Horrible Reader Incident at Stadium Armory Metro “the bystander effect: safety vs action”

by Prince Of Petworth July 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm 99 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user [F]oxymoron

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday I had an interesting experience and I am unsure if I did the right thing. Around 3PM I left my neighborhood metro and was confronted outside by a teenage boy beating up another teenage boy. There were about 10 other kids standing around watching it. The kid getting beaten up was able to escape and started running and yelling, “You are going to jump me! You are going to jump me in front of all these people.” There were several other people, more specifically adults (both white and black) and no one was saying anything and just walking by. The group of teenagers began to chase the kid and I started yelling as loud as I could to leave the kid alone and kept yelling it. I must have yelled it ten times, but they kept going after the kid and I right away started calling the police. Another kid in the group noticed that I was calling the police, and started yelling at me to hang up and I started yelling back to leave the kid alone. He then proceeded to yell, “White cracker etc etc, this is why no one wants your kind moving into our neighborhood.” He yelled a bunch of other things, which reflects a host of other underlying issues associated with the rapid gentrification in our city. Bad or good, that can be debated on another post. The police said they were on their way, the kids ran off, and I had a ten minute walk home that was uncomfortable to say the least.

I am wondering what I should have done in that situation to keep myself safe, but to bring attention to the situation. Everything I did was based in adrenaline and in the heat of the moment. I did not even take a second to fully think through the possible consequences of my actions, and am guessing I could have handled the situation differently. I was mainly thinking about the awful incidents that have ended horribly due to the bystander effect, and that is what made me start yelling.

I am sure the PoPville community will have varying opinions, but I am wondering if we could get the DC Police to answer this one. I know I am not the only one in DC that has been confronted by this, and I know I may be in a similar situation in the future.”

Ed. Note: I inquired with one of MPD’s leadership team who replied succinctly, “I give credit to those that intervene by calling 911 or shouting out to stop an attack”.

  • andy

    Man, you’ve got guts. I think I would have run back in to the Metro station and tried to get the station manager to call transit police or MPD.

    • gotryit

      If I’m ever getting jumped, please don’t go to the metro station manager. You might as well call the ghostbusters.

      • anon

        +1. So many station managers seem to be less than helpful (if they’re even present in their kiosks). I can’t imagine seeking out the station manager unless I’d forgotten my cell phone that day and couldn’t call 911 myself.

        • Anonymous

          What about the time we reported the drunk, underage GWU student who had to relieve himself on the tracks at Foggy Bottom? The station manager there demanded a confession, pointing out that everything was on tape.

          Didn’t do anything about the potent nitrogen smell downstairs, but at least the kid figured out that some of us care about our city, so he needs to be more shifty in the future.

          • Jesse B

            I disagree. I was being harassed/followed by some kids coming out of the Federal Center SW station one evening and was scared that I’d have to ride on the shuttle with them (the next few stops were closed). I hid behind a pylon for a bit while the kids shuffled along; when they were out of sight, I informed the station manager. The station manager called Transit Police AND asked another Metro employee to escort me up the stairs to the shuttle. Lucky that he did that because the kids were at the top of the escalator getting into it with other Metro employees.

            The Metro employees, who demonstrated enormous restraint against these disrespectful kids, stood in front of me while we waited for Metro Transit Police. When the police arrived, the Metro employees waved them down and pointed out the kids. The kids ended up getting smart with the cops too, and they were detained.

            They kept them off the shuttles so that I (along with the rest of my fellow passengers) could travel with a sense of safety.

            I offer them kudos for this experience.

        • anon

          Heartened to hear that some station managers are on the ball.
          Unfortunately, my (limited) experience has been with ones who aren’t, like the guy who was sleeping in his kiosk at Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro.

      • annonny

        Yea, I’d guess the station manager would say something to the effect of “if I can’t see it, it’s not happening” and then resume his/her nap.

  • MtP Gal

    I think you did exactly the right thing and were, frankly, brave to call out to them. I have done something similar in a similar situation in the past. However, now that I am often accompanied by my infant daughter, I think I would be more hesitant to act (would probably still call 911, though). I think I am quicker to call 911 than other folks, though. I’ve probably called 911 a dozen times in my life. The other day I saw a fox during the day and I immediately called 911 because I thought it might be rabid. My husband thought I was nuts.

  • Anonymous

    Good on you, you did the right thing, IMO. I would have done something similar if it was clear to me that they were not “horsing around”. Then again, I’m an early 30s male.

    That said, you still put yourself at risk. The gang of kids could have turned on you. Then again, that kid might have ended up in the hospital with serious injuries if you did not intervene. It’s a crappy situation all around.

  • Kimberly

    Is there a way to text in to MPD? If not, that would be great… annonymously, without putting oneself in harms way… Metro PD needs this desperately when dealing with some of the kids that get out of control on the trains in the afternoons… I’ve confronted some only to be surrounded… kind of scary.

    • ZetteZelle

      You can text the police at 50411, but they say that while it’s continually monitored, it’s not for emergency situations/crimes currently in progress.

    • anon

      Yes — 50411 — but I get the impression it’s more for general use and not for emergencies where quick response is of the essence.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Send a text to 50411. Completely anonymous. I’ve used it a few times to get cops to check out sketchy people in our alley or loud parties at 1 a.m. In every instance, the police have responded quite promptly.

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t 50411 intended to be for tips to the police, like if you know somebody has an illegal gun or something? Police may have responded promptly in some circumstances, but I would be worried that 50411 is not as prompt. Via 911 the operator could also dispatch other first responders like fire and EMS, which if the teen *was* getting seriously beaten up, would be crucial.

  • Anon

    For me, I always feel like the trickiest part is balancing getting help in a timely manner, and being safe myself. I’ve called 911 a couple of times when I’ve witnessed fights, but one time it was a pretty bad brawl above the entrance to the Mt Vernon Square metro station around midnight. I did call the cops, but it was after I was already a few blocks away. I get nervous wondering what would happen to me if someone involved in a fight noticed I was calling the cops! The best case is getting yelled at, like what happened in this incident, but how do you know they won’t react to you violently? How do other people handle this balance?

    • Anonymous

      Just curious how anyone would know you’re calling 911.

      You could be calling anyone not just the police.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed, especially if there are tons of other people milling around. I would say call 911 discretly, then start yelling if you’re so inclined. But I am not second-guessing the OP–that was a gusty move, and being commenters on a blog, we have the benefit of hindsight.

  • Anon

    Maybe not the safest thing, but the right thing.

    • textdoc

      I don’t think I’d be brave enough to start yelling like the OP did, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call 911.

  • C3PO

    You were brave – clearly a good deal braver than the people surrounding you – to yell out and call 911. I can’t say that I’d put myself in danger by intervening, but I would at least remove myself to another place and call the cops. If someone can’t do that then they need to give up their human card, b/c they’re a useless piece of trash.

    “He yelled a bunch of other things, which reflects a host of other underlying issues associated with the rapid gentrification in our city. Bad or good, that can be debated on another post.”

    Sorry, but I’ll mention something here. It’s called racism, plain and simple.

    • Anon

      Racism by the kids

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, but “reverse racism” is not a real thing.


      • Timmy

        This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. You should be embarrassed.

        • epric002

          +1 hardly a good source to support that contention

      • epric002

        what is it then?

      • Anonymous

        You are correct. “Reverse Racism” is not a thing. It’s just good old fashioned racism. To contend that one that experiences racism against their race is unable to be racist themselves is absurd.

        • Anonymous

          1,000% correct.

        • shaun

          Plus 20,000.

          I’m so very over the social justice movement’s continuous attempts to appropriate language. The terms “racism” and “sexism” existed long before the attempts to redefine them by adding privilege or power dynamics. I’ll grant that precise language is important for discussion, especially discussions on sensitive topics such as race, but appropriating existing, common words to serve your own agenda only serves to alienate most of the audience.

  • Chen

    Kudos, you may have saved the kid’s life.

    Not proud of it, but I can honestly say that I would have had a hard time doing the same thing, especially being threatened when dialing 911. I also wonder what impression all of the talk of racism after the Zimmerman verdict has on these, and the many kids in DC who commit wanton acts of violence like this. My guess is that it has not helped them see the harm in their actions one bit.

    • Bland

      Since the GZ verdict, While commuting to and from work by bike, I have been called “punk, cracker, the n word, plus many others. today some kid purposely stepped out in front of me and starting yelling slurs. I can’t help but feel this has all stemmed from the media lately.

      Some people in this county need some seriously soul searching (white, black, yellow, green, red and blue), to stop crying racism and need to look within.

      Where I grew up of course teenagers would fight. But never would an adult, grown woman or man, be afraid to step in, or call the police. Very sad, terrible and sad. The most unfortunate part for me is I have become so accustomed to it over my 13 years in DC I expect it, and just turn and walk the other way. Sad days we are living in.

  • crknightdc

    Good for you! While I think yelling at them to stop was the right thing to do i don’t know if it was the safest. I call the police all the time for shady dealings in the ally, people drinking, non-neighborhood people hanging out blocking the sidewalk (thanks for that new law). I was told once at a neighborhood meeting that if you don’t call then they can’t track how much police presence in needed in an area. If you see illegal activity then call.

    • Anonymous

      What is “that new law”?!?

    • Anonymous

      what new law? share please! we have issues like this on our block too… thanks.

    • Anonymous

      New law? As in anti-loitering? We so desperately need that in this city…

    • Anonymous

      Can anyone comment on what new law this is? I’d love to be able to cite it! Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I think Carol Swain needs to spend some time helping us with race issues and youth violence in DC! Her comments recently on NPR were remarkable…..http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/july-dec13/obama_07-19.html

  • You were right to call 911 and attempt to intervene. Shame on the other “adults” standing around who were doing nothing. The sad part is the lack of good influence and the abundance of bad influence so many kids have these days.

    • Anonymous

      I feel for you. A few years ago, I was walking my dog to the vet on 14th Street for her annual check-up, when a man who was clearly on drugs began attacking me. It was a weekday at 8:10 a.m. on U Street at 14th. There were 50 or more pedestrians within 100 feet of me, all walking toward the Metro, and everyone ignored me as I shouted for help. People actually walked around us as I begged them for help. When I called the main desk at 3D about 10 minutes later, they reported that not a *single* person had called 911. No one reported it. It makes you question why you would want to live in a society like this.

      • epric002

        that is so awful. how on earth could you not even call 911 if you saw that happening?

        • textdoc

          +1. Ugh.

        • Anonymous

          For real. I might not actually intervene, being that I’m a small female, but I’d for sure call 911!

  • Anon

    I think you did the right thing as well. I was faced with a somewhat similar situation recently (though with less risk to myself) in Columbia Heights when I saw a teenager lying drunk and completely unresponsive on the sidewalk at midnight a few weeks ago. His friends were trying to drag him across the sidewalk and into a taxi, which of course no taxi driver wanted a part of. Many people walked past and stopped and his friends yelled at everyone to leave them alone and walk on. There was absolutely a threatening tone to their voice and many just minded their own business. I ended getting out of the situation quickly as well but called 911 a minute later. I saw a few minutes later the friends had scrammed (I imagine they were underage) and the ambulance showed up, taking the kid away. I still question whether I should have minded my own business but like you said, the adrenaline and the “what if” question were just too much to ignore.

    • textdoc

      You did the right thing — for all you know, that kid could’ve died of alcohol poisoning without medical attention.

    • anon

      It’s a good thing to help out the kid who was drunk on the sidewalk, he needed medical help. But does he really need the police attention that comes with being picked up by an ambulance?

      • epric002

        how else do you propose getting medical assistance for an unresponsive stranger whose friends are verbally accosting people who try to help?

        • textdoc

          Maybe he’ll get in trouble for underage drinking, but if so, he should’ve thought of that before getting falling-down drunk (assuming he wasn’t coerced).
          And between possibly getting in trouble vs. possibly dying, I think getting in trouble sounds like the preferable option.
          Do hospitals even report underage drinking to the police?? I thought ambulances were usually accompanied by fire trucks, not by police cars.

          • Allison

            Some universities have policies that they will not take action against students for underage drinking for reporting a suspected overdose, to encourage people to come forward instead of allowing their friends to die of alcohol poisoning out of fear of prosecution. Outside the limited university context, I’m not sure.

      • Anonymous

        “Police attention” as in, maybe the kid would have gotten cited for disorderly conduct or busted with a joint in his pocket? It’s kind of a tossup. Sometimes they dispatch police when you call 911 for a medical emergency, sometimes it’s just an ambulance. It could have worked out not-great for the kid either way, but I’d say the risks of leaving him there –alcohol poisoning or getting mugged and/or beat up by someone else while he’s out cold–outweigh the risks of the police getting wind of the situation.

  • Anonymous

    When this happened to me in the Petworth metro, all I wanted to do is get out of harm’s way. It was all happening so fast with yelling and running kids all around me, punches flying. When I got to the top of the escalator an MPD officer was standing there. I told him a kid was getting jumped in the Station. He didn’t act at all, said the Station Manager would call it in if he felt like it. A right of passage apparently in the community – getting jumped. Wonder if 911 or 962-2121 is better to use in this situation?

    • textdoc

      If the kid getting jumped was inside the station, probably best to call Metro Transit Police at 962-2121. If you call 911, the Office of Unified Communications (or MPD) is going to refer it to Metro Transit Police anyway.

    • Anonymous

      Are you serious? That is absurd that a police officer would do nothing. Even if he thinks teenage kids are lowlives who don’t deserve his protection (wrong), what about all the other innocent bystanders who could get hurt? Running/punching on Metro platforms? Someone could have been pushed onto the tracks….

  • Paul

    Good for you. It is always right to stand up in those sorts of situations, even at your own risk. Too many people are willing to look the other way, to ignore injustice, to passively walk through life.

  • ET

    Not really sure you could have done much differently.

  • epric002

    thank you for what you did. i would like to think that if i was in the same situation, i’d do the same thing (fwiw, i’m a 30ish female). calling 911 for a situation like that is always the right thing to do, and i don’t know how i could *not* shout out like that if i witnessed a kid being jumped by a group of people. if you were the person getting jumped, wouldn’t you want someone to do that? and food for thought- in first aid/CPR training, they teach you to authoritatively give instructions to other adults, i.e., “you- call 911!” do you think that could work in a situation like this, to shock the other adults out of inaction and initiate an intervention by multiple people?

    • jim_ed

      People don’t want to get involved because of things like this:


      Now granted, what happened to Bill Mitchell might be the exception rather than the rule, but the fact is that people have been killed in this city for trying to intervene rather than passively calling the police.

      • epric002

        i know why people don’t want to individually get involved. that’s why i asked about initiating a group to intervene.

  • DC buyer

    Sorry to hear that. You are brave–to be honest, I fear these thugs and I doubt if I am brave enough to confront them with a 911 call, not to mention to intervene in any physical form.

    I feel that the media should take some action as well. All day you hear on MSNBC is that what a liar Zimmerman is, but never a serious discussion why the general public have to live in fear of these teenagers. \

    • epric002

      seriously? apples (a teenager was killed by an adult) and oranges (a teenager getting beat up by another teenager, and then being chased by a group of teenagers).

      • Anonymous

        very seriously. I am not sure what kind of person you are but I would definitely fear for my life with a 6′ teenager on drugs, whether he is no top of me or not.

        • epric002

          you seem to be missing the point. there is a fundamental difference b/n an altercation b/n 2 people, and 1 person getting jumped by a group of people.

  • Anonymous

    Cable Cutoff Wavelength?

  • TG

    I heard a woman cry for help one night outside of my window and I looked out and saw a man wrestling with the woman. I yelled “leave that woman alone” and went running out to help her. They were gone when I got out there but I checked the alleys to make sure he hadn’t dragged her into an alley. When it was all over, I thought … that was pretty stupid of me. Sometimes adrenaline just takes over.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Having not been in the situation, I honestly do not know what I would have done. (Humans are notoriously bad at predicting what they would do in hypothetical situations. If one of those suspicious characters, i.e., humans, tells you what he or she would have done in some hypothetical situation, be skeptical. It’s not that they are necessarily lying, but that they really don’t know what they would do and may even really believe some nice fictional story about their being a superhero.)

    In general, I’d recommend yelling, or calling 911, but not both simultaneously unless nobody else is around. Drawing attention to yourself and drawing attention to the fact that you are using your cell phone (whether with 911 or otherwise) is almost never a good plan in a situation where there is a serious threat of physical violence. I have multiple friends who have either been persuaded to surrender their phone (that’s a euphemism) or have been physically attacked when they announced that they were calling 911.

    Depending on the nature of the situation (I wasn’t there, and words just can’t convey it), I might have yelled (either to other individuals or to nobody in particular “Call the police! They’re gonna hurt that kid! Call 911!”), or gotten myself away from the immediate vicinity of the fight and called 911 from there, but I would not have stood right there, drawn attention to myself, and called 911 all at the same time. I do not know whether I am brave enough and caring enough to intervene in any capacity, or if I would have been too callous or too chicken, but I am quite sure that I wouldn’t have called attention to myself and then pulled my phone out while I was still right there.

    • annonsie

      I wouldn’t announce that I’m calling 911 but would just do it.

  • Jonnyfrommidcityeast

    It takes courage to be that brave. I’m glad you stepped up and saved that kid.
    “He who is brave is free”

  • Anonymous

    IMO, there is absolutely no reason to be yelling at them. Unless you are police your voice just brings attention to you, and frankly, these kids/teens don’t care. Other than that great job OP. You could have easily just walked by.

    • Allison

      I yelled at some kids choking another kid once, and they dropped him immediately. It’s not true that kids definitely won’t listen to you if you use the right tone of command that shows you mean business. I’m not a particularly threatening looking individual, either. On the other hand, I–like OP–was operating under sheer adrenaline and with the benefit of hindsight I probably would not have done that. I was just really lucky it worked and they didn’t turn on me.

    • epric002

      the reason to yell at them is to bring attention to what they are doing, and/or distract them so the kid can get away. obv each person should decide whether they feel safe enough to bring attention to themselves by yelling, but i commend the OP for yelling & calling 911.

  • Anonymous

    You are very brave and I appreciate people like you! Wish there were more.

    Interesting that nobody is upset about the blatant racism of a black male to a white person as they were about yesterday’s post of a non-existent racism in yesterday’s post of a African American male and another non-African American person. https://www.popville.com/2013/07/racist-or-descriptive/ . Is this because it was being racist against a white person?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think anyone is defending the racism. However, the offense of the racism pales in comparison to the offense of a violent attack on single teen by a group. So that’s probably why people in this thread are not too focused on the racism.

    • Anonymous

      I think there’s consensus that those kid’s comments aren’t ok, just as any kind of racism (white on black, black on white, whatever color on whatever color) is not ok. Yesterday’s post specifically focused on the potentially racist undertones of an e-mail. In this post the OP is specifically asking for suggestions about how to respond when witnessing a crime, and in fact goes out of his way to say that, yes, the kid’s racist comments happened, but they’re a debate for another time and place. I think the rest of the commenters are simply focusing on the topic at hand, as requested by the OP.

  • OnTheContrary

    I realize I’m going to catch some flack for this, but honestly I would not have called 911 unless things were getting really serious (ie – sighting of a weapon, an adult attacking another adult, the kid actually calling for help). I live near the 1400 block of Columbia Rd and see all manner of sketch go down; but I keep in mind that these are teenagers. They are kids. Kids fight sometimes – and I do not think that they need to exposed to “the system” for being kids. I grew up in the suburbs and no one ever called the cops when I got into fights with neighborhood kids in the field behind our houses, and no one should have. I had the advantage of not being in a highly visible area, but things would have been a lot different for me if some had called the cops. I would now have a record with a violent assault (reducing my chances for acceptance to college), I would be on probation, I would have had to go to the jail for processing…

    What many many people do not realize is that when they call the cops on kids, these kids get caught up in the system, and “the system” is incredibly hard to get out of. I know some of your are thinking “Well not if they just “act right”” – but it’s not that simple. People makes mistakes, people who had poor family models and lack of opportunity make even more mistakes, and the system punishes those mistakes with jail time, and records that reduce your chance of being employed considerably.

    This is why I reserve involving the authorities until the situation actually seems pretty extreme. Calling the cops on a drunk guy in the alley? On a party? Come on. Please. If the drunk guy is incapacitated, sure call an ambulance – but don’t get people caught up in the justice system unnecessarily. Unless you have *actually* been on probation or otherwise caught up in it, you really can’t understand. I have, and that is why I only call the cops in the most extreme situations.

    …..but whatever makes you feel like you “helped some kids out”

    • Allison

      This is a really good point, and I go through this debate in my head every time I see something that might be police-call-worthy. I see kids smoking a joint, maybe a little tipsy and underage, generally making mayhem, I hold off. However, I draw the line at violence. This isn’t the suburb you grew up in that you reference, and kids do kill other kids here.

      • Anonymous

        Good point re: this isn’t the suburbs. DC is violent and kids kill kids here. Kids have guns here.

        • Anonymous

          That doesn’t happen in the suburbs? News to me!

        • Anonymous

          Honestly, these days I would probably also call the cops, even in the suburbs. Last time I visited my mom, I almost did, when I could a large group of young people coming out of a party got into a loud altercation over one group member thinking that someone else in the group had stolen his female friend’s phone. The argument was getting more and more heated, I could hear scuffling, and by their speech, it was clear that many of the group members were drunk. Fistfighting is not the biggest problem. It only take a few seconds, in the heat of the moment, and especially when there’s alcohol involved, to pull a gun or a knife. And in fact, my hometown has had several incidents at and outside of bars where someone was drunkenly stabbed or shot (not killed yet, fortunately) because of some petty perceived slight that spun out of control. I’m mindful of the consequences of a conviction–or even just probation–but ultimately I would rather call 911 if I thought that intervention could neutralize the risk (however small) of someone getting seriously hurt. (Not to mention, there would be even more harsh consequences for the perpetrator if it escalated to the level where he shot or stabbed someone in a moment of drunken stupidity.) In this case though, I didn’t end up calling 911–was about to, but a couple of the kids’ friends broke the group up and they all went their separate ways.

      • Ally

        I think this is a reasonable and smart standard. The least of my concerns near Stadium Armory are underage drinkers or people doing drunks. To each their own, within reason. But, when people are beating the crap out of one another, you have to call it in. Or, at least, you should. Hope the kid’s okay. And, for those of you in my neighborhood, these fights usually pour over for at least another day or two as friends get involved. So, be careful walking home.

        • Ally

          Wow…what an unfortunate but funny typo: ” The least of my concerns near Stadium Armory are underage drinkers or people doing drunks.” To clarify, “drunks.” People doing drunks would certainly be of concern ;-)

          • Allison

            Hey, leave the people doing drunks alone! ‘Is jus’ looooooove baby! ;D

    • Anonymous

      Please indicate the level of injury upon the body of a teenager that would need to occur in order for you to get over your concern that the aggressor(s) might suffer negative consequences in “the system” for their violent actions.

      What constitutes “the most extreme situations? Bloody nose? Black eye? Tooth knocked out? Broken bone? Smashed jaw? Compound fracture? Organ damage? Internal bleeding? Brain damage?

      Please, with all of your concern for these poor put-upon teenagers, indicate where on that spectrum a victim’s permanent bodily harm outweighs the challenges presented by answering for one’s brutality?

    • epric002

      have you ever been a victim in one of these situations where you advocate not calling the cops? i’m more concerned about the kid who is getting jumped than whether the kids who were beating him up/chasing him get caught up in “the system”.

      • Anonymous

        + a million. Good lord people, are you really more concerned about the well-being of violent individuals than the person being attacked? Really? I would much rather those violent kids be in jail than roaming the streets looking for someone else to rough up.

        I do, however, agree on your point about when it’s appropriate to call 911. A few kids sitting on their own front porch smoking a joint? As long as there is no violence/excessive noise, I’m minding my business. A group of kids violently assaulting another kid? FOR SURE calling 911. No question.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. All joking aside, screw those kids. I somehow managed to make it through my formative years without causing anyone physical harm, others can do it too.

    • Anon

      I think you overestimate the speed with which the police induct people into “the system” here. You mention the example of a party. While the police will come out to make a neighbor quiet down their 3am dance party, they won’t actually arrest until they third time they come out to the same location in the same night – or so they say.

      Plus, they don’t exactly roll up silently. If they respond to a call like this it’s much more likely to prolong the health of the kid getting knocked around (if only temporarily) than to actually result in any arrests.

    • textdoc

      +1 to Anonymous 3:49 pm, epric002, and Anon 3:54 pm.

    • Grand Funk

      I get your point, but as a person that’s been ‘jumped’ before I think not calling could leave you with a preventable serious injury or possible death on your watch. If you are fine with that, okay. I had very serious injuries and if somebody did not intervene I may be dead.

      Me, if there is a violent situation and I can stop or get somebody else to not be seriously injured I will act.

  • HillHound528

    You absolutely did the right thing…I’ve called the police in similar instances and in several extreme cases, I’ve waded into the scrum and broke up the fight. In the instances, where I physically intervened…the minute that I made a move…so did all the other adults. It’s as if they were waiting on permission before they made the decision to break up the fight.

    With that said, kudos to you and let’s hope all of those bystanders had similar thoughts on the way home!

    • epric002

      thanks hillhound- your post is getting at what i was trying to suggest earlier. if there are multiple adult witnesses, i would hope that 1 person showing initiative to intervene would compel the others to do the same.

  • Anonymous

    You did the right thing 100%. Honestly, I don’t even know how anyone (including yourself) could perceive doing anything else as better? The kid yelling that “your kind isn’t wanted in the neighborhood” is a hopeless thug who is headed for a life in jail most likely. Good for him! I wouldn’t give two shits about what the little punk said. And I’m sure most black people would agree that that kid is an idiot. I don’t think you trying to stop an attack is a reason black people may not want white people moving in. Far from it.

  • Penn Quarter

    What you did was brave, and this city needs more people like you, who will intervene when they see violence. Some commenters are saying you should have not yelled, but discretely called 911 instead. I disagree. Who knows how long it would have take for the police to respond, and how much damage could those kids have caused in the meantime? When you yelled, you distracted the kids and let them know that someone was paying attention and wasn’t going to pretend not to see what they were doing. You did the right thing.

    My own story: I was on the metro escalator a few years ago, and a man I passed went positively apeshit on me. He began shouting and physically assaulting me. The escalator was crowded and I could not get away from him fast enough. The commotion drew the attention of dozens of people who turned to look, then they quickly turned away after witnessing me being punched and shoved by a man a foot taller and 80 lbs heavier than me. Anyway, I got away but remained shaken for days. This was years ago and I’m over that guy, who was clearly off his rocker, but I am still disappointed that not one person shouted for him to leave me alone or ask if I needed help or announced they were calling 911. But no one wants to get involved…

    • epric002

      my god the apathy of the bystanders in these incidents is revolting.

    • Anonymous

      Stuff like this is the only reason I would ever support the right to carry a concealed weapon. I hate weapons, and I hate the idea of violence for any reason. But we don’t live in a place where there is any reasonable expectation of assistance. And the cops are a joke. Self-defense looks a lot more attractive when it feels like your only rescue.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve actually been in six situations where I’ve yelled out at an attacker to stop. And each time before I yell out, I say to myself, “Don’t say anything, just discretely call 911.” But I always end up yelling out, actually trying desperately to force attention to myself! It’s totally insane, and there are three instances where I am shocked that I wasn’t attacked as well (I’ve done this as a 20- and 30-something female.)

    But I can’t seem to help myself. Part of it’s definitely because no one else is doing anything.

  • KBT331

    I also call 911 a bit more frequently than most, but I would rather over-call then under-call. One story I always remember is of the homeless man a few years ago, who laid dying on the sidewalk in Columbia Heights for hours with many people walking past him but no one helped because they thought he was just passed out drunk. Turns out he had gotten into a fight and because no one called 911, he died.

  • Ally

    You did the right thing. I’ve done similar things that may not have been the safest option, but that were the right thing to do morally. As someone who owns a home near Stadium Armory, I really applaud you and am very, very thankful to you for stepping up. If more people called the police when this (pardon me) bullsh*t when down, perhaps it would happen a little less often. If it tells you anything about the demographic in the neighborhood, my neighbors have been there for decades and are wonderful. I don’t ever fear the adults. In my experience, it’s the kids getting out from nearby Eastern High School who have caused every incident I’ve ever had to call in. I’m sure the majority of them are nice, good kids. But the few that aren’t cause some real trouble in the afternoons. Thank you again for what you did.

  • andy2

    Great work – need more people like you.
    I’m glad that you were okay minus the verbal assault.

  • BitterElitist

    Calling the police was fine. That’s what they’re there for.

  • anon-y-mouse

    I live near this Metro stop and I’m glad you do too. I’m happy to hear that there’s a neighbor who would help me if I was ever in a situation like the one you described.

  • frickorfrack

    That’s! why the two metro vehicles came hauling ass down the street yesterday afternoon. They were going like bats out of hell…could have really killed someone.

    Some dangerous and violent teens on that line….L’Enfant Plaza when schools lets out or about 11:00 p.m. on a Friday and Saturday evening is to be avoided at all costs.



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