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“I wanted to give a head’s up to those who live in the Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, and neighboring communities.”

by Prince Of Petworth August 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm 67 Comments

via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to give a head’s up to those who live in the Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, and neighboring communities. At about 5:20 pm (or so) Wednesday, this man assaulted me at 16th and Spring NW. I was crossing 16th from east to west in the southbound crosswalk. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him jog ahead as if he were running for the bus stop at the Woodner. I was headed in that direction myself, but because I was using a trolley cart, I stayed in the crosswalk to use the cut. Right after I made my turn to head south, I realized this guy was in front of me and he just stopped, keeping his back to me. I thought, “okay…whatever”, and made to move around him to his left. He then moved and purposefully blocked me again, still keeping his back to me. I said “Dude, move out of the way.” His yelled response essentially was “Don’t call me dude. Why should I move out of yourway, bitch?”

All I remember clearly was him being offended about me calling him dude and him calling me bitch. At this point, I pulled out my phone to call the cops and while I was trying to navigate to the emergency call screen, he grabbed my hand around my phone and squeezed hard. It’s over five hours later and I can still feel the pressure on my index finger and thumb joints. Luckily, someone who had crossed the street with us realized something not right was going down and asked if I needed assistance. I requested he call the cops, which he did.

The man holding me must have realized I was in no way going to be an easy target for whatever this was. He released me and started walking south on 16th. Since he had actually touched me, which I knew might qualify for some level of assault, there was no way I was letting him leave without getting his picture taken. I ran up beside him and snapped a few photos. The attached photo was the best I could get. I told him I was going to file charges and he said something like “You do that.” I fell back because I had a picture of him and I was in no way looking to engage with him further. He turned down the garage entrance driveway of the Woodner and that was the last I saw of him. I’m not sure if he lives in the Woodner, in a neighboring building, or if he was just using the cut-through I’ve been told is at the back of the Woodner parking lot.

The police responded very quickly and I filed a report with them. The primary thing at this point is that this man needs to be identified. If you recognize him and know his name or where he can be found, please contact MPD and give them that information. My case number is 15-124-907. The cops do have copies of the pictures I took. I showed his picture to the security guards at my building so they were aware of the incident and one recognized him from another incident. The security guard was also looking for this guy’s identity for that issue. This is obviously someone with issues and is causing problems in the neighborhood. Thanks for listening, and stay safe. If you don’t know who this guy is, but you see him on the street, stay as far away from him as you can. I have absolutely no idea what set him off, but he was very much the aggressor in this situation as I had no interaction with him at all prior to his stepping into my path and blocking my way.”

  • neighbor

    Why post this and not include the pic?

    • MCR

      The pic is linked at the bottom (goes to OP’s twitter). OP, I live just around the corner and will keep an eye out.

    • S

      click on the link in the last paragraph and there is the pic

    • Katie

      There’s a link to her tweet with the pic in the post.

    • textdoc

      I was wondering the same thing. It’s in the link on the boldfaced green text “If you recognize him and know his name” (last paragraph, sentence 3).

  • Eric

    Ironically CM Nadeau led a Public Safety walk at 14th and Parkwood over to Spring on Tuesday night. The focus was more on 14th St. crime issues, but clearly it is pervasive throughout the area. Good to hear that MPD showed up so quickly.

    • Thought

      Reminds me of when CM Jim Graham led a Public Safety walk at 14th and Parkwood over to Spring 5 years ago. The focus was on 14th St. crime issues, but clearly it is pervasive throughout the area. Good to know that we are keeping up traditions!

  • madmonk28

    Yikes, glad you weren’t hurt more than what happened. Good for you to have the presence of mind to take the picture.

  • Anchor

    Oh no, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I have encountered this man, before. 16th and Spring is my bus stop, one early morning last week (around 6am) I was standing in the bus shelter on the west side of 16th to head downtown. I had my phone out looking at Next Bus and he walked by and muttered something angry about people being on their phones. It registered a second later and he was by then a few people down from me so it didn’t make sense to respond to his comment, which was said really rudely. But I got a good look at him. He got on the S1 with the crowd and spent most of the bus ride ridiculing and commenting about people on their phones, rudely. Everyone ignored him.

    This is probably of very little to no help to the police, but I’ll make sure I share it with them. I’ve been in touch with them twice in the past week about open drug use in the areas in those early morning hours. Best of luck in getting some resolution on this!

    • anonymous

      Wow- so he is a known quantity. Sounds very much like he has mental health issues. I just hope this isn’t the kind of guy we hear about in the future because he brought a gun to a theater or bus and opened fire on innocent people. This guy is just another symptom of how we really don’t do a great job of locking up, or at least treating, the crazies. We need to bring back institutionalization, or forced medicine for folks like this.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      I was wondering if it was at all possible that the guy didn’t know that he was blocking her and that perhaps her comment set him off (not that it excuses assault by any means, just that I know I wouldn’t take too kindly if someone had made what could be perceived as a snide remark instead of just saying, “Excuse me, i’m trying to get by, thank you.” I can be very oblivious at times and accidentally block people), but I guess this guy is known to be a trouble maker, so yeah. Glad you weren’t hurt, OP, and hope you get this resolved.

      • Anon

        I don’t think being called “dude” sets most people off.

        • LittleBluePenguin

          Depends on the tone with which it’s said.

          • Sherman Ave Resident

            Really? Dude said in a foul/negative tone can set someone off? C’mon.

          • LittleBluePenguin

            Do I think every and anyone who got called “dude” in a huffy/negative tone would immediately start a brawl? Of course not. But it probably wouldn’t engender warm fuzzy feelings of cooperation in most people, and it certainly could set off someone already looking for a fight.

          • Anonymous

            This is a weird hill to die on, given all the other comments corroborating that this is a guy who deliberately starts confrontations. Also, as said below, people don’t react perfectly ideally in the moment to startling and threatening situations by strangers. I know I’ve blurted out some pretty strange things in the moment (e.g., exclaiming “That wasn’t nice!” to a group of teenagers trying to knock me off my bike for shits and giggles). It’s a little meh to pick people apart on a blog after the fact.

          • LittleBluePenguin

            Sorry, I’m not trying to pick anyone apart, and if I I were the OP, I may very well have done the same thing. Having actually done something similar (exclaiming in frustration), it didn’t work out well for me, so I guess now I’m a lot more cautious about stuff. My initial thought (“maybe this guy just got mad / flustered because he didn’t know he was blocking anyone?”) was clearly way off base, and it sounds like this guy makes a habit out of being an awful, angry person. And all these stories just reinforces to me that I need to keep my mouth shut at all times because you never know who is going to take what you say wrong.

      • Bitter Elitist

        “Dude” Comment =/= the need to put hands on someone.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Of course it isn’t. However, if somebody already appears to be going out of his way to impede me on purpose, I would not bet my safety that he will respond rationally to my attempts to persuade him to acquiesce to my desires.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes! I recently had someone do almost exactly the same thing to me (deliberately blocking the back, getting extremely close, and becoming escalating aggressive as I tried to get by), except it was a *completely different person*! Luckily, a bystander intervened. It was a very unsettling experience. Ick that there is more than one such creep out there.

    • Anonymous

      back=path or sidewalk or something. Emotional typing.

    • Accountering

      This happened to me at Walmart. I was trying to get by this guy on the escalator, and he was beside himself. “What are going you going to do, bowl me over MFer? I’m a MFing handicap here. I got a broke hip and stuff”
      To which I responded, “I didn’t even touch you.”

      • Anonymous

        Mine was some dude who approached me head on and started blocking. Unsettling to say the least, since he didn’t say anything at first, just blocked.

        • anonymous

          These are power plays for the powerless, nothing more. Pretty pathetic on their part, but don’t take it personally.

          • Anonymous

            You are probably right, but this guy was much bigger than me and the incident did end with him grabbing my boob (also probably a power play after someone made him let me go). It’s less a matter of taking it personally than feeling actually threatened. It’s hard to know the one is mostly harmless but making a power play from the one who could actually hurt you.

        • blahblahblah

          This has happened to me, too. There was a woman talking with a man and kind of shifting her weight back and forth while she did it. While I was walking past her, she shifted back and right into my path, saw me and then yelled that I was a white bitch. I don’t know how deliberate it was, because she didn’t seem to notice me at all until she stepped in my path. But it was definitely unsettling.

          • JoDa

            Yep, I was walking down the sidewalk, looking at my phone but not taking up more than my share of space or zig-zagging when dude swerves his bike right into my path and yells at me to watch where I’m going. My response to him was a lot less kind than OP’s (I am actually a bitch, and not afraid to fly that flag), so he backed down pretty quickly. Not the same dude…apparently getting offended that other people are walking and/or looking at their phones is a popular hobby in DC!

  • anyoneofus

    The real question is why post this at all… Toughen up and be aware that there are all different kinds of people on the street, and some of them may have untreated mental illness. Next time maybe the statement should be, “Excuse me sir.” and not, “Dude get out of the way.” We have shootings, robberies and murders going on multiple times a week here in all different neighborhoods. Does this post really deserve this forum?

    Actually maybe it is me. Maybe I need to stop reading blogs like this.

    • Katie

      Yeah, I think this may just be you.

    • Anonymous

      I like the heads up that this sort of thing is happening so I can be on the look out. The “toughen up” comment is extremely unhelpful and also unkind. We can all think of ourselves as plenty tough (or savvy or whatever) but actual physical confrontations are rare, and it’s hard to predict how you will react to one. Or appreciate how unsettling they can be. And somebody boxing you in and preventing you from moving is a physical confrontation.

    • Accountering

      I think it is worthy of the post, but also agree that the OP was somewhat in the wrong too. “Dude get out of my way” was certainly escalating things, and when someone calls you a bitch to your face on the street, that is not the time to call the police (nor is this really even worthy of the police.) But you should have gotten to a safer spot and then called them if you deemed fit to do such.

      • Accountering

        Before I get totally eviscerated, I agree, he was in the wrong completely, and making things physical is never okay, but I think you could have handled it better.

      • Anonymous

        One does not always react with perfect rationality to startling and somewhat threatening situations.

      • madmonk28

        The OP had picked up on the fact that the guy was intentionally moving in a way to block her. A stern, “dude get out of my way” is a good way to communicate that you’re not screwing around and won’t be an easy victim. The fact that the guy then put his hands on her shows that he was up to no good. Why do people on this board always nitpick to death posts where someone is posting about an ugly incident in the city. I’ve noticed it’s more common when the original poster is a woman, some folks just can’t help but be condescending.

        • anyoneofus

          He had his back to her. How do you know that he was not aware of his blocking her? Remember there are three sides to every story. How do you know that the OP did not cut him off with her cart a block before? On top of it she acted, IMO, brashly as soon as she suspected an issue. It does not sound like she was boxed in, she was crossing the street and I am sure could have backed up. He was so dangerous that she ran up to him and take his picture and he did nothing but try and get away. People should be aware of the neighborhoods they are in and the history of those neighborhoods instead of just where the new beer or coffee joints are. I have lived in DC on and off since’93 and on U st since ’03. Physical run-ins are no fun and nothing to be toyed with, but verbally responding negatively and threatening to call the police, along with chasing down the party are not the way to respond to a threatening event. He grabbed her hand, not her purse or not person in a dangerous or sexual way. I believe her response was wrong.

        • Accountering

          First, I am not certain the OP was a woman. It could have been a guy… Second, I am not being condescending. What the guy did was totally unacceptable, I am just saying in this case, based on my reading, OP unnecessarily escalated the situation. There is someone who just threatened you and cursed at you, and you pull your phone out in front of them to call 911? I don’t think that is a smart move for a man or a woman.
          The bad guy here is the dude, but I do think this would have been less of an issue if handled better on both sides (and OP can only control their own behavior.)

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed 100%. I’m a guy and am generally not particularly fearful of physical confrontations with other guys, but getting home to my family safely is more important to me than making sure a guy learns his lesson that he can’t get away with messing with me and perhaps inadvertently finding out that he has a gun or a knife or a nth degree black belt and a bad temper. Get waaay far away first, then call 911.

          • V

            Agreed. This sucks no matter what and getting physical is not ok, but “dude get out of my way” isn’t really necessary either. Roll your eyes, move out of HIS way and keep it moving. I’ve been called worse than a bitch. Also, of he hadn’t grabbed your hand, what would you have told the cops? “I’m on the street, someone blocked me and called me a bitch, come quickly!”?

    • Truxton Thomas

      Yeah, I’m sure “excuse me sir” would have pleasantly resolved the issue of him intentionally blocking her path.

      • blahblahblah

        +1. The description makes it pretty clear that the guy was looking for a fight. I agree that she could have handled it better, but I don’t think that the outcome would be much different.

        • textdoc

          +1 to “I agree that she could have handled it better, but I don’t think that the outcome would be much different.”

    • I didn’t know who you would be, but I knew you would be here. Thanks for living down to expectations.

    • DCTodd

      It seems very likely that he has untreated mental illness. While not condoning his actions, I agree with you on the “Dude, move out of my way” statement. Saying something like that to someone who is unstable or being aggressive towards you is only likely to provoke them further, which seems to be the case here. Unless you are equipped to deal with a possible violent reaction/assault from a person who obviously has some sort of problem, why not take the high road and exercise caution. I understand her frustration but saying “Excuse me, please” could have possibly prevented this guy’s reaction.

    • Me

      As someone who was similarly assaulted a couple of days ago by some mentally ill person who also blocked her way (and then proceeded to grab), I’d like to personally dedicated a special edition of F$%k You to you, kind anyoneofus. We will not “toughen up” and we will continue to talk about street harassment and we will call the police, even when the crime isn’t a robbery or a shooting. Do not dare to tell people what they should or should not talk about in a public forum. Perhaps you should soften up and work on that weak empathy muscle of yours.

      “The real question”…pfft.

      • Me

        And by the way, I didn’t say a word to the guy who attacked me. Walking on the other side of the street when he decided to cross and attack me.

        Or perhaps I should have known better and not even be there, in my own neighborhood, in daylight, at all. Cause, you know, big city so gotta toughen up and be aware and stuff. SMDH.

        • anyoneofus

          I am sorry to hear that you were assaulted. I also understand that you did not do anything to provoke it. That being said, it is not your neighborhood. It is everyone’s neighborhood, and in the case of the OP I think she could have done better to remove herself from the situation instead of adding fuel to what has obviously been shown to be a person with an anger disorder or a mental disorder. I think my response, while maybe being inconsiderate by stating “toughen up”, actually shows more compassion to the people that live in our neighborhood and surround us everyday. Again, I am sorry that you were assaulted. My brother was knocked out on 15th and U Street while I was walking in front of him on a friday evening just for fun by a group of kids. I know this sucks, but sometimes we need to not raise the sirens to everyone in the neighborhood.

          • Me

            I appreciate the sincere response. Do you still feel the OP escalated things, even after reading all the accounts of how this guy is provoking confrontation and is getting aggressive up and down 16 street? Why is it wrong to raise alarm? Yes, the neighborhood is shared. But that doesn’t mean tolerating aggressors, even if that’s the so-called nature of a big city. I think it shouldn’t be tolerated and swept aside as just the cost of living here, like the traffic or tourists standing on the left. Do raise alarms.

      • Anonymous

        Did the guy who attacked you have dreads?

  • garrett

    Totally saw this guy picking a fight with a tourist in front of the now Cuban embassy a couple of weeks ago. He definitely frequents up and down 16th street.

  • Anon

    A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting to cross the street at 14th and Park and this guy walked into me when there was plenty of room on the sidewalk. I took a step back and before I could say anything he sarcastically apologized and called me a bitch. The light turned so I didn’t respond and just started crossing 14th. He followed right up behind me and was screaming that I was a bitch at the top of his lungs. “You know how I know you’re a bitch? Because you look like a bitch and looks aren’t deceiving! Bitch, bitch, bitch!” This was in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      Whoa. What a nutjob!

  • MM

    Me and a few friends live at the Woodner and one friend said this man definitely lives at The Woodner. Maybe you can take the pic of him and go to the management office or call the police. He should be taken off the streets….and out of my building!!!

  • Woodner4eva

    What happened to the OP sounds terrible, and i’m glad someone was there to step in and say something.

    This may or may not be the same man that accosted me for reading a book on the S2. I had headphones in and was reading a book while standing in the back area of the bus, up the steps. he said that i kept pushing him with my backpack, and that its incredibly rude to be so oblivious. My backpack was about a third of the width of his… and i hardly think a nudge or two on an overly crowded morning commute bus is a cause for yelling. I apologized (but didn’t stop reading).

    If this is the same man, (glasses, white polo, dark pants, backpack), then yes it takes extremely little to set him off. And it is a little concerning that he went into the Woodner. I lived there for the last 7 months, and it proves how hard it is to know whom you are live among.

    • HaileUnlikely

      The Woodner houses a very large and very diverse cross-section of the entire population of DC. The residents of the Woodner are probably one of the least homogeneous groups you’ll find anywhere in DC with respect to about any characteristic you can think of.

      • I Dont Get It

        Haven’t there been a couple of murders in the Woodner?

  • Fluffhead831

    You probably thought he was a computer nerd, didn’t ya?

    Wrong! He was a Navy SEAL, lady.

    (Totally looks like this guy from Broken Arrow) http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/die-hard-scenario/images/0/05/DHS-_Shaun_Toub_in_Broken_Arrow.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140930193010

  • Cherry

    When will your ignorance end? Physical assault is never okay, and can be especially intimidating when it is male on female assault in a public place. From the comments posted here, it’s clear this man is a regular aggressor in the community and the crowd-sourcing enabled by the OP here could make a lot of people feel safer if this man is identified and charged.

    • anonyme

      Since when did “interacting” = physical assault? I interact daily with dozens of people, and these interactions generally do not involve being threatened and/or having someone lay hands on me. What this guy did was a crime, not harmless interaction.

    • Zora

      I’m worried for you and those you interact with, schreckdc. Good luck to you.

      • AnotherBdaleResident

        Ditto. Must be sad to live your life that way.

  • Anon X

    This guy is a nut job and there’s never an excuse to invade someone’s personal space, let alone touch them without consent. If this had happened to me, I would have been angry and felt vulnerable.

    That said, Im somewhat sympathetic to the commenters who are highlighting the hyperbolic nature of the writing. I dont think I would have reacted in a pleasant manner to someone barreling down behind me with a cart becoming exasperated that I am in their way and referring to me with, with what many regard as, a diminutive.

    So, lets put this in perspective, original poster seems to have been very frustrated and maybe took her anger out a bit on random stranger. Random stranger turned out to be neighborhood whack job and totally fucking freaked out on her. Should this have happened? No. Was it assault and illegal? Yes.

    To me, this just bolsters my position of avoiding all people I dont know whenever possible and being polite and kind to people I dont know if put in a position where I must interact. Its probably overkill, but i assume strangers on the street are irrational and probably crazy until I am shown otherwise. If the poster had been polite, this nut job would have probably still done what nut jobs do… but the lesson here is be nice to people and if they’re unbelievable assholes back, you know you’ve done everything in your power to diffuse and avoid the situation.

    • anonymous

      Yep, this is all good advice/insight. This is how I approach things, too- lots of politeness and lots of wariness.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      Thank you! you said what I was trying, poorly, to say!

    • anon

      “To me, this just bolsters my position of avoiding all people I dont know whenever possible”
      yikes, this is horrible advice. i’m sorry you feel you have to live your life like this.

  • Me

    I’m feeling extra generous today, so I’d like to offer you a freshly picked F&$K YOU. Here’s to hoping someone accosts you tomorrow morning.

  • Anon

    I can’t tell if it’s the same person, but a few months ago I was walking on Q Street near 16th and a guy who looks very similar to this one walked toward a friend and me and as I tried to get out of the way, he totally rammed into me, almost knocking me off my feet. I turned and said “Wow!” or something like that and he turned an called me a “stupid bitch.”

    Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • j morrison

    I was on the 16th st bus today and noticed a passenger acting in a very strange manner….taking up two seats, cursing at people, etc then noticed it was the same man as on the twitter pic! I immediately called MPD, gave them the case number posted, and at least one officer was dispatched. Hope they get him, he seemed mentally ill and very dangerous.


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