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“Then they got quiet, he had a bad feeling about that, and sure enough the football whizzed just next to his head”

by Prince Of Petworth August 1, 2016 at 1:45 pm 48 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“There seems to be a few incidents in NoMa this week, so wanted to add another word of caution to the mix:

My husband was coming home on the metro around 10pm last night (Thursday night). Was crossing First St NE from Harris Teeter going towards North Capitol when he saw 6 teenagers, who he noticed tossing around a football on the opposite side of the sidewalk (Starbucks side), deliberately throw their football hard at the windshield of an oncoming Jeep. Ball rammed the windshield, Jeep slammed on its breaks, kids cracked up, and since the car was thankfully fine (thank god there was no traffic behind him – plus it was raining) it sped off.

Husband kept walking down M towards North Capitol, trying to keep his head down and ignore the teenagers, as they had crossed the street and were yelling at him, calling him names, trying to prod him into reacting. He ignored them and kept walking. Then they got quiet, he had a bad feeling about that, and sure enough the football whizzed just next to his head, taunting started back up.

Unfortunately he didn’t have perhaps the most reasoned reaction to them throwing a football at his head, first trying to gouge the ball with his keys and then when that failed, taking it and continuing his walk home and throwing it on the roof of a nearby abandoned building since they were far enough away and he was close enough to home to outrun them. (yes, the safer choice would have been to continue ignoring them.)

That aside, keep your heads up. Grateful the jeep didn’t have traffic behind it, as that could have made things much worse, especially given that it was at night and in the rain. Also grateful their aim was terrible and they missed my husband’s head.

And if you live in the 2M building and can see a football on the roof of the empty Treasury building/former BDSM club, now you know why.”

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  • FridayGirl

    I’m sorry that happened to your husband, OP. But I am kind of glad he made a ballsy move and was OK! And I enjoyed reading that last sentence. Good grief…

    • karna

      Pun intended?

      • FridayGirl

        HAHA! Actually it wasn’t but that’s pretty funny. I didn’t even realize!

        • punny

          I thought of Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown … Good grief!

  • Anonymous

    I was in Frankfurt this weekend and riding a rental bike along the river Main at 11pm. Some idiot kid threw a his jacket at my head, trying to make me crash. I caught his jacket and rode with it for about 200 meters, him screaming at me, and then tossed his jacket in the river.
    Moral of the story? If there’s a universal truth in life, it’s that the world is filled with angry, young, male asswipes. Even in wealthy Frankfurt.

    • This made ma happy.

    • Bloomy


  • HaileUnlikely

    Fun story but I’m having a hard time making sense of it. How is it possible that he was both close enough that the football “whizzed” by his head and far enough that he had time to stop, pick it up, try to stab it with his keys, give up on that plan, throw it somewhere, and then safely get home (and importantly, open and close then close the door at home) without the teens either catching him or at least being close enough that they could have if they tried. Unless the kids can throw the football over a 100 yards or your husband is both an Olympic-caliber runner and Olympic-caliber door-opener, this just doesn’t add up.
    I can see doing this if I were confident that the kids wouldn’t attack me or that I could handle them, but can’t see doing this on the grounds that I will have to get away but that’s ok because I’ll be able to.

    • dcd

      Yeah, I had the same reaction. Something doesn’t add up.

    • Noma

      I just assumed the kids did not actually follow.

      • textdoc

        That’s what I assumed.

    • CRT

      Ridiculous comment of the day. Well done.

      It’s not that hard to out-run teenagers for 1/2 block into the lobby of 2M with a 50 ft lead. And unless you are a small female or geriatric, it’s not that hard to “whiz” a football 50 feet.

      But carry on with whatever silliness you think this comments ads. Yep, you caught her – the ball was lobbed, not whizzed. That sure changes the story. Sheesh…

    • HaileUnlikely

      I don’t buy the [your?] story. I think it was at best embellished a lot and quite possibly completely fabricated. Thanks for your opinion, though.

      • Truxtoner

        Well, the OP noted where the football currently is, if anyone would like to confirm that.

        Why on earth anyone would bother making up a not particularly interesting story about an encounter with a bunch of teenagers? And if you’re going to bother to fabricate or embellish, I would hope for more drama.

        • Anon

          This. If only someone published a “study” to prove this story for Haile.

        • Anony


        • HaileUnlikely

          I think OP looked out his window, saw a football on a roof, wondered how it got there, made up this story, and sent it into PopVille. Either that, or the “teenagers” in question were actually a bunch of children ages 8-11 and he wasn’t too worried about them running after him. Even assuming the OP ran slightly *faster* than the pursuing teenagers, he’d need more than a 50-foot head start to have time to open the door, get through the opened door, and then close it, not to mention that he would have eaten up all of his time trying like a doofus to puncture the football with his keys. The story is patently nonsensical. I call bullshit on this story.

          • HaileUnlikely give me a break.

          • Anon

            Moon landing, amirite?

          • JS

            Every story has its own set of truthers.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Out of respect for the ref I will take my ejection with dignity and head back to the locker room.

  • DRC

    Tell your husband thanks for his reaction, that’s exactly what needed to happen to those jackass kids. Also glad (and surprised) they didn’t go after him for tossing their ball.

    God, I hate the stupid kids in the city that pull this crap.

  • Hill Denizen

    That sucks. Unfortunately, my initial response was “oh good, it was just a football.”

  • Shawz

    In general, you shouldn’t have to wait for this to happen. When you see a bunch of teens on the sidewalk and you have a bad feeling about it, you’re probably right. Call the cops. Their presence will help prevent crime and at the least they’ll break up the group before they have chance to continue their ‘youthful mischief’.

    • karna

      What would you say to the cops about a group of teens that haven’t done anything? That there are a couple of guys who are up to no good and that they’re about to start makin’ trouble in my neighborhood?

      • Hill Denizen

        In this case, they saw the kids hit the jeep, so he’d have something to tell them. Also, LOL.

      • dcd

        Sheesh, you get in one little fight, and your Mom got scared.

        • domrep

          Am I the only one who caught the Fresh Prince reference?

          • Commentator

            No, one person laughed at it and another responded in kind. Weird question.

          • wdc

            I think… I think EVERYONE got it. No?

          • dcd

            I . . . don’t know what to say. I responded with, literally, a riff the next line in the song. Your reply to MY response is, “Am I the only one who got this?”

          • Anon

            dcd, you were being mocked

    • pjl35

      I’m actually surprised there was no police presence there already. There is almost always a cop on the Starbucks side of that corner.

    • textdoc

      “When you see a bunch of teens on the sidewalk and you have a bad feeling about it, you’re probably right. Call the cops.” I doubt that either the dispatchers at the Office of Unified Communications (where 911 and 311 calls) or most MPD officers are going to be very receptive to “I have a bad feeling about this group.”

  • We have come so far

    A football? DC is really gentrifying. Back in the day I had rocks thrown at me, a glass bottle thrown at me, and a brick thrown at a car I was riding in. Lol at a football!

  • I Dont Get It

    wait…buried at the end… “the empty Treasury building/former BDSM club”…
    Who has the scoop on this?

    • sean

      it was called the crucible. it is known.

  • c_petworth

    i moved out of that neighborhood 7 years ago and never looked back..

    • Sydney

      Love the ending of this story! I would have (tried to have) done the same thing. But, walking toward Sursum Corda? And walking to your house, for all the little miscreants to witness? (or do you live in the 2M Building?)

  • titus pullo

    Sounds like he should have caught the pass.

  • lamonting

    We were also subject to a thrown object recently, in this case a full 16 oz aluminum can of Arizona tea, thrown from the upper level of the Gallery Place metro toward those of us waiting to board a green line to greenbelt two levels below at rush hour. The can exploded as it hit at the feet of those of us on the crowded platform. Immediately looking up in the direction where the can came from no one could spot the perp. We notified the metro person working the platform who picked up the leaking can and said he would alert metro police. I expect had the can landed on someone’s head, a nasty bruise and stitches would’ve been in order.

  • Anonymous

    This group of kids sounds like the same group that threw ice balls at me last winter when I was walking down this exact block. Thankfully they didn’t have great aim then either because they missed my head with a baseball sized chunk of ice.

  • Anon

    I waited at the bus stop at 5th street NE and Florida several weeks ago around 5-6 at night and have seen the same group of kids throw a football at the heads of bicycle and Vespa riders going down Florida. They actually hit them that time though and that was my hint to put my head down and keep walking away from them.

  • Pleasanter

    I’ve noticed more groups of kids throwing stuff. My friend was walking home from the Columbia Heights Metro in the middle of a weekday last week west along Irving, and a group of kids threw rocks at him and followed him for the whole block. Luckily they had bad aim.

  • jesse

    Love that he threw their ball on the roof and tried to pop it. I’d do the same thing.

    • gabeyo

      I’m with you. I don’t think that is an unreasonable reaction to minding your business and someone trying to mess with you.

  • Logan

    Heaven help the kid I catch if I have any ability to catch even just of them. They’ll be scraping his face off the bottom of my shoe.

  • P. Lecheval

    Maybe he should’ve caught the football and passed it back to one of them, and it all would’ve ended up in a feel good game of football that crossed the lines of age and class, like some PSA from the Ad Council.


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