“Living in the city, I’ve grown to ignore being catcalled, but this time I genuinely feared whether this man would follow me into my house”

by Prince Of Petworth February 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm 17 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr userMr.TinDC

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to make people aware of something that happened last night and to thank MPD for their quick response.

Around 1:00am last night, I was walking home on the 1000 block of F Street NE after parking my car around the block. At the intersection of 10th and F Street NE, I noticed a Honda Civic slow down alongside me. I first thought I was about to be robbed, but the driver began sort of catcalling. (“Hello…you look pretty.”) The driver asked if I needed any help, I responded no and asked him to drive on. Instead, the driver then put on his hazards and began driving back and forth on the block, U-turning at the intersections on both sides. During this, I stopped walking because I didn’t want the driver to know where I lived and possibly approach me while I was unlocking my door. I then told the driver that I would call the police if he didn’t drive away. He got a little agitated at this, saying “there’s no need to call the police. Just talk to me.” So I immediately called 911.

While I was on the phone with the dispatcher, I saw that the driver was slowed down during one U-turn by oncoming traffic, so I hightailed it to my house and entered before he could try to see where I was. I could see from out a window that the driver continued to go back and forth on the block a couple times.

A police unit was dispatched to my block before I was even off the phone with the 911 dispatcher, within 3-5 minutes of dialing 911, which I believe scared off this driver. This is the fastest response time I think can reasonably be achieved, and I want to commend the DCPD for their immediate response. The police officer I spoke to thanked me for reporting this and agreed that the driver was behaving suspiciously. Another police unit was arriving at the scene while I talked with the officer. It was very evident that DCPD took my 911 call extremely seriously, and despite the situation leading to my 911 call, their prompt response helped me regain a sense of safety and security after the incident.

I also want readers, especially females, to remember to be on alert when walking home and don’t be afraid to call the police when they feel threatened by this type of harassment. Living in the city, I’ve grown to ignore being catcalled, but this time I genuinely feared whether this man would follow me into my house.”

  • Teddy

    Try to get the license plate next time and description of the person/car. This is probably not the first or last time he has done this. Glad you are ok.

  • Smittty

    Props to the cops and op! Glad you remained calm and got yourself out of that situation. Stay safe!

  • houseintherear

    Props to 911 for taking you seriously, and to you for calling them.. Years ago when this happened to me, except with a masturbater on a bike, they told me I had to “stay on the scene” or they wouldn’t send a police car. And it was a female 911 operator, amazingly. OY!

  • madmonk28

    Glad you’re okay, it sounds like you kept level-headed during a scary confrontation. I’m willing to bet he didn’t expect you to respond so forcefully and it disrupted whatever bs he was planning (none of it could have been good).

    • textdoc


  • Kathryn-DC

    I’m glad that you got through that okay, and hopefully it put a good scare into the guy.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I’m very sorry this happened to you. A guy also driving a Civic did this to my wife a month or so ago (nowhere near you; off of Georgia Ave close to Silver Spring, about 9PM). She called me, I ran outside, sprinted 2 blocks to meet her, and the guy saw me and sped off. I got a good look at him. He was a big fat (morbidly obese in the actual medical sense of the term) African American guy with a stubbly beard (and the car was either white or a light metallic grey). We should have called the police but we didn’t.

  • Hstreeter

    Used to live at 7th and F and was an avid stoop hanger-outer. Everytime I’d see stuff like this go down I would get up and start screaming at the guy. When guys see stuff like this go down, we have to be more willing to shout down and publicly embarrass them, even when the woman is a stranger. They clearly don’t respect women, but have their masculinity hurt when another guy calls them out normally does the trick.

    • Concerned in Petworth

      Wow! This is such a great response. I wish you lived in my neighborhood. I’m almost daily harassed by males while walking in DC. It makes me sick and unsafe. Thank you for standing up for women. I definitely appreciate it!

    • wdc

      Yes thank you!
      I’ve told this story here before, but it fits: I was getting harassed by a drunk guy while walking (“Smile, sweetheart! What, you think you’re too good to smile at me?? Someone ought to teach bitches like you a lesson…” and so forth.) He followed me for most of a block before another man, a younger black man, fell into step beside me and said quietly “I’m just going to walk with you a little ways if you don’t mind.” I said thank you, I’d appreciate that, and within another block, the drunk guy meandered off.
      And yes, the race of the other man is a relevant detail, because it serves to remind that our helpful friendly neighbors come in all shades and ages, and we should be giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.

      • FridayGirl

        “And yes, the race of the other man is a relevant detail, because it serves to remind that our helpful friendly neighbors come in all shades and ages, and we should be giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.”
        YES TO THIS.
        Thank you for sharing this again, and thanks for being an awesome person Hstreeter

      • On Capital Heels

        Hear hear! Thanks for sharing!

    • AnotherBdaleResident

      Thank you.

    • CapitalDame

      Props to you! As sad as it is that these guys respond better to males, I am grateful for allies who speak up. Please be careful, though!

  • nightborn

    So glad you’re ok. Clearly this person did not have good intentions and you acted exactly as I would have.

  • Cam

    Great that she took action and the police responded quickly and appropriately. The address isn’t Chinatown/Penn Quarter, though, if it’s NE.

  • Northeaster

    It was brave of you to confront him. This is not the first call the police have gotten in that area about someone harassing a woman from a car. While we were walking our dog one night by K and 6th NE, we encountered a young lady who was running down the street trying to get away from a car of men catcalling her and driving slowly beside her. She said one of the men attempted to get out of the car, which is what made her run. We stayed with her until the police arrived – it took them almost an hour – so I’m happy to hear they took you seriously and came out in a reasonable amount of time.


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