Reader Alleges MPD Officer Said: “if I want protection I should get a gun” – Crazy Situation in Cathedral Heights


“Dear PoPville,

This footage is of a guy peaking in my yard and then reaching in and opening my gate and pushing it open and walking away while my dogs were in the yard. I had been finding broken glass thrown in my yard, a jar of cherries smashed in my yard, jujube candies strewn throughout my yard and smushed in my fence, and twice I found my gate wide open. So I put up a security cam I my alley and I caught the a**hole. He’s been watching me because he only strikes on weekends when I’m not home and he knew exactly how to open my gate from the outside. I want to identify him and prosecute him and get a restraining order. My dogs could have gone out in the street and been killed, but they chose to stand guard of their house for a full hour with a wide open gate.

I called the police and an Officer from 2nd District came to the house. I showed him the video and he basically said no laws were broken and that if I want protection I should get a gun. Then he said if he comes again and I catch him in the act then call 911. I had to force him to take a police report. So basically no help at all. I’ve gone around to all the neighbors that share my alley and showed them the video and no one recognized him but said they’d keep a lookout.”

If anyone has information you can email [email protected] and I’ll forward to OP as well as the Metropolitan Police Department.

Video after the jump.



198 Comment

  • samanda_bynes

    anti-dog activist? he looks a bit off for sure.

  • These dogs are heroes and a blessing! So sorry this happened, OP. Could he be a neighbor who has been disgruntled by the dogs? I guess you’d recognize him if he was, though?

    • At the risk of sounding flippant and being perceived as making light of a serious situation, could it be that the OP solicited recommendations on the neighborhood list serve for a “dog walker” which this whack job dude misread as “dog stalker?”

  • I am so confused.

    • TL:DR; A bunch of people assume the dogs are left out ALL day and most people are totally cool with this guy walking into someone else’s yard because the gate doesn’t have a lock.

  • Serious question. Do your dogs bark regularly, especially when left outside and you’re not home. It’s awful what you’re going through. Wonder what his motive might be. Does he WANT the dogs to run away?

  • Tom

    What a piece of human garbage.

  • does the op leave their dogs outside barking incessantly for long periods of time?

    • No I do not leave my dogs outside barking incessantly for long periods of time. They bark when creeps approach my house, as they should.

      • +1 to this. My first thought, too, but I feel like most dogs would bark if they sensed someone… especially someone they aren’t familiar with. It’s not unusual.

  • I too feel like the guy maybe has issues with your dogs. What a jerk off!

    • Unless this person leaves their dogs out for hours and they bark all the time. Then there would seem to be two jerk offs.

      • very true!

        • samanda_bynes

          nah, being inconsiderate is one thing. hoping the dogs run away/get hit by traffic and ACTIVELY going to a house to do so, without confronting the neighbor, is ENTIRELY a different thing.

          • Thank you. I was trying to think of how to put that, but ended up being so angry at the a) assumption the OP is a bad dog owner, and b) assumption that it’s fine to try and harm OP’s dogs if they are loud that most of my responses were unintelligible and x-rated.

          • I’m not sure x rated means what you think it does, but thank you for the chuckle. For what it’s worth, I totally agree with you.

    • Think the guy doesnt like your dags…that’s right…dags. I would go ahead and wager heavily he’s one of your neighbors, and Im assuming the dogs are left out during the day and like to bark at birds, squirrels and other dogs- and it annoys him. Leave them in and see what happens as a control. Not a cool move to leave your gate open or toss stuff over the fence, but Id bet he’s pissed off because your dogs are yapping. Obviously better ways to handle this.

      • Your speculation about me leaving my dogs outside all day and night is incorrect. There are hundreds of dogs in my neighborhood who bark a normal amount for normal reasons. I do not leave them outside all day. He is none of the neighbors who share my alley so he has no business being behind my house at all. He needs to be in jail.

        • “He needs to be in jail.”
          This is so overwrought and unrealistic that I can’t take you seriously.

        • What you consider a normal amount of barking may not seem normal to other who have to listen to it. I’ve certainly been annoyed by neighbors with barking dogs that the dog owners considered “normal” – no one else considered it normal. Not excusing his behavior in any event, but i do get the idea that the dogs barking may be at the bottom of this.

          • No doubt. Dog owners who leave their dogs unattended inside or out sometimes don’t realize they can bark so incessantly that it is unbearable to the alive human neighbor just wishing for peace in his own abode. Dude may just be fed up.

        • The folks on here that are acting like you are overreacting and acting like this is your fault would probably have a different reaction if your video showed a Black or Brown person. So, these folks can take a long walk off a short pier.

      • I think the guy is a zombie and wants to get in and eat your brains. Thank god for those dogs.

      • WTF?!?!?!?! How is trespassing into someone’s yard and leaving trash on their personal property and the gate wide open a reasonable reaction to noisy dogs???? I’m as far from a dog apologist as they come, but this is still messed up behavior.

  • How odd. Perhaps a sign on the fence that notes the video surveillance may deter him.

    • Agreed. “Smile, you’re on high definition camera!” might do it. Potentially a bigger pain but maybe a more certain solution would be to replace or rebuild the gate so he can’t reach over and unlock it from the outside. I agree you haven’t done anything wrong here, but jerks are gonna be jerks and sometimes all we can do is take proactive measures rather than hope they will change.

    • Print out pictures of him opening the gate and post them…… wait for it….. on the gate.

  • This guy definitely has some serious mental issues. Sorry, OP!

  • Is there any possible chance that your dogs are barking to the point of driving someone crazy? Not defending the guy – just trying to understand his actions.

    • This is a good question — doesn’t justify his actions, but might explain the motivation.

    • Based on the video I’d say that’s entirely possible. If so, the guy obviously is not going about it the right way, but those dogs barking would drive me bananas. It sounds like OP leaves them out in the yard when he/she is not there and I’ll bet they bark like crazy whenever there are people moving around the alley.

      • And, as someone posted above, they might be barking at squirrels and birds too. A couple hours of that while OP is out running errands would make me a mad neighbor.

        • my dogs are not just members of my family, they are security and they ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BE BARKING AT SOMEONE PEEKING IN AND OPENING MY GATE. Good dogs!

          • Agree with you on that. Based on the video you sent, the dogs didn’t start barking until a stranger approached the gate. That’s completely normal and expected, as well as the dogs being good at guarding the property. I’m really sorry for what is happening to you. Glad to see below you got a lock for the gate, but as others noted, please check your yard regularly for foreign objects, and for now, limit the amount of time the dogs are outside, as it seems this person is immature at best. I hope you and your dogs are going to be OK.

    • that’s what I’m thinking too. We have two terrible alley neighbors that leave their dogs outside barking ALL. THE. TIME.

      • Are you also on my alley?

      • Contact HRA Animal Control. There are limits to how long dogs can be left outside, and they can do a safety check to make sure your neighbor’s dogs have water and such. It may not stop the barking but may make the neighbor aware that there are others who are paying attention.

        • there are not limits to how long dogs can be left outside. there are (inadequate) requirements for food/water/shelter. HRA/animal control/HLE can do a welfare check, but if the issue is dogs barking (noise) then you have to call 911/MPD for that.

  • If you take a still of that video, blow it up and laminate it, and post it on the gate- I’m pretty sure he will be deterred from f*ing around again. Maybe a bulls-eye graphic over it…

    A lock on the gate might also help.

  • Opening a gate that has no lock isn’t a crime. Why not install a lock on the gate to prevent this from happening in the future?

    • My thought exactly. If you have a $200 camera, you can get a $20 gate lock.

      • gotryit

        I’ll third that. It’s in no way satisfying in addressing the creepiness of this guy or the poor response from the police, but it is a practical step you can take to lock your property down.
        I put a block of wood on the inside of the gate, and used that to install a standard deadbolt (keys needed on either side). If you get a smartkey lock (or some name like that) then you can set it to use your main house key – DIY. If all that is beyond you, it should be a pretty simple job for a handyman.

    • DC Code Section 22-3302 Unlawful Entry on Property: “(a)(1) Any person who, without lawful authority, shall enter, or attempt to enter, any private dwelling, building, or other property, or part of such dwelling, building, or other property, against the will of the lawful occupant or of the person lawfully in charge thereof, or being therein or thereon, without lawful authority to remain therein or thereon shall refuse to quit the same on the demand of the lawful occupant, or of the person lawfully in charge thereof, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisonment for not more than 180 days, or both …”

      • Edit: I guess it would depend, sincerely, on whether or not OP could say that the hand on the inside of the gate was constitutes “entrance.”

        • It does, even the slightest intrustion is trespass.

          • The key words in DC code for unlawful entry are “without lawful authority”, and absent a “no trespassing” sign or evidence that the owner was yelling at the person to leave, it’s difficult to establish “without lawful authority”, and therefore unlawful entry can’t (or won’t) be charged. I think as we’re seeing from OP’s subsequent posts, the issue is probably a bit overblown, and MPD’s response probably was not.

          • You’ve overthinking it, Marcus. You need permission to enter to have lawful authority to enter someone else’s property. Otherwise people could walk in anybody’s house who left a window or door unlocked who didn’t have a “no trespassing” sign up.

          • Alan, I don’t disagree that in general you need permission to enter someone else’s property, but equating entering someone’s unlocked outdoor gate to entering someone’s unlocked front door or window is not accurate.

          • The “entry” only refers to going inside the building, not on the property line. This wouldn’t qualify. Even if he went into the backyard, its still not unlawful entry. It sucks for the OP, but the cop is right.

    • He had to reach over the gate to undo the latch there is no way to open the gate from the outside. Yes I have gotten a padlock now but there is a still a psycho on the loose

      • Not necessarily a psycho. Could it be a neighbor (not in the immediate alley) that has a developmental disability, a mental illness, or some other condition far from clinical psychosis.
        I’m glad you went the padlock route for $20 and not the gun route for $300.

    • Wait, I’m not be snarky I actually want to clarify. Does this mean that entering a house that isn’t yours just because the door unlocked also isn’t trespassing? Hm…..

    • Really, so if someone walks into my house because I forgot to lock the door, that’s ok? It’s not.

      • Burglary is the charge when someone breaks into your actual house or business. That’s entirely different than what happened in this case.

        • It’s a break-in as soon as he opens the closed gate. If a cop walking down the alley saw that fence opening in progress and determined that guy had no lawful authority to be there, he’d get booked for attempted burglary, guaranteed.

          • Please look up the difference between Unlawful Entry and Burglary in DC Code. Burglary pertains to structures, not fences and yards, and it also requires criminal intent to actually steal something.

  • Ugh. The situation sounds really frustrating — the guy is a jerk and MPD was completely unhelpful.
    OP, I wonder if maybe the easiest way to remedy the problem would be to attach a padlock to your gate latch — depending on how it’s constructed, it might already have the necessary loops for one. That wouldn’t stop the guy from (say) throwing stuff over the fence into your yard, but it would at least stop him from getting in and would eliminate the risk of the dogs getting out because he left the door open.

  • serious suggestion, but can you get a padlock for your gate? Sorry you have to deal with this. That was an insane suggestion from the cops!

  • Of course he broke the law – if that had been your front door he jimmied and left it open would have been B&E. The officer just didn’t want to deal with it. Had someone else come along and taken a bicycle or something else he would be an accessory.

  • OP any other evidence besides the candy? any stolen items? I’m just wondering his motive for continually hanging out with your dogs in your back yard when you aren’t home. I’m wondering if the man is mentally ill/handicapped? I don’t blame you for being scared or feeling violated – this is definitely a violation of privacy/trespassing.

  • If he has thrown food and other items in your yard, I would seriously be concerned about him poisoning the dogs in some way (with tampered food or treats). And if the dogs are alone for extended periods of time, maybe they should be inside.

    • This. Shattered glass in your backyard is more than a nuisance. It can be dangerous for your dogs.

    • My neighbor throws food in my yard all the time and I don’t have any pets.

      • Sorry DC_tenner, your neighbor sounds like a run of the mill assh*le. Lots of those in DC. When my drunk neighbors kids throw cigarette butts and beer cans into my yard or next to my car, I throw them back in their yard. They have actually started picking up now.

        And don’t get me started on looking out for discarded chicken bones on my dog walks.

    • this was exactly my thought. OP= please check your yard for things this guy may have thrown in your yard. Meat, chocolate….I’m worried about your dogs!

  • I’m wagering it’s the dogs barking. NOT a justification, but I have neighbors who leave their dogs out 24/7 and they bark constantly and loudly and unless you have ear plugs, there is no sleeping or working on that side of the house.

    Agree with what another commentator said about a padlock, but honestly, I’d print out large photos of these screenshots and plaster them all over your back gate. More or less “i know who you are, I have you on film, if anything happens, I’ll find you.”

    …if you do that, please please post the photos of this guy realizing he’s being filmed…if he’s not reading this post…

  • “I had to force him to take a police report.”

    Probably the most common refrain of DC residents who have the misfortune of relying on MPD to keep their neighborhoods safe.

    • Yep. We had a dude high out of his mind convinced he lived at our house who HANDCUFFED HIMSELF to my bike. The police reasoned with him for close to 40 minutes and then told me he’s harmless and refused to do a report for trespassing/harassment. The police were super chill about it like this happens all the time and I’m the turd being angry about it.

    • No blood, no paperwork I was told once

    • MoCo, too. When I lived in Silver Spring, a dude followed me around my apartment complex telling me how he planned to skin my dog alive and eat him. I called the cops, only to be told that the guy was just a harmless dude from the mental institution (!?!) and that there was nothing they could do unless they caught him in the act of trespassing and the apartment building owner was willing to go to court.

  • Two thoughts:
    First, from the original post, it appears that the homeowner leaves his or her dogs outside on the weekends when he or she is not home. We have no idea for how long, or whether that’s the cause of this, but it’s certainly possible. Not that it excuses the vandalism, but it could provide an explanation – perhaps the person is sick of them barking, or feels bad that they are locked up for extended periods of time. Or, perhaps he’s just an antisocial a-hole who moonlights as a vandal, like so many other youth in DC. Homeowner, can you clarify?
    Second, constantly hearing about situations like this makes me completely discount our elected officials and law enforcement officers when they tout DC’s declining crime rate. Perhaps crime stats are down because MPD officers refuse to take reports?

    • I can’t understand so many comments ASSUMING the dogs are “left outside”. Apparently a lot of folks have never heard of a doggy door. Allowing them to come and go as they wish through a doggy door is not the same as “leaving them out”.

      • And you’re ASSUMING there’s a doggy door so you don’t really have a point

      • HaileUnlikely

        Well, if somebody outside of the gate hears the dogs barking and barking and barking (I admittedly have no knowledge of whether that is an issue in this specific case), and has no means of seeing a doggie door because it’s behind a fence, that’s a meaningless distinction to the neighbor, even if it is an important distinction in the minds of the dogs and their owner.

      • Do people around here have doggy doors? That seems incredibly unsafe to me, but I guess it’s better than leaving dogs outside for hours on end….

        • Absolutely. And it’s not dangerous if your house/yard is surrounded by a fence that’s padlocked.

      • There are like 8 posts from the OP that s/he leaves the dogs outside.

    • I work intermittently they are rarely outside for more than two hours during daylight. I make sure they are never outside before 8am or after 10pm. This person does not share my alley so he has no business behind my house. FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE SPECULATING THAT I LEAVE MY DOGS OUTSIDE 24/7 YOU ARE COMPLETELY INCORRECT. And HE IS NOT MY IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOR. My family has lived in this house for nearly 50 years and we have always gotten along with our neighbors. All of my neighbors on my alley like my dogs. This person does not share my alley.

      • Relax – I think people are confused by “he only strikes on weekends when I’m not home,” which can easily be interpreted as you are away (e.g. out of town, or gone for long periods of time) on the weekends, which is why folks are asking. (Not that this would make it acceptable for this man to go near your backyard, or open your gate.)

        • I don’t think OP needs to relax. There are significantly more people here trying to tell OP what he/she is doing wrong than worrying about some nutjob screwing around with his/her property.

          • Except that isn’t the case — the original post was entirely confusing and most people are asking for clarification. Sure there are a few people (as there always will be) who are being rude but it’s a neighborhood blog and it can be expected even if unwelcome.

            The OP could have easily followed up with a response like “hey, to clarify — my dad is home when the dogs are outside, or I am out for only an hour or two and not leaving my dogs outside over the weekend… I am just posting to share the perp’s face in case any of ya’ll recognize him and can help me ID him, and/or if any of you have suggestions on how to hold MPD accountable, I’d appreciate that too” – capitalized letters screaming at people for asking questions is useless.

      • Sorry you’re having to deal with all these people who immediately assume it’s your fault that this guy is trespassing. I keep reading these comments and shaking my head.

        • I still say, these folks that are being ridiculous would be calling for the Fire Brigade, using words like “prosecute to the fullest extent of the law” if the man in this video were Black. Cut the noise folks.

      • If you look at my post, you will see that I took care not to assume you left them outside 24/7. In fact, I said “We have no idea for how long.” But, you have confirmed that you do leave the dogs alone outside for 2 hours at a clip, sometimes more, when you are not home. You have no idea what they do when you aren’t home. It doesn’t have to be an immediate neighbor, either – repeated dob barks will annoy people a decent distance away.
        Finally, as for, “All of my neighbors on my alley like my dogs. This person does not share my alley.”
        I suspect that isn’t the case. Frankly, I hope it isn’t the case – it would be far better for you if this was a case of a neighbor being annoyed about your barking dogs. If it truly isn’t, you’re being targeted by a random stranger – that far more concerning.

        • I showed the video clips to all of my neighbors he is not one of them. Do you keep your dogs inside 24/7? That seems like a problem to me. My dogs like sunshine and my father is almost alway in the house anyway. Even if I DID leave my dogs outside or if someone had a problem with my dogs then COME TALK TO ME that is what we do in a civilization. This is like speculating about what a rape victim was wearing when she was attacked!

          • Whoa….you jumped from a dude creeping on your gate because your dogs were out barking to comparing yourself to a rape victim?

            Also, “all my neighbors like my dogs” is definitely note true. I like my neighbor’s dogs when I see them on a walk, but I really can’t stand them when they go crazy barking at 8am on a Saturday. I’ve also heard similar refrains from people at the dog park, that tend to have the most aggressive and under disciplined dogs – “everyone likes my dogs”

            Let’s all take a deep breath. Everyone feels bad you have a creeper. Padlock the gate (sensible city measure), put up a sign with his photo on it. Wait for an improvement.

          • Ingeborg- you realize that literally everyone on this comment thread is on your side, right? Relax.

          • You cannot know how OP’s neighbors feel about his/her dog.

          • going to second Bloomingdale love…terrible comparison and not at all on the same level.

          • Don’t compare this to rape. For chrissake. That has eliminated any shred of sympathy I had left for you in this insane thread where you’re yelling at people instead of explaining from a rational mindset. Secondly, don’t leave your dogs out unattended. It’s irresponsible for a dog owner to do so. There are many reasons for this – your dog can get out and be miles away before you realize, someone (like this person) could harm them – it’s similar to people who leave their dogs tied up when going on errands. You never know how people walking down the street will interact with them. Will they bother them until your dog bites them? Will a child scare your dog and get bitten and then you have a potential lawsuit on your hands? Will they untie the leash just because? Will they take your dog (Molly!)? Will they hurt your dog? No, this person should not be entering your yard. But this is really two different issues you’ve presented here which is why you’re getting so many responses about leaving your dogs out. For this person entering your yard – put a lock on it, tape a picture of him entering the yard, place a no trespassing and that the backyard is monitored sign. Likely taken care of. For the dogs, that’s a larger issues – two hours is a long time – you do not know if they’re barking. You cannot protect them from people who may harm them if you’re not there to watch them.

          • She didn’t compare the incident to rape. She compared these asshole comments to asshole comments made to rape victims. Her analogy was spot on, too.

          • You had my sympathy until you tried to play the “rape victim” card. That’s just disgusting.

      • clevelanddave

        2 hours? Your dogs are outside and playing (barking), wanting to come in (and barking), hearing/seeing squirrels/crows/other dogs (and barking), hearing/seeing postmen/visitors/people walking (and barking) that might really be irritating to people near your house, particularly at 8 am on a Sunday or 6 pm after work for two hours, even if they don’t share the alley. Yea, the guy shouldn’t do this stuff, should knock on your door/leave a note. So OP, try putting your dogs out for 15-30 minutes instead of two hours, or take your dogs for a walk instead for a week or two and see if the disturbing behavior stops.

        • Look, believe me I get that a dog barking can be really annoying. But that is what happens when you live in the city, especially in row houses. It’s like my old neighbors who didn’t like us having barbecues with a few friends over during the day on a Saturday occasionally. I’m sorry you don’t like noise ever, but then don’t live in a row house in the middle of a city. It just boggles my mind the people that lose it over reasonable noise when you decided to live in a house attached to other houses.

    • I’m glad Nancy Drew is on the case!

      • Yes most people are on my side thank you all. I’m just angry about the violation, and then no response from the police, and then strangers blaming me and my dogs for someone violating my property. I love my dogs and I respect my neighbors and everyone who knows me knows that is true. I am trying to protect my house and get the word out about this malicious person. Of course I’ve put a padlock but I don’t just want this to stop I want identify him so he faces consequences and won’t think he can get away with it.

        • Can you say for certain that your dogs aren’t barking like crazy when you’re gone? The way he approaches, with hands on his hips, seems like he’s frustrated….which makes me think he goes over there because the dogs are loud.

        • “I don’t just want this to stop I want identify him so he faces consequences and won’t think he can get away with it.”
          That’s totally understandable… but realistically, it’s unlikely that he’ll face much in the way of consequences, even if he _is_ identified.
          You mention that you’re now using a padlock on your gate latch. With luck, that will be enough and this guy will leave your gate/backyard alone.

  • Actually, i would really be worried that he’s laced the candy with something bad hoping that the dogs would eat it.

    • I would be worried about that too. If you find any other food items thrown into your yard, might be worth seeing if you can test them for poison. For now, I would also not leave the dogs out when you’re not there just in case he does try to hurt them. That’s so awful and scary.

  • I had an “off” neighbor who did this regularly with my dog (she’s only outside when I am home and is not a barker, even when I would like her to be). After I placed the lock and posted a video sign he moved on for a while. Eventually started messing with the front yard too and ended up getting bitten – he jumped out from under my porch as I passed at 6am and my dog protected me.

    Took several reports before the cops took it seriously. I was eventually successful in getting it addressed as harassment/stalking, but my understanding is that I was exceptionally lucky and that most times that route doesn’t work. Keep documenting and reporting it OP!

    • He jumped out from under your porch at 6am?!?

    • That is INSANE. What was he doing under your front porch?!

      • No idea what he was doing or how long he was under there. He lunged toward me while screaming and got pinned by my dog. Drug use and mental illness certainly contributed.

        • Damn that is horrifying. So glad your dog was there to protect you (and that you presumably have a large dog). After you got it addressed as stalking, did he stop? What an awful thing to go through.

          • He reappeared again several months later and I had to call the cops a few times when he was sitting on my front porch. He was terrified of my dog at this point so he didn’t mess with the yard, though I think he started throwing chicken bones over my fence.

            He seemed pretty harmless when he wasn’t high on whatever, but his drugs of choice made him aggressive. He disappeared eventually and I haven’t seen him in 2 years.

  • TL;DR
    MPD are worthless, get a gun.

    • That comment from a DC cop leads me to suspect he/she is not the best and brightest the force has to offer. My guiding principle in life is to AVOID threatening strangers with guns, and it’s gotten me this far!

  • You can call the Office of Internal Affairs at MPD if you want to follow up through them. I had a situation several years ago where an MPD officer refused to take a report or response to a violent situation. I tried to file complaints through the regular avenues and no one would help until I got connected to Internal Affairs. They did an investigation and found fault–I never found out what happened, so probably nothing, but it was at least on the record.

  • It seems you left your dogs outside for at least an hour while you were not home. That, alone, makes me think that there is a second side to this story. I am not condoning this guy’s actions. But considering all we have is one perspective a 10 second video clip with no real content and certainly no context, I’d really like to hear his perspective.

    As for what the police said, I’m having trouble taking it too seriously when there are already so many questions raised by the underlying story.

    • thank you for blaming the victim. My dogs being outside for an hour with my father in the house on a beautiful day when they love to sunbathe is not the problem. Clearly my dogs love their home which is why they stood guard of it even with a wide open gate. Someone tried to harm them or possibly get them out of the way so he could come in and hide and attack me. IF A NEIGHBOR HAS A PROBLEM WITH SOMEONE’S DOGS THEY SHOULD COME AND TALK TO THEM NOT VIOLATE THEIR PROPERTY OR ENDANGER THEIR ANIMALS.

      • “or possibly get them out of the way so he could come in and hide and attack me.”
        Oh. OK, OP. [backing away slowly] Whatever you say, OP. [still backing away]

        [dcd now logging on to purchase tin foil futures . . . ]

        • Not that crazy actually. Guy who did the same thing to me ended up lunging at me from under the porch while screaming. Only reason he didn’t make contact is because my dog protected me. The same dog this guy had repeatedly tried to release from my yard.

        • dcd I’m quite sure you are not very concerned because the guy stalking me is a middle aged white guy, but you would be terrified and outraged if it were black man at the gate. And I actually do know what my dogs do when I’m not home because I have cameras in my yard as well. So nothing that you have said is helpful to anyone.

          • Blithe

            I’m fascinated by this combination of certainty and unsubstantiated assumptions. WOW. (Caps intended.)

          • WOW – yea, I started with sympathy for the OP, but at this point I just feel bad for your dogs.

      • 1. Why ARE YOU YELLING at everyone?
        2. Why are you insisting the man was there to go into your house, hide and attack you? He may not be your immediate neighbor, but if he can hear your dogs barking, then he’s probably there to find out what’s the deal with them. No one is blaming the victim. They’re trying to figure out what is the logical reason why this person keeps messing with your gate. Get a lock. If you’re worried about your dogs, don’t leave them unattended until you figure out what’s going on. Post his picture on the fence. People here have given your some great suggestions but you keep YELLING at them.

        • +1000000

        • I think OP is yelling because the majority of posters are speculating that the dogs are left outside to bark for long periods of time. And speculating that the guy is messing with the gate because he wants to know why the dogs are barking
          I would YELL too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • “I think OP is yelling because the majority of posters are speculating that the dogs are left outside to bark for long periods of time.”
            Oh, FFS. She admitted that.

          • lol, yea … OP can go pound sand at this point

          • Bc you are trying to look for logic and who says there is any???? That itself is an illogical assumption. Human behavior and that of creeps is not governed by reasonable explanations. The OP is exasperated by her rational fears and defensiveness repeatedly being called to question by analysis paralysis DC. I guess you all have never been a victim of a senseless crime bc guess what those exist,


          • The OP DOES leave the dog outside for extended periods of time while providing no oversight. That is established fact.

            Given the manner in which the OP has comported themselves thus far, I’m going to maintain that there’s more to this story. Doesnt make the guy in the video normal or acting legally, but there’s more here.

          • Dogs can be outside for an hour – or two- without someone monitoring them. Why are you, Anon X, making it sound like this is negligent dog owner behavior?

          • Because it is. Leaving your dog outside unmonitored for extended periods of time is the definition of negligence. They can be a pest or someone could pose a danger to them. Since this dog apparently barked and stood it’s ground for an hour, there was no one around who responded to this situation. That’s a huge problem.

            I will leave my dog outside for an hour but I check in on it regularly and am always on the first floor, and never out of earshot line of sight for more than 5 minutes. That’s the responsible thing to do.

            Sure you can leave them outside for extended periods of time – but don’t be surprised when crazy people do crazy things. People rattle fences, throw chicken bones over, scream and yell obscenities. It’s a crazy world and presumably you want to protect your dog.

          • AnonX, where do you read that the dogs stood their ground and barked for an hour?
            Your judgement is that an hour or two outside is “extended” and negligent – what a ridiculous notion

          • You know why its negligent? Because people can come by an unlock your gate. Its not a stretch. While Cathedral Heights may not be used to this sort of craziness, I’ve been in my back yard when people throw things over the fence at my dog.

            Leaving your dog outside for an hour without any checkin/supervision (the only way you could NOT notice the gate is open and your dog is in danger) is negligent.

            With regards to how i know the dog stood its ground for an hour, it was clumsy construction.. the dog barked. AND, it stood its ground for an hour. The second my dog barks, I’m outside. Thats teh responsible thing to do. With regards to the time, the OP says it repeatedly.

        • Lots of people use All Caps for emphasis. It’s no longer only considered yelling and hasn’t been for years. Grow up and stop trying to make this woman look overly emotional. She was trying to make a point.

      • @ingeborg Your dogs are amazing, you’ve done nothing wrong, sorry to read some of these comments. It’s been done to me too when I’ve described some kind of problem in the comments section of a thread. I swear, I think some people use this blog to vent their own internal rage and emotional issues at total strangers because they can hide behind a computer screen. I don’t know what else can explain how angry and personal some of them get over something which has no bearing on their lives. *shrugs*

    • Anon X, you are making ASSumptions that no one was home when the dogs are out
      You want to hear the “perspective” of the guy who unlocked the gate and left it open???? WHY?
      And sheesh, all you other people who are jumping to all kinds of conclusions about OP and his dogs

      • Because, thats the only way a dog can stand in an unsecured backyard and be commended for not leaving. It is a clear deduction that someone is either not home or not paying close enough attention to what is going on. I have a dog, I’d know if the back gate was open at some point inside an hour. So, would “not home, or functionally useless” been better?

        I don’t automatically assume that the first person to call someone crazy is automatically sane. That is why I think there are 2 sides to this story.

        • Anon X your “clear deduction” fails the test of reasonable logic
          The behavior of your dog does not represent the potential behaviors of any other dog in the universe

          • Not quite. The point is the back gate was open for an hour. She has no idea. Therefore she left the dog outside for at least an hour.

            Repeated posts by her support this and actually indicate she leaves the dog outfor even longer.

            Guess my logic wasn’t so bad, huh?

    • “I am not condoning this guy’s actions.”

      Yes, you are.

  • 1) DCPD is useless.
    2) This intruder/vandal is a prick, for sure, but also probably a just a disgruntled neighbor.
    3) The dog owner admits to leaving their dogs out while away. Probably not a great idea.
    4) This situation can probably be resolved with a friendly chat, neighbor to neighbor. What happened to diplomacy?
    5) DCPD is useless. Did I already mention that?

    • Um, the OP has already said this was not a neighbor. And honestly, even if this was a neighbor, I think they are beyond “friendly chat” status. If a neighbor was doing this to me, I would not be “friendly” about it.

      • The OP said he checked with the neighbors that share the alley, but one could presume that loud barking dogs could irritate neighbors from elsewhere in the vicinity. Across the street in the other direction, for example. Also, I certainly couldn’t pick ALL my neighbors out of a lineup, but kudos to the OP (and you) for determining that this is definitely not a neighbor. I guess the alternative, a guy just walking into that alley from across town and messing with another guy’s gate over and over, seems more reasonable?

        This sounds like an incomplete story, and likely a misunderstanding.

  • I would not leave the dogs out unattended anymore; this dude is totally going to try to poison them or get them to eat up ground up glass.

  • It matters not in the slightest whether OP leaves his/her dogs outside and whether they bark the entire time they do. There are appropriate ways to handle that situation. This is not one of them.

  • This is not OK. I don’t care if the dogs were left outside all day and were barking the entire time (which I doubt they were) – call DC Animal Control, call the police, knock on the front door and TALK to the owner. I can only imagine his intent (by opening the gate and leaving) was that the dogs would come to harm. Not cool.

  • I’m a dog lover and if anyone ever did this to my dogs, or endangered my dogs in any way, it would pretty much be their final act on the planet.

  • I wouldn’t put the pics up on the gate right away. I’d start by duct-taping some mousetraps to the inside of the gate so the next time he puts his hand over, well…. you know.

    After that, I’d post the pics. But even then, I’d be wary of him standing outside of the range of the cameras and throwing things over.

    As for the dogs… My neighbor has a dog. I love the dog and I love the neighbor. she’s generally pretty decent about everything. But every Saturday morning, she puts the dog outside for about 1/2 hour while she gets ready to take him on a long walk. That 1/2 hour is short, but it’s exactly what’s needed to ruin my sleep. I’m up. Can’t get back to sleep. And I’m cursing her and that damned dog the entire weekend because of 1/2 hour. Dog lovers…not everyone wants to wake up at the same time as you. And if you get your dog to stop barking after 1 or 2 barks, the damage is already done to those that have been woken up. I don’t understand how people don’t understand this concept. Yes, I know…I’m a horrible human being because I don’t put barking dogs above human sleep. Move along now.

    • As a dog owner, I don’t understand people who do this. My dog is lucky if he gets two barks out before his butt is ordered back inside.

  • This is so creepy I would NOT handle it myself. Given that the MPD has “declined” to deal with it, have you tried the Department of Police Complaints? It’s their job to police the police. And, for good measure, contact your council member. Having a council member breathing down their neck is a good way to motivate anyone in DC.

    • It’s disheartening that the police officer had to be pushed to make a report and gave you that advice. I’m tired of hearing how the police can’t be bothered to make a report. It’s their job. I agree, a complaint should be filed.

  • This makes me wanna watch Summer of Sam, yall remember that movie?

  • DC Municipal regulation 900.1 prohibits barking barking, and reg. 900.9 describes a fine of $300. I’ve never used it, but it came right up on line.

  • OP, YOU LOST ME WHEN YOU COMPARED THIS TO RAPE. (See, it’s not fun being yelled at).

    • false construct. OP compared to asking what a rape victim was wearing eg blaming the victim. Extreme and poorly chosen example but the reactionary phenomenon is fundamentally the same.

    • OP didn’t compare the situation to rape. They compared the immediate search for reasons to blame them for someone else’s behavior to the way rape victims are subjected to questions about their wardrobe. OP: Crazy guy opened my gate and could have harmed my dogs; police didn’t help. I am frustrated and frightened of what guy could do, especially if police don’t take seriously. PoPVille Commentariat: Your dogs probably bark too much, and you shouldn’t leave them in your yard, and why don’t you have a lock, and where are you going that you need to leave them anyway, and your hair is too curly. Maybe the analogy is a bit on the extreme side but read some of the comments. The OP didn’t do anything wrong, their yard is fenced in and the dogs are in it while someone else in the household is home. But they had to defend themselves for daring to expect the police their taxes pay for to help them with a potential intruder. We should have been better neighbors.

      • It’s an unreasonable comparison. She could have expressed her feelings without comparing what is happening to the experience of a rape victim. I’ve had break ins – it’s violating, but I would never, ever compare it or any questions I receive as a similar experience to what a rape victim goes through. It’s offensive and indefensible.

  • dhendrix

    I live in Cathedral Heights as well and had to put locks on all my gates. Had items stolen twice from someone coming in the back gate and our neighbor had a computer stolen from someone entering through their gate.

  • Did you get the police officer’s name and badge?

  • I wish I could say I was shocked by the sheer number of “It’s your fault for leaving your dogs outside” posts but I really am not shocked.
    Like the homeowner who got slammed for posting the video of the dog owner letting his dog crap on the homeowner’s front lawn and walking away from it without cleaning it up. The property owner was the schmuck for posting the video and shaming the crap dog owner.
    The rape analogy is obviously not directly on point. But it is spot on as an illustration of the tendency of some people to ask what someone who is the victim of unacceptable behavior did to bring that behavior on his or herself, as opposed to calling out the unacceptable behavior. The post from the person whose bike was stolen from inside his apartment by someone who broke into the apartment where the victim said that when the police came to take a report they asked if the bike was chained to anything in the house also comes to mind.
    I hope these folks find a more sympathetic ear if they happen to be on the receiving end of bad behavior.

  • When will Muriel learn that what she hears from MPD top brass isn’t what we as citizens experience? This story does not surprise me. People are piiiiiiiissed and she has no clue.

  • Wow. Some of the people on here are ridiculous. Why are you attacking OP? Makes no sense. The anti-dog crowd reads a post that mentions the word “dog” and they start foaming at the mouth and jumping to all these conclusions that it must be the dog owners fault, blah blah.
    OP I’m sorry this happened to you – both the trespassing/endangering your dogs by this crazy guy, and the baseless attacking comments by the crazies above.

  • Thank you to everyone with helpful suggestions and genuine concern. I wasn’t yelling just emphasizing. But the point is that we have no idea what this person’s intentions are – at the very least he is trying to harm my dogs, at worst he is trying to harm me or my family by getting my dogs out of his way. Either way that should be the main concern, he is on camera attempting to do harm to animals and violating property. That is a fact. And I have had someone hide in my yard before, and been stalked before, and assaulted in the past so I don’t think I’m overreacting, and the police never help with anything. Even a padlocked gate can’t stop everyone, although it is a good additional security measure. But if he can reach over the gate he can also climb over the gate. We have no idea what this guy’s intentions are. My dogs are guard dogs as well as pets and they do not bark incessantly or at everything, but they do guard their house, which is good for my neighbors too. 4 people live in my house and at least one person is almost always home. I get along with my neighbors, if anyone ever has issues we talk to each other and respect each other. If the perpetrator looked different (other than an average looking white guy) I think some people’s assumptions and level of concern would be different, sadly. I just want to identify him so I can at least get a restraining order and to expose what he does when he thinks no one is watching. Again, thank you to the helpful posts.

    • “If the perpetrator looked different (other than an average looking white guy) I think some people’s assumptions and level of concern would be different, sadly.”
      + a million. This was my thought exactly.
      Best of luck, OP. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this and I hope he just disappears without further issue.

    • For what it’s worth… security consultant Gavin de Becker, whose book “The Gift of Fear” is frequently recommended by Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax, advises _against_ getting restraining orders.
      I forget exactly what his rationale is — I think that they’re not sufficiently effective in keeping violent individuals away, and could cause a violent person to become even more angry and unsettled.
      In any event, I hope the padlock is sufficient to stop this guy from messing with your gate.

      • Counter point on the restraining order – In DC, you can get a Civil Protective Order on the basis of stalking through the domestic violence division @ DC superior court (for stalking only, CPO can be against third party; does not have to be domestic). It’s relatively easy – the court is relatively informal and really set up for people without lawyers.
        The advantage: DC absolutely will criminally prosecute people who in any way violate a CPO. The general “catch and release” policy does not apply. I have a client who was dealing with a crazy person, who had been used to doing all this stuff and facing no consequences. Then client got a CPO, crazy violated it (by coming within 100 yards of residence), and guess what? Crazy is facing multiple criminal charges – set for trial next month.

    • ” But the point is that we have no idea what this person’s intentions are – at the very least he is trying to harm my dogs, at worst he is trying to harm me or my family by getting my dogs out of his way.”

      Or he could just be a random weirdo or have mental health issues that are completely unrelated to you or your dogs. Either way, be careful and watch your dogs closely.

  • your dogs sound pretty loud and annoying, could be a pissed off neighbor.

  • I would suggest adding more cameras and possibly getting your neighbors to put some up as well. Signs would help, and locks on the gate.

  • Electrify the fence handle.

  • houseintherear

    This post/comment thread should be spread worldwide- such an amazing example of racism and how people view events from distorted perspectives. Wowsa.

    • Which part of this post is racist?

    • Bullshit. If I was offered a 10 second clip of a black guy fiddling with a gate and then some pretty unhinged commentary and hyperbole about murder and hiding and everything unsubstantiated I’d be saying the same thing. There is something missing here. I’m always skeptical of clearly narrowly edited video accompanying hyperbole. I dont understand where in the world the notion of taking someone’s claims at face value vs being skeptical of internet posts was a proxy for racism. People need to be more skeptical of these posts, period.

      still liking the high def videos, though.

      • So I guess we should be equally skeptical of the person who posted today about the next door neighbor who jumped the common fence and assaulted him.

        • No. Because they’re entirely different requests and information from the OPs. Isnt that clear? Are you being intentionally obtuse?

  • Regardless of leaving your dogs outside for 10 min or an hour, no one has the right to open another persons gate and enter their back yard. It is not extremely hot nor cold out at the moment so leaving the dogs in the yard for some recreation is a non issue here in my opinion.

  • “I should get a gun”…with the laws in this town, I had to laugh.

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