Called 911 again

I don't like this trend.
A little before 10AM today I was walking back from Catana Bakery and heading home on foot on Bates Street. As I was walking I noticed another person walking down the same side of the street as I. Then I noticed this person, was wearing a black face covering. I know it has a name but when I see it on people it is black, covers the nose and mouth covering 1/2 the face. He was also wearing a coat with a hood. I became leery. I had a bad feeling. And then he looked back behind him. There was no one else on the street.
My instincts told me to turn my ass around and get to a street with more people on it, and so I immediately turned around, crossed to the other side of the street and got over to 1st Street. I got to the corner of 1st and Q and noticed the hooded face covered guy got to the corner of 1st and Bates and kinda lingered there. I watched him for about a minute hanging there and then I went down Q Street and debated about calling 911.
Halfway down Q I decided to call 911 to report the activity. And just as one commenter had observed, the 911 dispatchers don't really do 'no  one is dying but you should check it out' calls all that well. On the plus side they did call me back after I got home to follow up,

So be careful out there.
Be aware of your surroundings.
And if your Spidy senses say turn around fast and get out of there, then turn around and book it.
Now let the comments about how I'm wasting police resources begin.


You did the right thing. If the police don't think it's a waste of their resources (or so they have told us at PSA meetings), then don't sweat it. If the dispatcher and MPD called back, they didn't find a problem with your call, either. I wish more of my neighbors did the same thing, instead of talking about it with each other AFTER the fact - even when nothing bad happens. ;)

Last time I checked, neither leaving a car running nor wearing a face mask on a cold day is illegal. I don't know what you expected the 911 operator to do.

[Mari's edit- We wondered how soon some jack a'hole would criticize my call]

you're not. period.

Good job to call it in... better safe than sorry.

It's called a balaclava. People wear them when it is cold. I don't really know what to say because I 100% support using street sense and being vigilante about sketchy things, but it honestly sounds like you over reacted to something normal. The police have to have reasonable suspicion of something illegal before they even stop someone on the street.

I think you were right to listen to your instincts. I rarely call 911 for suspicious activity, because I'd be on the phone all day long if I did. But when I get that gut feeling that something is wrong, I listen to it. The last time I didn't, someone got stabbed.

I call the police/911 about 3 times a week and have gotten to know the local patrol officers and have met with some of the local detectives in the area. I also have a cell number of a local undercover to text information to. I have been instructed to call anytime I see something suspicious and I do. The more times people call the more the higher ups can look at the call stats and know that resourses are needed in the area. Don't ever feel bad for using city services that your tax dollars are paying for.

Well, I may be a "jack a'hole" but if you weren't so touchy you might notice that I in no way criticized your decision to make the call. I just don't appreciate your condescending tone toward the 911 operators in this post and the previous one. There are in fact real and urgent crimes committed every day all over this city. The police department's resources are limited. I don't think 911 operators merit your derision for being a bit hesitant before sending the national guard to your block because somebody decided to warm up their vehicle. I, for one, would prefer not to live in a neighborhood where the cops arrive and harass people because some resident didn't like the way they look as they walk down the street.

As a footnote, I'd add that while neither wearing a balaclava nor warming up a vehicle is illegal, stealing a car and deliberately crashing it, as you threaten to do, violates several laws. Perhaps I should call 911 and report the suspicious activity on this blog.

actualy in most jurisdictions leaving your car running while you are not in it is illegal. i would be surprised if DC was any different. it is dangerous to leave a car running if you aren't in for many reasons. not to mention if it gets stolen, insurance wont cover you. so if someone steals it and causes damage to person or property you could be held liable.

Leave a comment