“this was the worst part- one of them savagely stomped his face. Then they kept walking toward the metro”

by Prince Of Petworth November 13, 2015 at 11:10 am 106 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I witnessed an attack last night around 8pm on my walk home right by the Shaw metro, in the median between the library and the 7-11 on Rhode Island Ave. A group of teenagers came up behind another young man and took him down, then kicked him in the back and – this was the worst part- one of them savagely stomped his face. Then they kept walking toward the metro. A number of bystanders stayed around to help, call the police, and give statements. The victim was conscious and talking after a few minutes, but he didn’t seem to know his assailants. He said they took his bag as well. Police, emergency response, and an ambulance arrived fairly quickly and a cop called me a couple hours later to ask me to go over my statement again. They hadn’t caught the perpetrators yet.

It was scary to witness such casual violence. There was a lot of blood and I really hope the guy is okay. It’s a good sign that he was able to answer questions from the fire department guys.

Does anyone have tips for observing useful details when something like this happens? I felt so bad that I saw it happen but couldn’t have picked one of the people involved out of a lineup. It felt like it happened so fast and I couldn’t process what I’d seen quickly enough to get relevant identifying details. And I didn’t want to chase after the group as they sauntered away.”

Ed. Note: A reader recently wrote that the police advised them to look at the attacker’s shoes and provide a description of them.

  • W. T. F. I’m so sorry this happened and glad you were at least able to help.

  • retropean

    Probably not enough to peg someone with certainty, but outside of build and face/hairstyle, I’ve always been told that remembering shoes is a lot more useful than other clothing observations since it’s less likely to change.

    Scary. Hoping for a quick recovery for the victim.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    JESUS. This is getting really bad. WTF, why can’t they just steal the stuff?! No need to stomp their face too! I really hope the guy recovers and the criminals are caught.

  • IHM

    For what its worth, the Lieutenant at our local meeting (Capitol Hill) said one of the best things to do is remember footwear, because boots/sneakers are not something that will likely be discarded like a jacket or shirt might be.

    • I always look at the color/pattern of the underwear that’s sticking out the top of their saggy pants. Seriously. They are sure as hell not going to change that in a hurry.

  • It makes me feel helpless that this is what society has turned in to – young people stomping faces. Stealing is awful enough, but that they believe this is ever ok is beyond me. There’s something in human nature that SHOULD tell you to NOT STOMP SOMEONE’S FACE.
    The police chief here had a great interview where he said he’s tired of churches trying to let these criminals come to Jesus when, in the end, some can’t be saved and just need their asses locked up. He’s SO right.

    • Timebomb

      Turned in to? Our history is awful and full of casual violence. Much of it institutional. Violence is more or less at an all-time low.
      This incident is tragic, but we should also be grateful that we can even recognize it as such.

    • catherine

      our police chief is a woman. are you writing from elsewhere?

      • textdoc

        The user “J user to be in DC” used to live in D.C. but recently moved to Philly,

  • Michelle T

    remember shoes? I dont pay much attention to shoes when something horrible is happening. even if i did look at the shoes, what would i say? ‘sneakers….uh….black…..or dark blue? i couldnt tell. it was dark out…”

    this makes me nervous though in terms of self defense. i am a very small woman. not even 5 feet

    I googled hot pepper spray. might get me one. that would definitely hurt. a friend of mine carries around bug spray and told me “most sprays at the stores are bad for the eyes. bug spray, household products….dont always think pepper spray is the only way to go…”

    something to think about. sigh

    • LoganRes

      If you’re going to carry around pepper spray (or any eye irritant spray) make sure you know how to use it.

      • Aglets

        You also need to make sure it’s legal to carry- there are different rules for different states.

    • textdoc

      Pepper spray is temporarily disabling, but as far as I know causes no lasting injury. Spraying someone in the eyes with household cleaners could blind them for life — IMO, a disproportionate punishment for the crime.

      • BP

        Perhaps the punishment should be disproportionate?

      • tom

        I’m fine with someone who is actually guilt of a violent street crime being potentially blinded for life. Actions have consequences.

        But, I would be concerned about innocent bystanders or the victim themselves being injured.

      • anonymous

        Disproportionate? Are you f-ing kidding me? Some bug spray in their eyes is the least the little piece-of-**** predators deserve.

        • anon

          ummm blinding someone for life is not only disproportionate, it’s also illegal and a horrible reaction to the above incident. i hope you’re never in any position of power or prestige to spread your dangerous views of vigilante “justice.” it certainly would only contribute to the real problem of violent crime, which is decreasing overall.

          • Copwatch

            Are you kidding? Disproportionate to curb stomping? Those kids are guilty of attempted MURDER and should be locked up for the rest of their miserable lives. If someone in DC being mugged is lucky enough to have the ability to fight back, they should. These kids were raised without any regard for human life and will nearly murder you even if you give them your stuff without a fight.

      • textdoc

        From a more practical standpoint… I don’t know what kind of DIY sprayer container your friend uses for bug spray, but I’d be worried if I went the DIY route that I would end up with bug spray (carcinogenic) or household cleaners (damaging, strong-smelling, etc.) all over my purse. Better to use something made for the purpose.
        Also less likelihood of the perpetrator trying to sue you afterward. Maybe you don’t think blinding someone is a disproportionate punishment for the crime, but a jury might decide otherwise.

        • Michelle T

          so let’s say a man attacks me. most he can get is maybe 3 punches to my face and he ends up stealing my entire purse and everything in it.

          even if i blind him for life, you really think the jury will choose HIS side?

          As for the bug spray my friend uses, I doubt she uses it much. she told me she started carrying it around after a dog went after her. my point was I want to feel safe. people want to feel safe. some are going to take desperate measures to do so.

          • d

            Ask Marissa Alexander who is in prison for 20 years after taking action when she purportedly thought her life was in danger. I believe the jury deliberated for fewer than 15 minutes.

          • Michelle T

            well, I guess we are all screwed then. cant defend ourselves without risking prison time ourselves. whatever

            fuck our justice system. :-/

          • HaileUnlikely

            Drop the hysterics. This is not productive. Legal pepper spray is readily available. They sell it at lots of local places including Ace Hardware. Go buy some. And learn how to use it, to maximize your likelihood of successfully defending yourself if needed and to minimize the likelihood that it will be used against you or that you will accidentally use it against yourself.

          • textdoc

            The best way to defend yourself is with self-defense techniques — unlike a spray, they can’t be taken from you and used against you — and/or something legal like pepper spray.
            The important thing is for you to be able to get away and out of danger.

          • Michelle T

            ‘drop the hysterics’

            really helpful. maybe it does sound hysterical, but in the moment of something happening, i want to do whatever I can to “distract” the person beating me, so i can get away.

            but yes, i will look into legal pepper spray as well.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I said drop the hysterics because there were already several legitimate suggestions for effective and legal means of self defense and you resort to “well, I guess we are all screwed then” because somebody pointed out that the law might frown upon various other alternatives like consumer products sold as poisons.

          • Molly

            @d, she got out in January after serving 3 years, and now doing 2 years of house arrest. Hardly justice, but at least she didn’t serve 20!

      • Emmaleigh504

        wow! I had no idea so many people think it’s ok to blind someone.

        • Copwatch

          I’m more concerned about the people who think it’s ok to try to murder someone and not expect any consequences.

    • Michelle T

      blinding someone for life is the least of my concern if i am being attacked. whether having my face kicked in or whatever the case may be. if it’s violent in nature, then i dont care if i blind the jerk….

      • kittycatbob


      • sproc

        This. This is not the “stand your ground” BS, or even the simple threat of violence (being held up at gun/knife point). If I’ve already been attacked and there is no immediate escape, I’m going straight honey badger if I have any fight in me at all.

      • anonymous


    • Michelle T

      my friend said she would show me how to use it. she has been attacked once. not by a person though. she said it was an out of control dog, but very large. a doberman or something. she said the bug spray really came in handy. he ran off. she said as soon as he took off crying, she just got the hell out of there and went to the ER. luckily, she didn’t need stitches or anything.

    • CPT_Doom

      It is difficult when you’re a crime victim, but if you can calm yourself looking at shoes and pants is one of the best options, as others have pointed out. I was a Psychology major in college with a specialty in Psychology and the law – basically how psychological processes work in crimes, juries, etc. Eyewitnesses, although among the most persuasive of evidence, are actually pretty bad when identifying strangers. Focussing on items like clothing is actually more reliable. When I was robbed at gunpoint in 1990, I was able to remember the lessons of those classes and look away from the gun (weapons tend to draw our attention) and get a good look at his pants and shoes. I also was able to guess his height because he stood next to me and, most importantly, the bright yellow plastic bag he used to hide the gun. The bag ended up being key, because it linked him to several robberies.

    • eggs

      I heard (so take with a grain of salt) that bug sprays and such can be treated as chemical weapons instead of how pepper spray is classified. Got into a discussion recently in a Facebook group about how to best protect yourself when working behind the bar, one person suggested keeping bug spray (the kind that shoots a narrow stream pretty far with decent accuracy) and another said that the police in their area said to absolutely not do this because you can be charged with using a chemical weapon (since as others have pointed out it can blind for life). It’s apparently all in the intent for having it, and routinely carrying it in your purse would likely be very obvious that you’re not just bringing it home from the store and happened to have it to defend yourself with.
      I’d love to get one of the anon MPD guys to chime in here on the local regulations for this, but I wouldn’t be willing to risk spending the rest of my life behind bars.

    • phl2dc

      Some products – if not all – state that it’s illegal to use them in manner inconsistent with their intended purpose. I’d be a little worried about that, unless you’re just heading home from a store and happen to have that in a bag.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Exactly. If I’m walking home from Home Depot and happen to be carrying a can of Raid wasp and hornet spray, get attacked, and use it to defend myself, a jury *might* buy that I was just defending myself the best I could in the heat of the moment. If I’m just out and about and carrying around a can of Raid wasp and hornet spray and I end up using it on somebody, it would be highly implausible to argue that I was not carrying it for the purpose of spraying a person, even if actually spraying it was unambiguously an act of self-defense. And there’s just no reason to do that – it is hardly any more difficult to buy legal self-defense spray than it is to buy bug spray.

  • Jim

    Any indication if this was random/opportunistic attack or a revenge/turf thing? I know the victim said he didn’t know his assailants, but he may have just said that to avoid being labeled a “snitch.”

    • Anon

      I don’t have my further details than what’s been written here, but I suspect the kids responsible live in the apartments right by the metro.

  • V

    When will the day come when scum like this picks on the wrong person and pure mayhem will be unleashed on them?

  • Shawz

    There’s a reason that even though I live closest to this metro, I choose to walk to Convention Center most of the time. The fact that they’re building another LIH building right there probably means that metro stop will remain a no-go area for the foreseeable future.

    • rob

      isn’t it a bit refreshing to see a new building actually not be high-end lux apt complex?

      • Truxton Thomas

        Are luxury condos and concentrated low-income housing our only options?

      • jaybird


    • dupont

      What is a LIH building?

      • Kingman Park

        Low Income Housing

      • Nathan

        Low Income Housing.

  • kittycatbob

    I never was a proponent for spanking or hitting your kids, but I gotta say, recently, with all these teenagers committing all these violent crimes lately? Their parents should have clobbered them (starting at an early age) as soon as they acted up to teach them right from wrong. Maybe then we wouldn’t have a generation of criminals walking around like they can do whatever they please to whomever they want.

    • dat

      where do you think these kids are learning this behavior from?

      hint: parents/guardians.

      • wdc

        Does kittycatbob think the parents were all soft and coddling?? No, they likely smacked those kids around from the time they could sit up, for offenses ranging from whining for food to crying with raw diaper rash. Seen it with my own eyes.

        • kittycatbob

          I think parents are so afraid of disciplining their kids these days because they don’t want someone to call Child Services. Yes, I believe their parents are soft and coddle them and let them act however they want to act.

          • wdc

            LOL! The parents fear CPS every bit as much as their kids fear getting arrested for weed or busted for truancy. Please.

    • NHAve

      Home is certainly where values typically begin, but wholly disagree with your suggested method. So does science. Even school districts are starting to recognize that punishment is not getting the desired results. Kids need to feel safe; if you are being physically abused by someone who is responsible for caring for you, you are going to see that as the appropriate response when someone isn’t doing what you expect of them.


      • Anon

        You just countered a spanking proponent with an NCBI link. I don’t think that’ll prove all that useful here. ;-)

    • AG

      Spanking them is only going to reinforce the idea that violence is ok. But I do agree that these kids need discipline. Where are their parents? Seriously, when I was a teen my parents always wanted to know where I was going, who I was going with, what time I was going to get home. If they even suspected I was up to no good, I would have not seen the light of day with the exception of going to school and back for at least a month. I guarantee these kids have gotten in trouble at least once. Their parents know they’re little hoodlums, they’re just choosing to look the other way. Oh and you don’t all of a sudden wake up and decide it’s ok to stomp on someone’s face. This happens after years of negligence.

    • tom

      I understand the sentiment. But, it seems like we are dealing with the ramifications of inter-generational concentrated poverty. Statistically, it is likely that these kids are being raised by a poor single mother or other relative. They probably have minimal contact with their father, who in many cases will have multiple kids with multiple women as well as a criminal record/limited career prospects. The person responsible for raising them is generally either poor or working class and raising them in a poor neighborhood with high crime, bad schools and lots of negative social pressures among their peer group. When they get a little older many start repeating the cycle of crime and teenage pregnancy.

      I really don’t know how we solve it? We know how to spend money on cash transfers, job training, etc. Maybe we don’t spend enough money, but at least we have a formula. But, we don’t know how to change the social norms of the community? Even the idea that norms should be changed would be considered “blaming the victim” and racist and classist by most anti-poverty scholars/activists.

      • wdc

        Yes, I see that as a problem, too. Resisting any attempts to change behaviors that lead to bad outcomes, because judging any behavior as “bad” would be racist/classist etc.
        Take teen pregnancy. I’ve heard arguments that it is cultural imperialism to try to prevent teen pregnancy. That early motherhood is part of the culture of (in this case) Appalachian women. And even that early motherhood is a good thing, because it makes girls more responsible, and less likely to “get in trouble.” Never mind that it stymies educational and therefore earning opportunities and entrenches generational poverty.
        To me, that attitude is a huge hurdle.

        • anon1

          “Never mind that it stymies educational and therefore earning opportunities and entrenches generational poverty.”

          ^^This. Children are expensive and it’s incredibly difficult to pull oneself out of poverty when there are multiple children to care for on a limited income, not to mention the problem of child care during work hours. Increasing access to (and information about) birth control would be a great step, but that idea is surely problematic for some groups, as well.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I saw a study about this recently with some surprising results. I do not recall whether they found that the majority of babies born to single mothers in poverty were not unintentional pregnancies, or else that babies born to single mothers in poverty were no more likely than babies born to wealthier mothers to have been unintentional pregnancies – anyway, one of those. If either of those is even halfway correct, it would suggest that the “solution” (if we want to call it that) to this “problem” (if we want to call it that) is a whole lot more complex than education about and access to birth control.

          • wdc

            Yes, I believe it. I don’t work with US populations, but I can tell you that women living in the most dire circumstances– like squalid refugee camps– will choose to have children, because it is their only concept of the future. Deciding not to have children is like deciding to lie down and die. Mind you, I’m not talking about unintended pregnancies, and there are plenty of those. People make decisions that are not rational to outsiders. And it’s not something that can be affected with more condoms. Although I think that free IUDs would help. If a woman could make a decision in a rational moment, and then not be able to un-make it without significant planning and inconvenience, I think we’d see some effects.

          • textdoc

            HaileUnlikely, that sounds familiar — I think I read something similar. And I agree that it makes tackling the issue a LOT more complicated.
            I was astonished when I read several years ago that something like 50% of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned — it’s a MUCH higher rate than for similarly developed nations. (This was before the ACA made birth control a no-copay thing under health insurance.)

    • houseintherear

      Oh lordy. NO. As a teacher of young kids, I assure you this DOES NOT WORK.

    • famous boat

      Maybe you should acknowledge that you’re talking out of your ass? Speaking from first hand experience, hitting kids does not teach any sort of lesson. It merely breeds anger and resentment.

      • kittycatbob

        I can speak from first hand experience too, and no, I’m not talking out of my ass.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Somebody much smarter than me once said,” Changing human behavior isn’t rocket science. It’s much harder than rocket science.” There are some things in life that personal experience may not be the best guide for: how one single thing done to a child influences how they will be as an older teenager or young adult is most definitely one of them.

  • Anon MPD

    So glad someone asked this question. Poor or no descriptions really hamper our ability to quickly catch someone.

    So we would like:
    Approx Age
    Direction of Flight
    If they get in a car, the license plate. And if not that, then make, model, color, bumper stickers, tint, etc.

    The reason we like shoes is that people can and do remove their shirts or tops. They also may turn them inside out. People almost never change their pants or shoes. So shoes and pants are key. Also anything unique is helpful. So young male black guy with a white tshirt and blue jeans is much less helpful than that same description adding that he had a limp or a tattoo on his arm or has White Air Force Ones.

    • anon

      and write these things down as soon as you can! your memory will fade

    • d

      Is there a reason that 911 operators can’t relay license plate numbers to responding officers? I have twice called 911 with a full license plate number that I recited from memory, but by the time the police arrived (within a reasonable response time!) I had forgotten some or all of the number and the officers indicated that they received no such information from the dispatch.

      • textdoc

        That’s terrible, and sounds like a failing on the part of OUC (the Office of Unified Communications), which takes 911 calls.

      • JoDa

        Granted, I’ve only needed to remember license plate numbers for very trivial things, but if I need to, I either text it to myself or take a photo. Sounds like texting is probably your easiest option if you witness perps fleeing a violent crime. If you have a notepad app on your phone, that would work, too.

        • d

          When I can I do snap a photo. Unfortunately in both of these cases I witnessed a crime (one an assault and another a hit and run) while on my bicycle so my phone could not be safely and easily accessed, and when I did access it it was to immediately call 911 as there was an injured victim.

    • DC Rez

      Practice too. On metro. Walking or driving around. It is a skill that can be developed. Test yourself – how many useful details can you glean from a very quick observation of random people present in the area.

      I wish 911 dispatch could connect witnesses directly by phone to the nearby officers responding. Once I witnessed a crime in progress in Petworth with a police cruiser one block away that I could see. The police car drove away up the hill so by the time the dispatch got out the call the crime was over and perp was long gone.

  • Karin

    If they went to the Metro, the cops could get the surveillance tape from inside the Metro station. Most of the entryway and fare machines have cameras at all angles. My 15 year old son was mugged at noon just outside the fare gates at Stadium Armory and the 18 year old was caught because they sent stills around to the schools and a principal alerted the Metro Transit Police that she knew the perpetrator. He got 11 months prison time in my son’s case and another 11 months for another case. Kudos to the Metro Transit Police, the detective and the prosecutor. While I am grateful that this person was caught, I found the whole experience so sad on so many levels.

    • Anon

      Unfortunately, I doubt many of these kids go to school on much of a regular basis. (Then again, if they’re known to be trouble, then that could make them easier to identify?)

  • exxonv

    Wow, this sounds exactly like what happened to me a few years ago at 11th and Irving, apx. 7:30 pm on a Friday night. Three teenagers came up behind me, knocked me to the ground, and stomped my face. They ran off (never got caught), but doctors had to reconstruct my face with titanium and pull and replace my two front teeth. If anyone knows the victim, make sure he knows about Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation Fund; a remarkably and surprisingly effortless DC program where they pay all your medical bills. Since all the surgeries amounted to more than $50k, it was a wonderful program. DC has made me Weapon X…

    • eggs

      Holy crap I am so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for posting that information though, as I’m sure it will be useful to the victim. So glad to hear a program like that exists!

  • Anon

    Are you sure about the timing? I saw a man being wheeled into an ambulance from that median shortly after 7. I can’t imagine that another incident happened in the same place within the same hour.

  • dc_mike

    It’s like Clockwork Orange come to life.

    • MsSunshine

      Now I have “Singing in the Rain” in my head.

  • ChooChooPolice

    I always ask victims if they remember the shoes, it honestly helps a lot. And group descriptions, like was it all guys , or like three girls accompanied by 5 guys etc. Belt buckles, undershirts, complextions, hairstyles also help. Distinctive writing on clothing if you can remember. If you can’t remember the color of clothing, try to remember if it was a dark color or light color.
    It’s hard to remember descriptions when you witness a crime cause you get tunnel vision, but we just need something enough to be able to stop someone or a group to further investigate them.
    Also the time it occurred and the time you see them going toward the metro. Helps with getting images from the cameras.
    Also if you see them going to the metro and remember to call 2121, we can hold all trains and have a better chance of catching them or see suspects of interest on camera running out of the station when they notice trains are sitting there doors closed.

    • textdoc

      I didn’t realize until I saw the mention of “2121” that “ChooChooPolice” must be a member of Metro Transit Police (I was thinking, “Chattanooga Police??”), and that he/she is referring to the Metro Transit Police number — 202-962-2121.
      I recommend keeping that number stored in your phone.

  • Kathryn-DC

    I am sorry that this happened, and it must have been traumatic to witness.

    Which is the main issue with being a witness after the fact — the shock and disbelief creates a problem with remembering details. First it takes a while to realize that what you are witnessing is indeed real, and by then you have missed some details.

    Which is why people in the safety/security field do training in how to recall details. It takes practice, basically. We are given exercises such as being shown a photo for a few seconds and then questions are asked about the details of that photo. Or, a computer game where license plates flash onto the screen and you try to recall the numbers.

    I suppose that people could set up exercises like that in daily life as well. Learning to be aware of your surroundings takes practice. How many people are in the room with you right now? Who is walking behind you, or beside you? What do they look like, what are they wearing? That sort of thing.

    • d

      As I cyclist I have taught myself to routinely memorize the license plates of drivers around me who are using their phones. My recall has gotten quite good.

      Better to memorize it before someone hurts you then try to see it when you’re unconscious on the ground. Sometimes I even yell their numbers out to them if they’re behaving particularly badly, ie “hey EX9405 your turn signal is broken.” It helps my memory.

  • bdaleres

    I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to do more as a bystander, and the helpful tips in the comments.

    The bigger issue to me is that this is NOT an isolated incident. Just since late-summer I can think of at least 3 or 4 similar violent attacks within a radius of a few blocks, all by a “group of teenagers.” I would be shocked if this is a different group of teenagers committing each crime, all within walking distance of Rhode Island and 1st (hint: police, this is probably where they live). Why does it feel as if nothing is being done to address this pattern? How could it be so difficult to figure out where these teenagers live?

  • JohnH

    This such a JOKE that this happened by MPD.
    There was literally someone murdered a few days ago within a stones throw of this spot. There was another shooting a couple months ago within a stones throw. There was another incident just by the library – same exact location. The problems have existed for quite some time from 8th/Rhode Islande island up to 8th and S, with the metro entrance inbetween.
    What does MPD do after the shooting last weekend? Set up a mobile camera at 9th and S – NOT the problem area.
    How hard is it for them to have a police car stationed on 8th every night? They can literally walk/drive up and down the 2 blocks that has been the epicenter of problems in this area.

    • bdaleres


    • Anon

      There usually is a police car parked near the library or in the 7-11 parking lot. Guess not last night…

    • Nathan

      Last night there was also a heightened police presence around the metro due to the Howard U threats.

    • Anon

      MPD pretty much does have a car/patrol stationed by the south metro entrance. That didn’t seem to prove as much deterrent. Any more carefully considered suggestions?

      • JohnH

        I use this metro entrance every day. Is there more often than not a police car near? Yes. Is there always – especially at night – no. If there was one there last night…the perps ran right to the metro! So guessing there wasn’t…

  • Here is the posted guidance from MPD on legal pepper spray/mace. Using this vice something homemade will be more effective than a home-brew, DIY spray. Also, many brand now include liquid additives which glow under black light — which could aid in arrest.


  • MRD

    Did grand jury duty for violent crimes a few years ago and was surprised by helpful shoe descriptions can be. Hair length and style, too.

  • Anon

    Another tip–if you’re far enough away and out of the path of danger, take a photo with your phone. With the quality of phone cameras improving, you can be some distance away and still see a lot of details when you zoom in.

  • Mya

    I was attacked and thwarted off an attempted robbery in my front yard a few yrs ago, and honestly when your mind clears and the adrenaline wears off it is hard to recollect much. I DO remember the color and make/model of the car used as a getaway to this day, so if any detail helps that’s definitely one to pay attention to.

    This is yet another reason #9285940696 why I 1) do minimal traveling by foot in this city anymore and 2) my child will drive before I allow her to walk and/or use public transportation in this city. Sad and unfortunate because I used to take Metro EVERYWHERE (bus and train) and I really think it would be great to teach my young one to do the same, but it just isn’t safe anymore. I’ve lived here all my life 33 years, I’ve been witness to and experienced a lot of crazy things that I chalk up to just being in an urban environment – mind you i grew up in SE – but right now, I can’t wrap my brain around what is going on….

    • Jo

      I am confused by this comment about it not being safe anymore. It’s safer now than *most* of the 33 years you’ve lived here.

      • Mya

        Where is the confusion? In the past five years, not only have I been a crime victim for the first time but I read the news daily and some of the things I’ve heard are outrageous – NO RHYME OR REASONING BEHIND IT. Most crimes in my younger days were drug or feud related, I chalk most of it up to being part of that lifestyle. But snatching phones out of people’s hands, running up on people and beating them to a pulp just for kicks, is an everyday thing BUT bottom line it is abnormal and ignorant. And the sad part is there is no severe punishment for these crimes and i’m starting to understand why our police force is dwindling – why arrest people when the law serves no purpose?

        • Sad Rez

          20+ years running of increasingly violent pop culture. It seems to be hip to be a violent young thug now. Just plain Messing up many youngsters in America for sure. And dc’s very soft policies for violent juveniles doesn’t help one bit!

          • Mya

            @ Sad Rez – I definitely agree with you on all points!

        • Jo

          What you are describing is being more anecodorally aware of crime. Really, right now, even this type of crime is lower than most of the last 33 years, perception with the internet aside. Not saying we shouldn’t want the city to deal with the current up tick, but perspective is useful.

      • Mayim

        It’s a different kind of crime. For the most part upstanding people who kept to themselves were able to avoid falling victim to crime –save the random fluke such as a car theft. These days, anyone and everyone is falling victim to brutal, unprovoked, violent crimes and there’s really nothing you can do as an individual to prevent it.

  • ke

    It seems like these kids feel like they can act with impunity, and it turns out they can! This is an unacceptable level of violence, and it will hurt DC in the long run if they can’t get control over it.
    On the question of observing details, the website The Art of Manliness had an interesting post about developing situational awareness akin to that in the Bourne Identity. Remember how Jason Bourne could instantly remember details about his surroundings? It’s a memory technique that can be practiced and developed…I’ll see if I can find the link.

  • 8th St resident

    Where is the police presence in this neighborhood? There was an increase in MPD presence for a few days after last Saturdays shooting. Today on my way to and from the Shaw metro station I see NONE! Crime has been rampant in this neighborhood since the summer and it is not slowing down.

  • sp

    oh my god, I saw this group hanging out in front of the library when I went to drop off a book at 7:45ish. Very very bad vibes coming off of them… I was hesitant to go into the library, but for some reason pushed forward — never will again.

    strangely, some of the girls associated with the group even had a couple babies with them.

    they all kept going from the library, into traffic, towards the 7-11 and back again, lots of pushing and yelling and general aggression directed at kind of everyone around them. the definition of “antisocial.” I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a completely random victim who walked by at the wrong time… that group was a landmine waiting for a random opportunity to go off.

  • Mayim

    I’ve heard to look at shoes and tattoos. I heard about someone helping police catch a perp by being able to identify his neck tattoo at a neighborhood meeting a while back.


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