Saturday, August 11, 2007

Muggings at Shaw/Howard Metro Stop

Some of you may have seen the following on the Shaw Neighborhood listserve (originally from the Bloomingdale listserve), but I think it bears repeating:

From a U Street NW resident, received late Thursday evening, August 9,

2007:

I want to share my experience which makes me a full member of
Bloomingdale.

Tonight Thursday, August 9, 2007, I was mugged. As I came out of the Metro Station Shaw-Howard Univ. Green Line, I was intercepted by a guy who jumped across Rhode Island Av. from the Dwelllings building, and pulled out a 10 to 15 inches silver knife and said "give me all you fucking money or I kill you right here" I was walking home on Rhode Island Av., in front of the Catholic Charities Center for the Homeless, in a well lit area, and with a knife on my chest so I gave him all my money, then he made me empty my pockets and demanded only the cash; then, he said "go." As I got on to the corner of 6 St. and Rhode Island, and turned left I was shocked and froze to hear the same phrase, and I turned to look on the corner of my eye I saw that he was mugging to another guy in the very same spot were he intercepted me. What is even worse as I reached the next corner on 5 street and S St. I saw a white girl crying, being comforted by some people -she was sitting on the ground- and said "I was mugged." She was in shocked I told her that I was walking away from the same thing, because I was just mugged myself too. I do not know whether she reported the incident or not. I do not know if the guy behind me will report it or not, but the certain thing is that I did report my case.

More to this awful experience.

As I walked home. I called 911 and I was asked by the operator very kindly "can you hold, please?" Well, I was in shocked and I did not hold and a few more steps further away, I called 311, and the male operator, pretended not to understand me, asked to describe the man, all in such as way like "I hope that you get bored and not report this." I forced him to take the description and gave him my number although he was not willing to take all the info and I was asked all his questions in a really ineffective way as if in bad mood and I was disturbing him or delaying him to leave at the end of his shift. One hour later no phone call back from the police back in my house, I called 911 again and finally I was able to report the crime. For nothing, but at least to make sure that this goes to the record. I wonder how many people give up and never report when mugged. If the people who call 911 or 311 and receive the treatment I got I have the hunch that many people just give up. I wonder if I were not such a persistent person give up and do not take the time to write a detail email like to to share the concern and give a word to those who live around here. I wonder how many neighbors of Bloomingdale are victims of this and never get to report crimes.

All is clear to me, the area is far more dangerous than it was or has been. I have lived here for 7 years and since I do not have a car and walk around and use public transportation I can assure you that the neighborhood is far more dangerous than it was or has been when most houses were empty and there were less people in the area. Now robbers know that there is money here and this is far better place to come and mugged people. The police does not show up. Note aside, after walking 20 minutes, which usually takes me only 10, I did not see one single police car at all. Keep that in mind when you walk from the metro.

Make sure that your life is more important than walking around Rhode Island.


Comment: This is only the latest example of the flagrant failure of the 911/311 system to work properly. If anyone has been reading the MPD3 listserve, it is full of other instances that are way too numerous to be just flukes. It's hard to tell just how serious a crime has to be to get a response from the system, but it seems fairly clear at this point that armed robbery doesn't make the cut. This is something that citizens should be truly outraged about, and I think it's time for a grass-roots campaign to get some action from the mayor, police chief, and council on this.

The other thing I wonder about is why there doesn't seem to have been any consistent effort by the Metro police to patrol the Shaw/Howard station, which has been the scene of numerous incidents in which Metro patrons have been victimized in recent months. Also, in case you missed it, there was another incident at the beginning of the month in which a neighbor was robbed and beaten in the elevator of the Mt. Vernon Square station. (I noticed the elevator was closed for several days recently, but is back in operation now. The glass in the elevator has been broken repeatedly over the last year--not sure just how, but I hope it wasn't with someone's head, because it's very thick tempered glass.) Maybe it's also time to direct some serious inquiries to the Metro Police about what they're doing to protect patrons in and around stations in this area.

20 Comments:

At 8/11/2007 2:27 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Someone should also contact the family of the murdered New York Times columnist that set up the fund (in return for not suing the a** off the city) to addess 911 issues in D.C. These types of acts and the 911 response are an outrage.

 
At 8/12/2007 7:01 AM, Anonymous fsg said...

well the mugger is just going to be back on the street when no one shows up in court to testify against him -- because of fear of retaliation from the mugger or his friends, so why bother calling emergency numbers in the first place?

 
At 8/12/2007 4:13 PM, Anonymous keith medlock said...

I went by that neighborhood today and with all the construction going on, it doesn't look like it would be safe after dark at all.

 
At 8/13/2007 4:27 PM, Anonymous Isaac said...

This is an awful story. But i have to say that I recently had a great experience with 311 when someone tried to steal my car. The officer came in about 5 minutes and was very nice and helpful. But i'm in columbia heights.

 
At 8/13/2007 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family moved out of DC years ago. Everytime I go back into town to visit I am always warned by them that I am going into the city at my own risk especially after dark.

"Do not count on the police or the ambulance to come and rescue you"

With that being said I recommend either seeking out your own private protection from neighborhood locals or moving away far away to someplace that is safe.
With the widening gap between the rich and the poor in this city things are only going to get worse. No place in DC is going to be safe.

My aunts purse was snatched as she walked down 16th street way back in the late 1960's. The police were called and they still have not shown up yet.

 
At 8/13/2007 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I moved to Maryland. I feel horrible saying this, given that I'm a minority myself, but living in DC for the past 9 months has made me wish segregation was still the law.

 
At 8/14/2007 6:39 AM, Blogger Tom Aloisi said...

Note to all, next time you're mugged, call and say you were mugged and he that he stabbed you. When police arrive, say that you were able to move quickly enough to avoid actually having contact with the knife. My roommate has lived on 2nd street for 6 years, and experienced his first mugging, by gunpoint, about 4 months ago on a cool drizzly spring evening. Apparently muggings happen more on rainy nights, as there are fewer people around.

 
At 8/14/2007 7:20 AM, Blogger BrianR said...

The idea that segregation would have any effect on this situation, not including the fact that race was not even mentioned in this posting, is ridiculous. Being a minority yourself does not excuse ignorance.

 
At 8/14/2007 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live in MD and called about gunfire which we were watching from the house. The dispatcher or whoever answers the 911 calls asked if anyone had been hit or was screaming or in pain. They also asked how many shots were fired. We told them several rounds but no one seemed to be hit. That was pretty much it and neither a patrol or officer ever came. My advice would be to say someone had been hit and was screaming.

 
At 8/14/2007 11:37 AM, Blogger Emma said...

My wallet was stollen from me at Gallery Place. After waiting for the metro police for an hour to give my report, I was told that they would not report my wallet as "stolen," but "lost" because I had not seen the pick pocket remove my wallet. Six months later, I surprisingly still haven't "found" my wallet. How many of these crimes are MISreported?

 
At 8/14/2007 1:49 PM, Anonymous fsg said...

The Washington Convention Center is opening a 24hr MPD/EMS office on the street level to promote safety in the immediate vicinity for their staff, visitors and those nearby in the community.

 
At 8/14/2007 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give the PC outrage a rest, BrianR. This is DC - it's about 99.9% certain that the mugger was black, particularly in Shaw, which is a notorious ghetto, despite the ostensible gentrification. Did you really think the muggers were Hasidic Jews or Chinese, or something?

 
At 8/14/2007 9:06 PM, Anonymous Hahahahahahahahahaha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/16/2007 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Washington Convention Center is opening a 24hr MPD/EMS office on the street level to promote safety in the immediate vicinity for their staff, visitors and those nearby in the community.

Where / when is this going to happen?

 
At 8/16/2007 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Tom, there is less violent crime when it rains precisely because fewer people are outdoors.

 
At 8/17/2007 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is it very likely that the mugger was black, it is also a very real possibilty that he had been recently "release/dumped" on our streets after serving some time. Our streets are used as shelters for criminals, drug addicts, the crazys and many others. I am only surprised this kind of stuff does not happen more often.

 
At 8/19/2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will second the fact that the streets are def. not safe after dark. I was groped last night by a short Hispanic man as I walked home at about 245 am. Its disgusting what people in this city think is acceptable.

 
At 8/20/2007 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9 23

Was he cute, hot and what corner?

 
At 8/27/2007 6:55 PM, Anonymous ak191 said...

anonymous,

move out of dc. we dont need racisits like you here. in fact, move to russia. i dont think they'd want you either. you should be ashamed of yourself -- wishing segregation was still legal. asshole.

 
At 9/11/2007 12:09 PM, Blogger David said...

How do I join the Shaw Neighborhood Listserve?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home