Just before 4am, a loud boom woke me from a cold sleep. I got up, looked around, and lay back down until I heard the sirens of a significant police and fire response. Dressing quickly, I was outside about 4:15am this morning, to see Engines 15 and 17 fighting a car fire in my neighbor’s yard. The car had veered to the left, and collided with his retaining wall and fence. DCFD knocked the fire down in approximately 30 minutes, though the flames reached six feet in height, singing the lower branches of my neighbor’s maple tree.
Police on the scene reported a single occupant of the car, transported by EMS to Medstar with a serious gunshot wound to the back, which was likely the cause of the crash. MPD Captain McLean, responding to the incident, said that there was also a “shots fired” call on Saratoga near Rhode Island Avenue, and that it was possible that he had been chased up 17th to the accident scene. The driver was unconscious when transported to Medstar, and the Police were not optimistic about his prognosis, though he was moved there in under 15 minutes.
Update: Foggy Bottom Metro Escalators are open again. Police presence remains. Post reports the “unruly subject” was an aggressive panhandler.
Update from the GW Hatchet: Police activity following an altercation led to the escalator shutdown. An “unruly subject” being escorted from GW Hospital tried to grab someone outside, and the recipient of the grab proceeded to pull a knife, cut the grabber, then escape uncaught.
We’re hearing from the tweets that Foggy Bottom Metro has a police situation going on, possibly a stabbing. Metro escalators are taped off and the line for the still-working elevator goes down the block.
While that’s going on, we recommend that any Metro riders about to use Foggy Bottom walk instead to (or from) Farragut West, or catch the Rosslyn Circulator.
(Pic above is from another Foggy Bottom bottleneck incident but pretty much represents the station’s state nowadays even without police situations.)
Metro has just announced that a passenger on board a U2 Metrobus was shot early this evening near the intersection of 18th & Minnesota Ave SE. The passenger was transported by life-flight helicopter to Washington Hospital Center with significant injuries. No motive is apparent, and MPD is investigating.
Metrobus operator Dwayne Adamson was arrested by Metro Transit Police after pulling over the bus he was driving in the 2900 block of Minnesota Avenue, SE. He was arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another motorist following a traffic dispute around 5 P.M.
Adamson was operating bus 2533 on the U2 route in Southeast. He has been a bus operator for three years.
Has the “Georgetown Cuddler” returned? Police report that a woman in Glover Park awoke on Sunday morning to find a stranger spooning her in bed. Upon discovery, the man fled without stealing anything, or otherwise causing any property damage. This crime bears striking resemblance to a spate of sexual assaults that occurred in Georgetown, last year. In all cases, women asleep in their homes awoke to find a stranger fondling them. This is first such incident since August.
Yesterday afternoon thieves entered The Northface Clothing Store on M Street in Georgetown, stole a large amount of merchandise and held the pursuing security officer at gunpoint before making their getaway.
At around 1:45pm, five suspects entered the store, removed a significant amount of merchandise, exited the store without paying and got into an awaiting dark colored, 4 door, Mercury Marquis parked on 36th and Prospect Streets. Then, according to Lieutenant John M. Hedgecock of the MPD, “The [Northface] security officer confronted the suspects within the vehicle. At this time, the driver of the vehicle pointed a silver handgun at the security officer and stated ‘back up’.” Fortunately, the security guard, employees and passersby were not hurt during the incident. A description of the suspects is pending further MPD updates.
The theft is interesting considering October reports by My Fox DC and DCist that undercover MPD officers would be donning Northface apparel in an attempt to nab thieves. Wonder if the two are in any way connected. Continue reading →
Forbes Magazine whipped up another of their handy-dandy lists based on useful metropolitan statistics and has put DC in the very center of the 40 largest metros for safety. It’s based on the FBI Crime statistics for violent crime, workplace safety, traffic death rates, and natural disaster risk.
We’re pretty low for workplace fatalities, given to the high office population, (this is, assuming, you don’t work at the Washington Post, that is…) and our traffic fatalities put us a bit higher up the chain that probably we deserve, but that’s where we are. But, at least we’re safer than my home metro of Sacramento, and of Philadelphia, or even Columbus, Ohio!
There’s just one avenue of appeal left: The Supreme Court, just up the street. AG Nickles might have a receptive audience there, given the makeup of the court, but I wouldn’t bet on the District just yet.
If you like keeping an eye on local criminal activity, then look no further than SpotCrime’s Washington, DC Crime Map. This handy little tracker allows you to search by crime type (Arrest, Arson, Shooting, Burglary, etc.,) by date/time, by location, and enroll for crime alerts. It also allows you to report crimes, but usually takes about 24-48 hours for them to register, so if you search for today’s crime information, it will be limited.
Another SpotCrime feature is UCrime, which allows college students to track on-campus or near campus crime. If you sign up for UCrime, you can receive alerts as well, which is not a bad idea given the recent rash of college/school violence.
What was up with those MPD scuba divers in the Potomac just off Washington Harbour this morning? Did someone throw evidence into the river? Or was someone sent to sleep with the snakeheads in cement shoes? In any case, thanks to the officers for letting me go pseudo-paparazzi on the diving action this morning and indulging me in a bit of scuba talk. No way I’d dive in the cold, muddy Potomac River right by a sewer outlet in December — unless the city was paying me for it.
Washington Post tells us that teams of Metro Transit Police with dogs will be conducting random bag searches on trains and buses at times when “heightened vigilance” is required. Passengers will be taken aside at random intervals before boarding buses or entering rail stations to be screened; those who do not comply will not be detained or have their bags confiscated, but they will be denied entry.
The suspect appeared to be asleep when I first saw him, but awoke with some poking from an officer, and left the train peacefully. It was when they started to put handcuffs on him that he began struggling, so he was forced to the ground, where the apprehension — and struggling — continued. Then my train arrived and I had to stop shooting video with my cellphone.
According to the account of a neighbor who came to help, the victim came home to an intruder in her house, and ran into a bathroom to call 911. He attempted to rape her, she fought back with punches, and he stabbed her 17 times before fleeing. The woman managed to crawl outside where neighbors helped her and called police. While all this was happening, the victim’s housemates were asleep upstairs. The intruder may have gotten in through an unlocked kitchen window.
According to MPD First District Commander David Kamperin, “the investigation is still ongoing, and the victim is recovering in a local hospital. The only lookout we have at this time is for a black male wearing light colored pants and a black hooded sweatshirt. Anyone who may have seen an individual fitting this description is encouraged to call our tip line 888-919-CRIME or text to 50-411.”
A friend tells me the victim suffered kidney damage and collapse of both lungs, but is recovering.
It’s not as bad as it might seem; once you get past the Examiner’s numbers on robbery (+35%) and larceny (+14%) they reveal that the overall rate is low. They don’t spell it out for the math-impaired, but that means a 15% jump doesn’t translate into a tremendously large number of additional people being victimized. For the 1.2M rider a day – that’s distinct route trips, not individuals – there’s 3 reported crimes. That works out to 1095 in the year, and if we figure that number before a 15% increase (1095 * (100/115)) that means last year’s numbers were about 952. So we’re getting one “extra” crime every 2 and a half days.
I guess saying that your risk had gone from 1 in 460,000 to 1 in 400,000 wasn’t very sexy.
So watch your posessions before the doors close – snatch and grab is what you’re most likely to be victim of – and try not to increase your total amount of worrying more than twice extra a week.