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Random Attack Reported at Gallery Place Metro Friday Evening

by Prince Of Petworth May 15, 2017 at 11:30 am 66 Comments

  • I Rex

    Very sorry to hear that. Something needs to be done at this spot. A friend of mine had similar thing happen to him this winter. Stepped off the train at Gallery Place then punched (or hit with something from behind). Nothing taken, just done for amusement by a group of young a-holes. Friend had concussion and neck pain that lingered.

  • ParkViewneighbor

    So what should the response be? keep business as usual or actually do something to get these under control

  • Pleasanter

    I am always so wary of groups of kids in the metro system – this incident sure doesn’t help my now ingrained apprehension.

    • anonymous

      What’s particularly frightening about Metro crimes like this is that you’re captive- just stuck- in the car or on the platform with few places to run. I am always wary of this incredible vulnerability- it adds to all the negatives on public transportation, which are already overflowing in this town.

      • KPS

        I have experienced this vulnerability first-hand. Best thing is to remain calm, act casual, don’t make eye contact, and pray for God to change their hearts in the next minute or two. Well, that’s how I got through it anyway.

        • ParkViewneighbor

          The saddest part is that, even IF these kids are found with CCTV, they’ll never be punished. They’ll be protected by some stupid DC laws, will escape unscathed and will have all the reasons in the world to do it again because why not?

          • jonah

            I don’t know of any laws that let people off for assault. There might be juvenile sentencing laws that would be applied if they were found and tried.

          • anon

            @Jonah. “There might be juvenile sentencing laws that would be applied if they were found and tried.” Uh, I’m quite certain that is precisely what ParkViewneigbor was getting at. The city has let its (understandable) desire to rehabilitate troubled youth get way, way out of control. It’s so obvious that many kids don’t fear the system at all. Carrots only work when there are sticks as well, IMHO.

          • ParkViewneighbor

            it’s called the Youth Act. WaPo ran a good piece a few weeks ago on how you could basically get away with murder (or almost) under this piece of law

          • DG

            There is a prison for D.C. kids in Maryland. It is euphemistically called “New Beginnings,” but it is kid prison. So the notion that kids do not get punished in DC would come as news to the kids locked up there.

  • PetworthGuy

    Awful. Hoping for a full and quick recovery for that poor guy. Shoutout to the law student – group think is powerful and it’s not uncommon for witnesses to just ignore situations like this, instead of jumping into action like this student. Bravo.

    • SSS

      I too commend the student. These public, violent acts depend on non-intervention, but it isn’t all groupthink. Fear is powerful. Unless you are with 5 other people to back you up, anyone intervening would be severely outnumbered and at risk for serious injury.

  • Erik

    Gallery place is terrible. The level of crime is way higher than you’d expect. It’s one rung above the level of crime occurring at the Convention Center, and two rungs above the level of what is experienced at Petworth. If we don’t watch out, MD will annex all of these places and claim them as their own.

    • Anon X

      What does your comment even mean? You think MD is full of criminals?

      • textdoc

        The coded language seemed pretty obvious to me.

        • Anon X

          I was giving some benefit of the doubt. But yeah, big racist sirens started going off in my head.

    • AnoN

      I’ve heard of a few events happening at Gallery Place stop, but not so much the convention center area or Petworth. I live near Petworth so am interested as to what all you’re referring to? Maybe things I should keep an eye out for? Want to make sure I’m not as oblivious as I apparently am.

      • ParkViewneighbor

        In Petworth you often have these groups of school kids coming back or going to Roosevelt i suppose. I have seen them harass people or try to steal stuff in the elevators prior to the “manager” booth.
        I dont know what the impact of school holidays will be though

      • mvs

        Erik is talking out of his a$$. According to the 2016 crime figures released by Metro earlier this year the stations with the most reported crimes were: 1) Minnesota Ave; 2) Southern Ave; 3) Anacostia; 4) Suitland; 5) Gallery Place; 6) College Park; 7) Ft. Totten; 8) L’Enfant Plaza; 9) Metro Center; 10) Naylor Road. I hope the victim has a full recovery and they find the people who did this.

        • dcd

          Eric may well be talking out of his ass – but those statistics don’t demonstrate that. If anything, the list shows that the transfer stations have disproportionately high crime figures, relative to the neighborhoods in which they are located.

        • MadMax

          He stated the crime there is higher than at Convention Center and Petworth, which the stats you provided would seem to corroborate. He never stated that it was the highest in the entire system, just higher than you would expect for a heavily trafficked commercial area. Of the top 4 stations for crime that you listed 2 are actually located in Maryland, and the other 2 are very near Maryland adjacent, so even his point about “MD taking over” isn’t without some basis in probability. If anything in trying to disprove his points you solidified them, bravo.

  • Marty

    At some point, there will be a Bernie Goetz type of situation. I certainly don’t want that to happen, but it’s just inevitable (especially if handgun regulations continue to be loosened.)

    • Anon

      “I certainly don’t want that to happen, but it’s just inevitable”
      .
      What point are you trying to make, exactly, by pointing out the possibility that someone could take vicious revenge? Because it kind of sounds like you do want this to happen.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Not Marty, but I’ll take a wild guess: “Hopefully MPD & Transit Police get this sh!t under control before something a lot worse happens.” I don’t have any desire to see this happen – the risk that an uninvolved bystander would be shot is astronomical in such a crowded environment – but I don’t disagree with Marty that sooner or later it will.

        • dcd

          I agree with this, especially the part about potential harm to bystanders. That’s the thing I’d be most worried about. While I don’t WANT some sort of retaliatory event, I’d be lying if I said I’d be really devastated if one happened – **providing no innocent bystander got shot**. Which, as Haile said, is very likely.
          .
          Attacks like this are very worrisome because there is little, if anything, one can do to avoid them. It’s not late at night; it’s not confined to perceived “bad” parts of town, it’s in a part of the metrorail system that is heavily trafficked, it’s a transfer point, so riders often have little choice but to go through there. What can you do, other than exit the car when a group of teenagers get on? And then you run into a group on the platform.

      • northeazy

        Is it “revenge” if you defend yourself? FWIW, Bernard Goetz fended off multiple attackers, so it was hardly revenge. It is called self-preservation.

        • Caphill

          Goetz also got sued for it, and lost. He still owes the families of the kids he shot money.

          • SSS

            The jury awarded an $43 million to one of the attackers. He was acquitted in the other civil suits. As far as I understand it, Goetz has always had some kind of self-employed job selling electronics that never brought in enough documented income where he ever had to pay a cent to anyone other than lawyers.

      • Robert

        A “Bernie Goetz type of situation” might paradoxically save some innocent lives. Think about it.

    • anon

      Sorry, but Goetz is an incredibly facile comparison devoid of any context. Goetz had a history of racist and inflamatory attitudes. His self defense argument had numerous holes as he went far beyond protecting himself, shedding a victim role and assuming an aggressor role at the earliest opportunity. There was also a backdrop of persistent urban decay and perceived lawlessness 70s-80s NYC , nothing remotely resembling isolated NYC today much less isolated DC Metro incidents. These perceptions fed the vigilante narrative that contributed to unconstitutional stop and frisk policies and other reactionary anti-crime measures with less than coded racial overtones.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Thanks, professor. I think what Marty meant was simply that sooner or later one of these attacks is going to get real ugly. Will that be fundamentally different from Goetz? Uh, I guess so, but I think there is a more important point here than that one.

        • welp

          As a third party reading this, your condescension to someone whose insight seems deeper and more valuable than your own is a bad look.

          • anonymous

            Haile is on the mark.

          • Anon

            I’m not sure why Haile seems so defensive here, especially since he wasn’t personally referenced here.

        • anon

          Yeah, it will be fundamentally different than Goetz. That is the more important point.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes, if somebody pulls a gun and shoots people on the metro, the extent to which the actions of that shooter are like or unlike those of some other guy is the important thing. Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

          • Truxton Thomas

            A vigilante shooting a group of criminals in a seemingly lawless environment will be fundamentally different than a vigilante shooting a group of criminals in a seemingly lawless environment? Fine.

          • SSS

            Goetz was labeled a vigilante because it sold papers. He went overboard, but he wasn’t going around trying to achieve vigilante justice for others or to see out confrontation. He was just a guy who had been mugged 3-4 times in the span of a few years and his feelings of helplessness over it filled him with so much anger that when he was again put in such a situation he went a bit nuts.

            Given the perceptions of some continual problems in DC, the divisive racial rhetoric in public discourse, and the mental make-up of some people, it is entirely possible that some white person is going to overreact in a situation and it would be a major event. And yes, “white” matters because the media and broader public is unlikely to pay as much attention if a non-white person does it. Sadly that’s just the way it seems to be.

      • dcd

        “His self defense argument had numerous holes”
        .
        Not so many that he was convicted . . .

        • anon

          true — he lost on the gun charge and not the assault and attempted murder charges. The holes involves his story of being a strait self defense case. His “defense” was really offense.

          • dcd

            Well, as Dalton said in Roadhouse, “Opinions vary.” (And yes, I realize that a Bronx civil jury decided, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it was not self-defense. Goetz’s representation in that case was woefully deficient.)

      • Anonymous

        Having grown up in the NYC of the 70s-80s, I can say that it wasn’t just “perceived” lawlessness, it was actual lawlessness. NYC was an amazing place to live back then. But there was also a LOT of crime. And that made many people – including many people of color in minority communities that bore the brunt of the impacts of criminal behavior – susceptible to and supportive of pretty much any action that was considered to be “tough on crime.” I agree that with respect to actual crime statistics the NYC (or even DC) of the 70s-80s doesn’t remotely resemble the DC of today. But there is a consistent and growing perception that things are getting out of control, and for the people who feel this way, pointing to how much worse things used to be isn’t really that persuasive.

  • KPS

    This almost happened to me when I was followed into an empty car by a gang or 4-5 young AA youth (they sat in all the seats surrounding my seat so that I was partially hemmed in). For some reason I’ll never know — maybe they hesitated at the idea of attacking a female — they changed their minds. Just as the train was pulling into a station I was able to slowly and casually place myself by the door so that I could move over to the next train car quickly. They didn’t bother me as I exited, but at the next stop after that I saw them exit the car I had retreated from and they were screaming with laughter because they had just smacked a man on the back of the head, causing his glasses to go flying off. Really breaks my heart to hear these attacks are still happening and have escalated to bloodshed.

  • safety first

    Curious: what do feds or other employees who get screened when they arrive at work carry for protection when commuting? I’m not even allowed to carry my mace. It gets confiscated if I bring it to work. I wish I could at least bring that sometimes. I’m not an alarmist, but I’ve witnessed a few fights on metro over the years – one was at Gallery Place, where the kids were fighting each other, throwing targetless punches, jumping over seats and people. It was so chaotic, and people were getting trampled on, etc. Not that I’d want to unleash mace in a closed environment like that, but you know. One of the fighters in this case pulled out her mace and was threatening someone with it – the whole car cleared out at the next stop, and someone bodily dragged the person she was threatening out. The fight started among kids, but then it just seemed to turn on strangers after a point. It was the most afraid (and red hot mad) I’ve been on metro because it was so crowded and they were charging through as if they weren’t stepping all over bones and skin. still…

    • Anon

      “Curious: what do feds or other employees who get screened when they arrive at work carry for protection when commuting? ”
      .
      Nothing.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know anyone who carries anything for protection when commuting.

      • anon

        or as a rule needs to carry protection. If someone is randomly assaulted in a blindside attack and badly outnumbered not sure it would make any difference anyway.

    • LT

      I was assaulted by three teenagers on an empty neighborhood street a few years ago. Afterward I wanted to start carrying mace but I have to go to federal buildings on a weekly basis for work.

    • msus

      My fed building* just created a locker area for employees carrying items such as pepper spray. I don’t know the details or what steps were required to set it up, but I believe it was a pretty long approval process (over a year). The justification was the high amount of crime in the immediate neighborhood.

      *Run by GSA, wide variety of different agencies in building

  • CapitalDame

    Am i the only one who heard about the story on Bart in Oakland where dozens of teenagers invaded a train and robbed everyone in the car? http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/24/passengers-on-dublin-bound-train-robbed-by-dozens-of-youth-at-oakland-bart/

    Surprised this hasn’t happened here… yet.

    • msus

      Ha. I actually thought BART was following Metro’s footsteps when I saw that. But you’re right, I don’t believe Metro has seen a mass robbery of that scale yet. Instead this type of crap just goes on and on..

      • Anonymous

        Other than calling for reinforcements, there really isn’t a ton that a standard compliment of police officers can do if 40-60 people descend on an area and start assaulting people. There was a mass robbery of a clothing store on 14th St a few years ago. Group of kids ran in, grabbed what they could get, and ran out. Similar things have happened in smaller stores for years. I really don’t think these events are more common. They have always been happening. It’s just that social media makes it easier to assemble these packs of criminals. And the attacks are more publicized now. Contrary to what some folks expect for the rent or mortgage they are paying, crime hasn’t been priced out of the city.

        • Caphill

          There have been numerous mass robberies in DC already. It happens nearly monthly in SW, both the CVS and Safeway have been robbed multiple times. They beat up a security guard at CVS a few months ago.

  • MadMax

    Glad to see (and honestly shocked) there are at least fewer SJWs here actually defending the perps than there are over on Reddit.

    • ParkViewneighbor

      +1

    • Anonymous

      what is an SJW?

      • textdoc

        I had to ask the same question not long ago — it’s “Social Justice Warrior.”

      • MadMax

        Someone who spends more time defending the assailant than the victim, lest they possibly be cast in a negative light.

  • Reality

    I was at Gallery Place a few years ago when a large group of kids jumped riders exiting the train in the morning. It was chaos and took metro police too long to get to the attack before the train left with the kids on it, but they stopped the train after it traveled a few stations and pulled the kids off. It was a quick response which I appreciated. Kids think they can get away with anything. On the news one of the kids yelled at the camera, “they just arrested my friend!!!” like it was unthinkable they’d be arrested for attacking riders.

  • MadMax

    One suspect arrested so far: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/254679389-story

    • Herbie

      I’m sure he was back on the streets and hour later.

    • Caphill

      “two juveniles”…100% chance they were already released. Thanks DC Youth Act!

  • Forest Hills

    I was attacked by a group of teenagers for my phone on be Metro in 2015. Metro PD said when several people are attacking on victim, they can’t identify who is throwing the punches so they can’t charge anyone.
    I took my first trip to Europe in 2016 because I didn’t grow up rich. I saw men and women with military rifles in Barcelona Metro and felt weird. Felt less weird when I saw them in Rome, Florence, and Paris. Always in groups of 2 or 3.
    I am as liberal as they come. I think the lack of support poor people get in this rich country of ours is shameful.
    I also hate violent people because I’ve been attacked, and I wish we had soldiers or cops with rifles at every metro stop in DC.

    • MadMax

      This attack has nothing to do with poor people. They stole nothing from him, they literally just attacked him just because they can.

      • SSS

        Those soldiers are there to prevent terror attacks and mass casualties. Although they serve as a deterrent, I doubt they would use them on a mob of teenagers punching people.,

  • BadReligion

    DC law allows knives with blades up to three inches long.

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