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Cashier Attacked, Pepper Spray and Alleged Possible Hate Crime at the Petworth Safeway Sunday Afternoon

by Prince Of Petworth March 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm 28 Comments

3830 Georgia Ave, NW

Readers tweeted @PoPville just before 1pm Sunday:

“don’t go to Georgia Avenue Safeway right now – someone sprayed pepper spray and the whole place is full of it”

“Some girl started beating on a female cashier, manager broke it up, pepper spray, attacker ran out.”

“Petworth Safeway a shitshow right now. Mace sprayed in a checkout line? Had my back turned & didn’t see anything.”

“cashier attacked, possibly hate crime motivated”

“cashier targeted had some sort of head scarf, assailant targeted her and walked out. Nothing stolen.”

  • AA

    My husband was next in line when it happened. here’s what he said went down…attacker was a female shopper getting groceries. she ran up to the cashier and out of nowhere sprayed pepper spray while repeatedly screaming “What now, b*tch?” She starts punching her in the head from behind. The fight went to the ground while the manager ran over yelling “Call 911”. the attacker got up and ran out while security did nothing. My husband said it was one of the more cowardly things he had ever seen.

    • Al

      The rent-a-cop security guys seem worthless in an emergency situation and don’t even seem to act as deterrent to prevent crimes. The companies that they belong to should step up their training to give them the tools and techniques for acrually providing “security”.

      • Petworth dude

        Better training for security guard and/or hiring MPD officers to work overtime at the Safeway seems reasonable, but who would pay for it?

        If the consequence is higher prices at the grocery store, a lot of people would shop elsewhere even if the security was more lax.

      • tom

        Security guards operate under very tight guideliness on what they can and can’t do. They are mostly there as a preventative extra set of eyes, to keep 3rd parties away from an emergency situtation, and to call emergency services to deal with the underlying situtation. They are not a subsititute for police. Of course, some will heroically disobay orders/policy to stop a violent stitutation (all for slightly above min wage). But, that is the exception not the rule.

      • Philippe Lecheval

        Around here it’s almost ALWAYS a case of “I didn’t want to get involved,” even when it’s your job to get involved!

      • Renee

        They are trained to “observe and report” an incident they see, nothing more. It may seem callous and cowardly but that’s how it works and the stores hiring them understand this. Hiring an off duty officer is much more expensive for store security.

    • Anonymous

      That sounds like a personal issue – attacker and cashier knew each other. Really cowardly.

    • Anonymous

      What was cowardly, the attack or the response by security?

  • Andy

    So how was there a hate crime issue?

  • First, it’s referenced as “possibly hate crime motivated.” But presumably it’s this part: “cashier targeted had some sort of head scarf.” Because, y’know, Ted and Don think we need to be patrolling “their” neighborhoods and building camps.

    • tom

      Beacuse we all know Petworth is Cruz country.

      • anon

        prejudice is alive and well regardless of neighborhood, i’m afraid

  • anon

    DC is an awfully violent place these days.

  • mfldc

    I find it hard to believe that there are no surveillance cameras in Safeway that would show the attacker. Meanwhile, the cashier must know something about who this was or what might have provoked this attack (if anything).

  • stacksp

    They know or know of each other. Maybe date or dated the same guy and had words previously on social media or something but it is doesn’t appear to be random.

  • textdoc

    Why all of the assumptions that the attacker and cashier knew each other? Sure, it’s a possible scenario, but not the only one (esp. with the headscarf/possible hate crime).

    • Anon

      Because that seems to be the most plausible case, by far? Sure, I guess it’s theoretically possible that the headscarf triggered the attacker, but we’re in DC, not rural VA.

      • boom

        While I agree that there was probably history between the two based on the attacker’s comments, you’re seriously kidding yourself if you think hate crimes are restricted to rural areas.

        • Anon

          That’s exactly what I think. Thanks for letting me know that I am kidding myself, that’s rather helpful.

          • Dear boom – thanks for the reality check.
            Dear Anon – thanks for being open-minded.
            We do not have the facts of this case yet. BUT, in the current climate of islamaphobia, we DO need to watch out for it everywhere and stand up against it.

            You may have missed this TERRIBLE reality-check just LAST WEEK in the HEART of NW DC:

            A DC government officer asked a Muslim woman to remove her headscarf.
            He admitted that he “told her: ‘If you’re not going to take it off, you have to leave.’ So I pulled out my handcuffs and then she got up and she left.”

            Just imagine how you’d feel if an officer took out handcuffs at a library because of something you wore or any any religious friend/neighbor wore…

            In this current climate, this can happen to Muslims anywhere — We all need to speak out not just reactively, but proactively as well — that our Muslim neighbors deserve the same respect as our other neighbors. And we should be standing up for them and speaking out against the hateful rhetoric that will certainly provoke more terrible incidents like this – or worse.

            That’s why DC needs to take strong stand on this to send an important message that our nation’s capital stands for equal respect of all law-abiding neighbors. It’s the right thing to do and maybe if will even influence the congresspeople on the hill across town as well…

    • stacksp

      From the first hand account above where the attacker said “What now…?” That’s an indication to me that they had words previously in some form that were of the disrepectful variety.

  • Derek

    Definitely sounds personal; stop jumping to these “hate crime” conclusions.

  • Petworth

    Any idea if this is the cashier who wears a headscarf and does not look at the customers or speak to them?

    • Anonymous

      I’d wondered the same thing. The lady who is usually monitoring the self-check out stations? Really slow to respond to problems at the stations and seems resentful when asked for help?
      I’ve never had anything other than entirely positive experiences with all the other cashiers at that Safeway.
      Regardless, it’s unacceptable from every angle. I’m sure most customers were too shocked to intervene. What’s the point of security officers if their top priority isn’t the safety of staff and customers?

    • Daily Safeway Shopper

      Every single person that wears a headscarf at this Safeway talks to customers. If they don’t talk to you it’s probably you, not them. I have wonderful conversations with them.

  • Brett M

    What makes it a hate crime? Sounds like the attacker knew the cashier.

  • Hukiyoyo

    Sounds like the attacker didn’t like the interaction with the victim during the checkout process and went back at her. Attacker seems like your typical entitled, run of the mill, thug.

  • Safeway Customer

    Wow it’s sad to see how some people jump to conclusions. Has anyone opted to check on the cashier? I shop there daily and I’ve never had nothing but positive help and conversations with the young lady at self checkout. A lot of people forget that the cashiers are human too and deserve to be respected and treated kindly. But as I stated before only positive from lady at self checkout she goes above and beyond and runs all of the machines by herself. I will definitely check to see if she’s okay I thank Safeway for her.


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