Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

A very disturbing thing just happened on 14th Street NW between Corcoran and R (right in front of Marine Layer / Salt & Sundry) while I was taking a pleasant Sunday dad/daughter walk with my 8 year old. This happened at about 11:40am today (Sunday).

We were harassed by a man walking a dog. He struck up what seemed to be a friendly conversation with my daughter. I responded tersely and we kept walking but he drew closer to us. He left his dog off leash and got right in my face. I told him to leave us alone and that my daughter is afraid of dogs. He turned to her and said “does he touch you?” implying that I am a child molester. He put both of his hands on my shoulders and began to squeeze, like he would strangle me. I raised my voice to get off of me, shimmied free, grabbed my daughter’s hand and we walked away. After 1/2 a block I looked back and saw he was harassing someone else.

There were no police nearby. I would have called 911 but I didn’t want to further traumatize my daughter, who was in tears. She told me she wanted to wash her hands because apparently at some point he grabbed her hand also. (Very disturbing, obviously.) There were several witnesses but no one intervened.

Description of the harasser: white man, looked to be in his 40s, lean build, tattoos on his arms, had kind of a weathered “Flea” (red hot chili peppers) vibe if you know what I mean. My daughter pointed out that his dog (a pitbull, I think) was not on a proper leash but rather some kind of extension cord.

Anyway, sending this to you in case he is out there harassing others. If others see him, I would suggest calling 911, as I wish I had.”

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