Anyone get mugged at Shaw/Howard?

Got an email from a reader relating his experience with getting attacked by the kids who hang out by the entrance of the R St exit. He’d like to know if others have had the same problem. I am aware of kids making a nuisence of themselves around the entrance and just figured it was kids being annoying kids, didn’t think that the little booggers would be violent and criminal.


Do you know anything about a group of kids that stands
around the metro at R and 8th and assaults people when
they come out? This happened to me last night
(Saturday) around 10 p.m. I was walking out of the
Metro to an art show opening near 6th and T, and 5 or
more kids (age 13, 14, 15?) were standing on either
side of the metro, a total of maybe 10 or 12 kids.
After we had walked about a half block they ran to
catch up with us. One came up beside me, said “how
you doing?” and hit me in the face with a pipe.

After I recovered, my fiancee helped me to the seven
eleven near there and the very helpful clerks called
emergency services and gave me some napkins. The
medics cleaned me up and the cops took my report, then
gave us a ride to the art show (didn’t want to let it
spoil our night, I would have felt even worse then).

Apparently this is a phenomenon with which some
neighbors are familiar; a 30-40 year old man came by
just after it happened, and seemed angered by it in an
“oh, man, not this again” kind of way – he ran off
after the kids yelling at them. Some of the seven
eleven staff also seemed to have that attitude when we
told them where it happened and that it was a group of
young teenagers (I can’t remember their exact words;
I was groggy and bleeding). Same with the cops.

10 thoughts on “Anyone get mugged at Shaw/Howard?”

  1. I was coming back from the metro on Sat night about 9:30ish and a group of about five or six kids were acting funny around me. One in a grey-ish jacket with a blue stripe mid chest gave me a weird look and stopped and tried to stare me down. I can only remember him specifically. About 16 maybe?

    Lemme know if it’s the same group, I could describe that kid fairly well but not the others with him.

  2. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for a few years now, and my perception is that crime is getting worse, not better. But I also tune into lots more news resources (like this blog), so that a few years ago I wouldn’t have been aware of this activity.

    But I’d really like to hear what people who have lived here for 10 or 20 years have to say about this. Is the recent spate of muggings, shootings, etc a statistical blip or a return to the bad old days?

    – JM

  3. My friend who lives at 2nd and Q had an attempted purse-snatching about a week ago- a guy ran up behind her and reached into her purse. She hung onto it and he didn’t get anything, but scary. He was older than the kids described, but seems like a pattern in the area.

  4. We live near 5th and Q and have only been here for roughly 2 years and have noticed an uptick in aggressive crime. When we first moved in, our grill was stolen out of our unlocked backyard. That was our fault. A few weeks ago, I watched 5 kids steal a jeep from in front of my house while I was on the phone with 911. The next weekend our car was broken into and the stereo stolen. Our neighbor’s roommate moved out after she was mugged at R & 5th just before the holidays and our other neighbor was robbed on his front door step. “A group of kids” were also the named suspect of a beating of a man the same night the car was stolen in front of our house (01/14/06). Surprisingly, the day my husband was cleaning up the glass from our broken car window, a neighborhood dog walker stopped by, commenting with surprise that anything had happened since she hadn’t heard of any criminal activity in a while and hadn’t been locking her doors lately. It’s unfortunate because this latest spat has not been our predominent expereince in this neighborhood, but it has gotten bad lately from our perspective.

  5. As someone new on the Shaw scene, I’m curious to know if folks have thoughts on past effective community responses to these sorts of ‘upticks’ in crime.

    Are the ANC meetings the best place to address this? Does a sit-down with our DCPD rep help?

    Surely there is a lot of history on addressing this. And surely an organized, swift response from the community is most effective.

  6. Hi, this is Clay, the reader who sent in the email. Thanks for all your comments, it makes me feel much better to put this in some context. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch what any of the kids were wearing, except the one who hit me, and him only from the neck up, e.g. his knit cap (he was a lot shorter than me and standing right next to me by the time I took a good look at him).

    Here’s what I wrote to an old friend to try to explain to him ‘why’ this happened:

    “No reason. They were laughing as they ran away. Imagine if we were in eighth grade, and we did something bad that we thought was really funny, and then ran away all cracking up with glee and adrenaline – That’s how they were laughing, except the funny thing was hitting me in the face with a pipe!”

    I want to emphasize that I don’t mean to tar all local teenagers with the shame of what these kids did – I live near Cardozo High and have never had any problems any of the kids who go there. Nor do I mean any ill will towards Shaw. I do hope that the community – by which I mean all parts of the community, including everything from law enforcement to community leaders to teachers to neighbors – can come together to make sure this is handled in such a way that it does not evolve into something more routine than it already may or may not be. I like riding the metro, and I look forward to more art shows in Shaw! In the near future, though, I’m going to take a cab – I just don’t know the area well enough to be walking around there.

    Thanks again,
    Columbia Heights/Cardozo

    p.s. I’ve found in the past that talking to a neighborhood DCPD rep is a good way to scare yourself very badly, which I suppose doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. One of the best things I’ve ever done in terms of community building (something I wish I did more of) was a vigil in the park near Florida and First. When you reach a critical mass of people who care, you feel very safe . . .

  7. clay,

    thanks for sharing all that.

    i can imagine anyone would take you to be insulting all the kids in the neighborhood or shaw in general.

    but yeah… i try not to read too many crime reports.. its just depressing.

  8. I was walking by Shaw middle school the other day and a kid threw a rock at a sign just as I was passing it and the circle of kids started cracking up. I confronted them and they backed down but those were just middle school kids…

  9. I’ve been contacted by someone from the local visual news media. If anyone cares to add to this for their research, please contact me at mari at in shaw period com.

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