“One of the girls involved in the fight pulled out a butcher knife and a hammer and began wildly screaming”

by Prince Of Petworth February 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm 40 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rob

“fight with knife at Georgia Ave Metro station on Saturday night”

“About 7PM Saturday a group of about 10 teenage girls began fighting near the corner of New Hampshire and Georgia (actually on the west side of Rock Creek Church Road). It was a fairly big incident and about a dozen people witnessed it. At one point, one of the girls was dragged into the street and the other girls began stomping her in the face. One the girls involved in the fight pulled out a butcher knife and a hammer and began wildly screaming. I called 911 and timed the police response at 6 minutes. The first police cars arrived on the scene and the girls scattered right in front of them. The girl openly wielding the knife and hammer threw them down behind the zip cars on Rock Creek Church Road, 10 feet in front of the police.

The girl kept walking down Rock Creek Church Road in front of me and I frantically waved my arms to pointed her out to two more approaching police cars as they drove past her and myself. The police cars did not stop and drove on. I have to say that I was a bit perplexed by the police behavior, rather than chase down the girls, look for evidence, or question the dozen witnesses that stood around, the police officers congregated together in the middle of the street.

After several minutes of their meeting, I became concerned that they would simply leave without even looking at the crime scene (which was evident by torn clothing and other objects in the street). I hunted down the knife under the zip car and had to break the little police huddle to flag their attention to it. And, of course, there was no email alert put out about this incident. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but this incident seems like it could have been handled better.”

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  • west_egg

    By any chance was the knife bent or scratched after it was tossed to the ground? Perhaps we’ll get a “property damage” report. (Sigh.)

  • Los

    Well, this has become par for the course and in the near future, the girls will get paid handsomely for having stayed out of trouble. There will be even greater pressure on MPD not to arrest these kids lest they loose their free monies.

    • Anonymous

      Is this really a thing? Are they seriously considering paying criminals to stay out of trouble?

      • wdc

        No. Though of course it suits some people to mischaracterize it that way.
        As I understand it, the proposal is for teens with clean records to receive monetary and other incentives to stay out of trouble. Or what most of us here called “involved parenting” when we were growing up. It’s not these kids’ fault that their parents can’t/ won’t provide those incentives and that the gov’t has to step in, but I’d prefer something to nothing for the less fortunate.

        • come on man

          “No. Though of course it suits some people to mischaracterize it that way.”

          That’s a flat-out lie and you know it. Look at west_egg’s post at 2:45 PM:

          “The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. “

          • wdc

            “paying criminals to stay out of trouble” is the flat-out lie. Criminals aren’t eligible. Doesn’t get much more dishonest than the above quote.
            I encourage you to head over to Human of New York. He’s doing inmate stories this week. Read those stories, and tell me that it wouldn’t have been worth $9k a year (or whatever it ends up being in DC) to prevent those stories from playing out the way they did. The LOW END for cost per year to keep someone locked up is $30k. It gets well into six figures on the high end. Money management not your strong suit?

          • los

            “…paid handsomely for having stayed out of trouble” is not a mischaracterization (except for the “handsomely” part which is subjective and in my opinion, any amount is over generous.)

            I have reservations as to how this would be effective. In this particular case, since MPD did not arrest anyone, these girls would still be eligible for payment. I don’t think this is fair.

            Methinks, too much carrot and a non-existent stick.

          • Anon

            Los, you are certainly entitled to disagree with the potential efficacy of this approach, but no need to flat out mischaracterize what that is.

          • JS

            I’m confused – this WaPo article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/paying-criminals-to-stay-out-of-trouble-dc-could-be-next-city-to-try-experiment/2016/02/07/f3cc2d76-ca9e-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html) says that most participants would be individuals who have committed gun crimes. That seems to run counter what’s being argued here. Does anyone know definitively what the answer is?

          • wdc

            If that’s accurate, then I read something that wasn’t, and I repeated the bad info. My mistake for not doing more research before making the claim.
            I’m less thrilled with the idea of handing gun-toting kids a healthy allowance, mostly because I think they’re often (though of course not always) lost causes by the time they start packing heat. I would be strongly in favor of stipends to keep kids in school and on the right track. Most of us had parents who bought us clothes and put dinner on the table most nights and asked about our homework and praised us for doing good. Kids who don’t have that are at an ENORMOUS disadvantage.
            And the numbers regarding the cost of incarceration are still a huge factor. I don’t understand how the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” posters are ignoring this. If we can keep them OUT of jail for a fraction of the cost of keeping them IN jail… why shouldn’t we? Because you grew up with other, different incentives, but you wish you had had the cash? Ridiculous.

      • Local news

        Yes it is. Kenyon McDuffie has championed the initiative, which would give out stipends to youths to not commit crime.

        • say what

          But how will this be effective? Unless they are giving this out to every single high risk youth in DC (and lets face there are probably around 10-20k of them), this is not going to help. This is bascially the city saying its ok to completely opt of the social contract as part of being a civil society. its not ok and you have to be paid thousands of dollars NOT to rob someone then you should sit your ass in jail. How does this address the fact that the overwhelming majority of juvenile crimes is committed by repeat offenders. As in a kid punches you the face, steals your phne and is back on the street a few hours later. Repeart 9 times until they are 18 and can finally do real time in jail. THis program isnt going to address that. And DC govt is out of ideas. end of story.

          • i give up

            You don’t need to convince me. I suggest you tell the folks of Ward 5 (his constituents) about your thoughts.

          • MMMkay

            Before we all jump to conclusions here, McDuffie’s crime-stipend plan is based on a similar program done in Richmond, CA that was apparently pretty successful.

            Yes, it involves giving money to people who have committed crimes. But the key question is whether that actually reduces crime or not.

            Here’s an article about it:


      • west_egg

        From the Post, 2/2/16:
        The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. It’s based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to deep reductions in crime there.
        Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.
        The bill doesn’t specify the value of the stipends, but participants in the California program receive up to $9,000 per year.

      • AG

        What difference does it make if it means they aren’t committing crimes. It’s not like it’s forever. If a kid can make it through adolescence and graduate high school without getting involved in criminal activity, the likelihood they’ll be involved in crimes in adulthood is significantly smaller.

  • Teddy

    That corner could probably use a permanent police post.

    • JS

      Well, the Zipcar parking area behind Park Place definitely could.

  • dcres

    There was heavy police presence in the area on Sunday, I’m assuming as a response to this. I saw 3 officers on different corners of the intersection that was at and was wondering why there were so many.

    • Anonymous

      Props, MPD. A day late and a dollar short, as my mom used to say.

  • zandunga

    I can walk there quicker from the Park Road police station with my left leg that doesn’t work well to this intersection in less than 6 minutes.

    • anon

      Because all the police are sitting at the police station, just waiting for a 911 call to dispatch them. Or, just maybe, they are spread out all over the precinct in cars and handling other calls.

  • madmonk28

    So in about 48 hours we’ve had two shootings (one of which resulted in a toddler being hit) and whatever we want to call this incident, all within a few blocks of the Petworth Metro. I would really like to hear from my elected representatives what the plan is for addressing this? I’d like to hear what they think should be done in the short-term and then what we need to do in the longer term. Honest question, is anyone aware of any comment from anyone in DC government on this weekend’s events in this area?

    • JM

      Well, the shootings were about 15 blocks north, so no – not near the Petworth Metro.

      • textdoc


      • madmonk28

        Still ward 4 right?

        • Helder

          Blocks from the White House!

  • Anonymous

    It is possible that one group was attacked and defending itself, 10 people involved in a 7 on 3 fight? ‘ One [of] the girls involved in the fight pulled out a butcher knife and a hammer and began wildly screaming’ maybe she could not take being bullied anymore. I have been jumped but when the victim looks just like the attacker people tend to give less of a $h*t.

    • anon36

      OP: No, it was actually the bully (in the majority, part of the group that stomped the girl in the street) who pulled the knife and hammer.

  • nycnick

    I once saw a group of girls fighting at the corner of Wheeler and Congress St SE. Police stood by and watched. I asked him why he was doing nothing. He said that if he were to get involved and one of the girls complained of as much as a scratch, he’d be on paid leave. Or lose his job. So I asked when he would intervene. He said, if the fight got out of hand. Amazing.

    • Anonymous

      Not amazing but a sad consequence of our constant criticism of police.

      • Bob

        Yes, there are so many people who criticize police for breaking up fights….

      • On Capital Heels

        No, that’s a consequence of our overly litigious society. Period. It has absolutely nothing to do with legitimate criticism of state-sanctioned extra-legal violence, and a demand that the police enforce the law, rather than rewrite it to once again afford due process rights to white folks only. Nice try though.

      • Jo

        Nah. This is an officer having a chip on their shoulder about oversight and being hyperbolic and throwing a little tantrum.

  • AmongOus

    Maybe if Park Place was actually full of businesses,it’s help curb the loitering. Park Place is a disgrace to Ward 4.

  • PetworthAdam

    I’m worried about the effect that the selection process will have on kids. I just don’t know if its a great idea to say, “son, based on your shitty life, we think you are very likely to become a criminal, therefore we want to put you in this program.” I’m not entirely against the idea of small stipends for really poor kids in an attempt to equalize their day to day situation with kids who get some scratch from mom and dad. I’m basically always for giving more money to poor kids. I just don’t think its a good idea to label anybody as a “criminal-to-be.”

    • textdoc

      Read more about the program. From the Washington Post article linked above: “Most participants would be those who have committed offenses involving firearms and who D.C. police think are likely to resort to gun violence again.”


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