“Broad daylight robbery with a gun, right next to Powell Elementary and Upshur Park.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 28, 2015 at 10:58 am 45 Comments

14th and Upshur St, NW

A reader writes:

“Broad daylight robbery with a gun, right next to Powell Elementary and Upshur Park.”

From MPD sent just after 9:45am:

“4D Robbery F& V at 14TH & Upshur St NW LOF for 2 B/M’S -S1 wearing blk shorts armed with a gun -S2 Long dreads dressed in all blk about 5’8”

  • tacopuss


  • anonamom

    What?!? Our kids and Other schools use Upshur Park everyday. This is very, very disheartening!!!

  • Lrds

    Ironically Councilmember Todd did an outreach walk along 14th just last night to get feedback from local businesses about crime and other issues. Ugh.

    • Linc Park SE

      Question – did they cite any correlation between gun possession now being a misdemeanor (no license) instead of a felony as part of the reason for the uptick?

  • samanda_bynes

    back to school robbery, boi. i run that route everyday, how sad.

  • Bet

    9:45 am? What’s going on?

  • Dognonymous

    Pathetic and shameless. Some of our citizens are just hopeless.

  • PetworthPlums

    Wow this hits way too close! Broad daylight? With a gun? Right at the school? Honestly there is only so much the police can do. This is much bigger than gun violence, although it does play a part. This is the only way some of the people who were born and raised here are taking out frustrations. Frustrations about the neighborhoods they once called, and may still call home are being taken over. These developers aren’t concerned with keeping the feel or architecture of the neighborhoods. Their main goal is money. For example, it doesn’t matter that the Chuck Brown mural, a staple in the community is being torn down for MORE apartments! Apartments that no one really living in the community will be able to afford, my prediction. This is the job of the D.C. government that approves these plans. Why not keep parts of the building and make it a part of the current community? Instead of trying to come in and wipe D.C. of it’s character and charm. Okay I’m done with my rant!

    • rob

      I sorta tried to make the same point on this website a few days ago and got torn up for being a ‘crime expert’. New fancy building where people live in their little bubbles without interacting with others is prob the worst type of development, in my view. It’s also the disconnect between people…aka ranting about this stuff online, meanwhile avoiding saying a simple hello / making eye contact with people you see on the streets.

    • Dognonymous

      People born and raised here who are actually frustrated with how their neighborhood develops attend community meetings, engage with local government, and so on. Don’t make the mistake of giving a pair of degenerates committing armed robbery at 9 in the morning that much credit.

    • Ryan

      “Apartments that no one really living in the community will be able to afford…”

      The people who live in those apartments will be, ipso facto, living in the community. And if “[t]his is the only way some of the people who were born and raised here are taking out frustrations.” then the community will be better off once they’re gone. If a person’s response to changes in the demographics of the city is to resort to violent crime, then they are not a valuable community member, are not worth discussing, and will not be missed.

    • Guillermo brown

      So you’re saying black people are frustrated that white people are coming into “their” neighborhoods, and as a result are frustrated and acting out with violent crime against them? Wow, that’s a shameful excuse, but the good thing is I think you’re totally wrong.

      If anything, development has been revitalizing parts of the city once considered even more violent, so I’m not sure I understand your point. Sure, there are legitimate affordability concerns with all the gentrification that’s occurring in the city, but crime stats have decreased dramatically over the last 10-15 years since development started kicking off.

      The reality is people need to have more accountability for themselves, their children, their family members, friends, etc. This isn’t a race issue, it’s an accountably issue

    • joe

      i dont believe building expensive buildings is related to crime. crime was worse before gentrification. the crime we see in dc is a cultural problem. there is a percentage of the community who’s culture is broken (for obvious historical reasons). until this community can come together and make a change for the better i dont how the situation can change.

    • lrds

      Is this an actual serious comment and not just a troll? Sorry, I assumed anyone who said that violence and robbery with a gun near a school and a park is justified because of developers is actively playing at satire.

      • HaileUnlikely

        There is a difference between “justified” and “not altogether unsurprising.”

    • Stopthemadness

      +1– The comment isn’t saying all POCs from DC that commit crimes against white gentrifiers are taking out frustrations. Nor is the comment saying the it’s ok or excused. But that is the way some people feel. you can’t displace people and expect them to not be frustrated.

      Also, there are POCs who grew up here who are frustrated but do not commit crimes. There are many who just want to keep their homes and keep their communities safe. they engage in the community and endured years of high crime and urban neglect only to be priced out of the places they’ve called home for many years.

      • anonymous

        Yeah, yeah- my Irish American family was on the South Side of Chicago beginning in the 1870s and they eventually had to leave for obvious reasons. Were they angry about having to leave a place they called home for generations? Yes. Did they start committing crimes because they were angry about it? No, they moved to Palos and Lemont. That’s life.

      • anon

        but they were committing crimes before gentrification, many more crimes than now. the people that are doing this are simply criminals. it’s just that now the victims have changed.

    • anonz

      The mural that’s been there for a whopping three years?

      • textdoc

        My thought too!

      • PetworthPlums

        I now remember why I don’t post my rants online! My words were never regarding race or race issues. Not saying that isn’t a problem, not only in this city but all over. My main point is not saying this was justified, or that any violence is justified. My point is saying, that even I am feeling the push and I have only been here 3 years. I can only imagine, D.C. residents that have lived her their whole lives. Imagine going back to your hometown and seeing it transformed into a sterile, concrete, yuppie desert. My point is that by creating a sense of community, you create a sense of family. Family looks out for each other. Family doesn’t want to go and hurt their community. So saying hi and introducing yourself goes a long way. Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!

        • lrds

          I think we all agree with that point, PetworthPlums. I’m taking issue with “only way to take out frustrations” – that is, the only way to express valid concerns about your neighborhood is robbery with gun against what sounds like a neighbor working to get along just as much as anyone else. I know you’re not justifying it, but I have trouble accepting the link as something we should be ok with.

        • Colin

          ” Imagine going back to your hometown and seeing it transformed into a sterile, concrete, yuppie desert.”

          This is not at all what comes to mind when thinking of Washington DC — particularly the places that are seeing an uptick in crime.

          What’s funny here is that I recall when people said the reason for crime was a lack if investment in the inner cities and white flight. Now yuppies are moving back and investing and revitalizing things, we hear it’s the opposite. Can’t win with some people.

        • Guillermo brown

          You shouldn’t post your rants online because they make no sense

          • wobber


          • dcd

            Yep. The notion that the perpetrators of this and other crimes are criminals because “developers aren’t concerned with keeping the feel or architecture of the neighborhoods” is laughable. The only person likely driven to violence to architectural choices is textdoc. :)
            That said, I understand the point you were trying to make – that many long-time residents of gentrifying neighborhoods feel marginalized, excluded, and often pushed out. That’s what makes this, as Halie said, not altogether unsurprising. But it’s a p**s-poor excuse.

          • textdoc

            I heard that!!

    • Colin

      With this kind of penetrating analysis (no doubt based on lots of intense research) — crime is due to a lack of developer respect for architecture — it’s a wonder you haven’t been hired on as a police consultant. In any case, this theory suffers from the small problem that DC’s decline in crime over the last 15 years or so correlates nicely with rising gentrification.

    • dcloafer

      Finally, someone comes out and says it: Pop-ups —> Gun crime

    • Neighbor

      That’s complete bs. Most of the people born and raised in DC on our block would like nothing more than to see the worthless drug dealers and their customer/hold up crews gone. Indeed many of the children of older couples have left DC because of crime. People like this are not frustrated, they are worthless demented humans.
      And shame on the #blacklivesmatter folks for shouting down bowser as she proposed reforms that would have lengthened setences for trash like this.

    • wobber

      “Frustrations about the neighborhoods they once called, and may still call home are being taken over. ”

      When you say “taken over” whom are you referring to?

    • d

      I went to poor, inner city schools growing up. Like everywhere else, the vast majority of kids I went to school with were good kids. A small few were completely let down by their parents and/or society and seemed to have lost any sense of right and wrong if they ever had it. If they were violent, unfortunately there wasn’t much society could do except to lock them up and hope they would be magically reformed in juvenile detention or prison.
      But even some of the good kids that I knew (which made up the vast majority of kids) were hugely influenced by their environment and, teenagers being teenagers, were often seeking to rationalize the bad behavior of friends as well as their own. It does not help their decision-making process if there is violence all around them and the “adults” around them excuse or rationalize that violent behavior for any reason whatsoever (other than self-defense). I think it reinforces the sense of hopelessness and victimhood for kids that would actually have hope and options if they can only making it through their teenagers years without getting caught up in the violence. More positive role models that do not tolerate any violence and provide tough love are needed.

  • HaileUnlikely

    In other news, a block and a half up the street, the beautiful but insanely priced house that was GDoN a while ago is nearing 2 months on the market and the owner still asking $1.349M.

    • Anonymous

      I’m moving to the Palisades or Cleveland Park at that price. For $1.3 million, I’m miles away from Georgia Ave.
      Sorry, that’s just way too spendy for the ‘hood.

      • HaileUnlikely

        I like area a lot, used to live not far from here back before Columbia Heights was regarded as hip or desirable, and would have no qualms about moving back, this crazy sh!t notwithstanding. I wouldn’t be willing to pay anything close to $1M for a house around here though, and am kind of disappointed to know that this whole area will be waaaay out of my reach by the time I can aspire to afford the present going rate for an unrenovated f*ed up old house around here now (seemingly around $600K).

  • I was there and was the first person to speak with the victim. I did not see a gun or heard the victim or other witness to talk about a gun but the guy was in total shock and not talking much, so maybe later he remembered more. He didn’t speak much English so I stayed with him and talked to him in Spanish until some very nice people who also spoke Spanish took over and they even went to the police with him.

    It was awful and outraging how it happened, right in broad light. The guy was waiting in the red light on his scooter in Arkansas (to cross 14th) and the 4 thieves were also in scooter. They pushed him out of the scooter and drove off with it. There were a lot of cars there. I thought later, if we all got out of our cars and fought back, we probably could have stopped it. In the moment it took me a while to understand what was going on, since I was coming from the opposite side. The victim fought back quite a bit, in fact, at first I thought I was witnessing a fight among youths but then I realized what was happening.

    I felt terrible i didn’t react faster, although I don’t know what I could have done, you can tell that the guy was devastated. He probably worked his ass off to buy the scooter.

    It’s so shitty .

    • lrds

      Related aside: the lookout says two and the witness says four. I’ve seen that kind of discrepancy a couple times – does it mean there’s no description of the other two? Other two caught? who knows?

      Thanks for staying there gusano, though sorry it probably ruined your AM :(

      • gusano

        There were 4, but I can describe just two. It all happens so fast and I did not have the fastest reaction. I didn’t even look if their scooters had licence plates, probably not. One had dreadlocks and the other a blacktop, they all were wearing black, they seemed to be in their late teens or early 20s.

      • dc_2000

        Agree, thank you for sticking with the victim. I’m wondering whether this is the same incident though, because the alert was at 14th and Upshur and it sounds like what you are describing was 14th and Arkansas, a block north?

        • ZetteZelle

          If it was reported as having happened at Upshur Park (and 14/Arkansas is right on the edge of the park), I could see it as being listed as the park’s address, which is Upshur/14.

  • gusano

    You are right, maybe this is something else.

    • dc_2000

      But also frustrating because two events then happened within a block of each other!

    • dc_2000

      Found out from our police commander in the neighborhood that this was the event at Arkansas and 14 described above, although the DC Alert did come across as Upshur and 14.

  • Anonymous

    Upper 14th Stbhas been bad and has gotten worse over the past several years. Crime walks, community meetings, press conferences??? Blah blah blah. How about some action instead of lip service?


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