
    A 15 year old charged with any of those offenses must be prosecuted first in juvenile court, but the case can be transferred for “repeat offenders who’ve made no progress towards rehabilitation.” So I guess the first murder, rape, armed robbery, or first-degree burglary is free (“free” meaning no prosecution as an adult) for 15 year olds.
    Under 15 and it doesn’t matter how horrible the crime is, the suspect stays in juvenile court.


    • that is disturbing, I know the whole justice sysetm needs to be reformed because once you are labled as felon its hard to find a job and just puts a scarlet letter on your chest for the end of days. Yeah, but I wish DC had Texas’s approach to crime. They execute mentally disabled people.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s face it, getting tougher on these vindictive, heinous youth is not enough. There is no excuse for what they have done, never, but there is no denying they need good schools and good jobs and good mentors. Income inequality is not only bad for those at the bottom, it’s bad for all of us. It frightens me. If I have something someone else wants but believes they cannot attain without thuggery, then my life is unsettled and in danger. With all the tax dollars that the city is raking in from all these so-called gentrifiers moving in (am among them, supposedly), I vote for them taking a chunk of that money for creating job programs for youth, improving our schools.

    • Anonymous

      I agree 100%. And in an effort to address the flack that this viewpoint may attract, I’ll say that in no way do I advocate the justice system being “soft” on these particular offenders. Once you commit a crime–especially a violent attack that goes far beyond a youthful mistake or a flash of bad teenage judgment–you need to pay some hard consequences. But at the same time, we need more early intervention policies and programs to help keep these incidents from happening in the first place. Jobs, youth activities, better schools, and things like mentoring are a big part of that. Relating to the thread about holding parents accountable, I also think we need more support from nonprofits and the justice system to help hardworking parents who are struggling to keep their children out of trouble–and ways those efforts can reach the children who have crappy parents.

      A number of groups in Baltimore are advocating some unique approaches involving crime, youth, and empathy: http://www.urbanitebaltimore.com/baltimore/walking-in-someone-elses-shoes/Content?oid=1468385. It might sound touchy-feely, but there’s actually some interesting neuro research behind it.

    • I swore I heard the suspects were from MD, but to your point on how we can spend our way out of youth crime…

      per capita student spending:

      Washington, D.C. – $18,667

      Montgomery County – $15,582

      PG County: – $14,020

      Fairfax County: – $12,554

      We’re ALREADY spending huge chunks of money on our schools, and yet youth crime is still one of DC’s biggest problems. I don’t see any reason why more spending would change that very much.

      • Anonymous

        I think it’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison about spending levels and outcomes related to that spending between DC and some surrounding jurisdictions. I don’t have the data to back this up (at least, not off the top of my head), but I would venture to guess that there are HUGE economic disparities between the average DC public schools student and the average Fairfax County public schools student. Often–not always, but in a number of cases–economic disparities go hand in hand with a deficit in school readiness and school success that DC public schools have to overcome from day one. Think about the way a number of affluent or middle-class parents dote, educationally speaking, on their children with learning-oriented toys and videos, reading time, extracurricular lessons, and other enrichments. Some lower-income parents either can’t afford those things, don’t have time because of working multiple jobs, or are simply parenting the way they were parented and don’t know any different.

        That being said, I have no doubt that there is waste and inefficiency in DC public school spending (and other areas of public spending), so I’ll grant that in addition to more investment (in my opinion), we also need SMARTER investment.

      • plow

        those numbers don’t mean all that much to me. what do they tell me about teacher salaries, age of buildings and facilities, numbers of free lunches, relevancy of textbooks, etc…? you may as well say things cost more in cities than they do in the suburbs and exurbs.

    • Anonymous

      Render unto me a freakin’ break. Being poor doesn’t mean you have to be a thug. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations. Income inequality has zilch to do with it. These kids aren’t out robbing people to buy food, or because they can’t get a job.

  • Anonymous

    This is horribly tragic.

    I want to know where in the station something like this could have happened without intervention from station staff or just the general public?! 1:15am is late but there are usually still people out and about around this area at 1:15 on a weekend night. Why weren’t metro station staff visible and there to assist?

    I was robbed of my purse and cellphone on a Sunday morning (9amish) at Cleveland Park. I chased and screamed after the 2 kids who ultimately jumped the fare gates in front of 2 unfazed station staff who were standing there talking – one a station employee and the other a “security guard.” I had been screaming at the top of my lungs from the platform up to the gates. The station was empty. There’s no way the guards couldn’t know that something was going on. I frantically asked them why they didn’t stop the kids as they jumped the gates right in front of them, and they informed me that they don’t need to put themselves in harms way. Um?! Then what’s the point of wearing “guard” uniforms?

    My point – where the hell where station staff on Sat night? They could have at least called police or yelled and screamed at the kids to scare them off. I don’t understand what the point of having staff in the metro is when they are useless on many levels.

    • “I don’t understand what the point of having staff in the metro is when they are useless on many levels.” Agreed — I don’t see Metro staff doing anything when people walk through the emergency exit gate, etc.

      Maybe having staff in Metro stations is better than having them completely unstaffed… but not by much.

    • Non e Mus

      As far as I am aware, Metro doesn’t have any “security guards.” And while I am sorry for your loss, Metro employees are not required or expected to put themselves in harm’s way, particularly with respect to a crime being committed. If they choose to do so, that’s up to them.
      Having said that, if someone attempts to leave a station without paying, the Metro people at the gate are supposed to stop, or try to stop them. But they rely more on presence as a deterrent than anything else.

    • Anonymous

      The press release doesn’t say, and I haven’t read all of the other coverage of the incident–but is is possible that station personnel were the ones who alerted MPD and the Metro Transit Police? With the large number of suspects being arrested so quickly on the scene, I’m assuming someone called police right away. I understand Metro employees not directly intervening, as they’re unarmed and not trained in law enforcement, but I agree that as the personnel on the ground in the stations, they should be keeping their eyes and ears open and acting quickly to summon the police.

      Which reminds me how irritating I find those “if you need Metro Transit Police” announcments that WMATA broadcasts in all the stations. They are pointless and ridiculous. Unless everyone programs Metro Police into their speed dial, who while they’re in distress is going to be able to whip out their cellphone, and dial from memory the 202-whatever-whatever number WMATA tells people to call? (Which, due to station acoustics is barely intelligible on the announcements, anyway.)

  • ilbourne-MtPleznt

    ANC Member Bill Kummings has his head in the sand! Read his remark in today’s Wash Post article:
    [Who] said he could not recall anything similar happening in the area. “It is just one of those horrible situations,” he said. “It is a tragedy.”

    • Anonymous

      I’m not familiar with this ANC member at all. Is it just this quote that you take issue with, or does he have a history of unsatisfactory responses on crime or other neighborhood issues? To be honest, I didn’t think his quote was that bad; it sounded like he was trying to express sympathy and it IS indeed a tragedy. Granted, the quote is a bit simplistic, but–again, not being familiar with the person–I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt based on a couple of factors: a) I doubt he had a statement prepared and maybe said the first thing, if not the most eloquent thing, that jumped to mind when the Post called; and b) having worked in communications, I know from experience that it’s quite possible he said something more lengthy and substantive, and the Post simply printed a truncated/excerpted quote.

  • Anonymous

    I so appreciate MPD leadership on the national effort to thwart the market for I-phone theft. Some serious leadership for sure. But a database to counter the market for stolen property just doesn’t fully address the leadership failure in the USA – that we have loss of life over property, and gangs of juvenile thugs able to operate with the protection of law, I just wonder, how many of those now in custody are known to MPD as thugs, have criminal DYRS records, are on tape all over this city wreaking havoc? They are so confident as gangs that they rob and beat and just walk to Woodley to head home on metro! Or was this just a random fluke?

  • Anonymous

    Do you want to know how this hit home for me?

    I was wearing a black helly hansen jacket and was in the same area as this guy on the same night!!!! This could have been me, robbed and killed for a black helly hansen jacket, stupid 🙁


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