Attack in McPherson Square Metro

Photo by a loves dc via flickr

Josef*, thank you for the work you are doing with Holla Back!…you are amazing. There have been many instances of sexual harassment that I have seen and been a victim of in D.C., but one stands out more than others. I have wanted to get this off my chest for a while.

I was walking down 14th st to the McPhearson Square Metro with another female friend of mine after a nice evening in U Street from an office social at around 10:30 PM on a Thursday night…we were on our way to babysit a sculpture in front of the Capitol Building (activist/protest art that the government couldn’t deem a bomb and destroy if there were people around it at all times). We had had some beers with our pizza, but were not drunk. That nightclub, The Park, was having it’s grand opening party and the street was filled with people, as well as a few police cruisers. Right before we reached the crowd, a huge black SUV rolled up next to us on the sleep and these guys started yellin g “hey baby” at us. At first we ignored them, but they kept yelling and I flicked them off. My friend told me to stop, that she had a bad feeling, and sure enough, the “hey baby” turned into “FUCK YOU BITCH”.

We started walking faster, passed the crowd of people and were right in front of the I+14th Metro entrance….all of a sudden the SUV pulled up and two men got out and started running toward me and my girl. I ran toward the Metro, looked behind me and couldn’t see my friend or the guy who came after me….I peeked around the corner of the elevator, terrified that they had grabbed her and pulled her into the car, when the guy who ran after me saw me and started walking toward me, yelling obscenities…I raised my hands, palm up and said…”I’m really sorry, I just need to find my friend.” He picked up a trashcan and threw it into my body. After I fell down, not feeling anything from the adrenaline racing through my body, I bounced right back up and said the same thing, p alms still upturned. He walked toward me, screamed “BITCH” and slapped me across the face.

I fell back down and hugged my face to my chest, arms crossed over my head, in case he started kicking me. He got back into the car and the peeled off. THIS HAPPENED IN FULL VIEW OF OVER 30 PEOPLE, men and women alike, AND NO ONE came over to ask me if I was ok as I sat on the ground, shaking and in shock for 5 minutes. Finally I got up, still freaked out that I couldn’t find my friend, and saw her walking toward me with a Metro employee. She told me that the man that ran after her was screaming “I’m going to kill you bitch” and she ran the opposite way into the crowd of people waiting on the street to get in to the club. When she found a female police officer and told her that she and her friend had been attacked at the Metro and needed assistance, the police women responded with “THATS A NEGATIVE… YOU NEED TO CALL THE POLICE” Are you fucking kidding me?

We ended up just getting in a cab and left to go to our work commitment. To this day, I consider myself to be extremely lucky that he didn’t break my face, stab, or shoot me, and that my friend wasn’t assaulted as well. It could have been so much worse. When I told my sister and father what happened, they were extremely angry at me and told me it was my fault for flicking them off, and I kinda believed it…this website has helped me realize that I need to keep the blame squarely on the perps. Thank you Holla Back DC! you rock!

*Josef is one our fab board members!

Submitted by Tizzy on 4/21/2010

Location: McPherson Square Metro

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7 Responses

  1. Nina

    The lack of support from the police department in situations like this is really frightening. What is the purpose of having police on the streets if they aren’t there to actually help you in times of crisis?

  2. Christine

    I’m very s0rry to hear that happened. Being assaulted is never your fault, regardless of what you said. People don’t have the right to hit others.

  3. Sarah

    I am really sorry to hear about your horrifying experience as well. I have had my own bad experience with police on the street in DC. I witnessed a man grabbing the woman he was with by the neck and shoving her against a brick wall in Adams Morgan. She appeared impaired and was crying. There were many other people on the street at the same time who did nothing. I ran out of the restaurant where I was having a drink and asked the woman if she was ok and if she’d like me to call the police. It turned out that there were two men with her, both of whom immediately started yelling obscenities at me and calling me a dumb bitch for butting in. Again, no one on the street did anything and I was afraid that one of them would physically assault me. I ran down the street to where a cop was posted next to his car. When I asked for his help, he said that he could not move out of his “designated area” and that I would have to either call 911 or run up the hill to the corner by the McDonalds where another cop was stationed. By this point, the two men had dragged the woman away and I wasn’t able to get any help for her. It was so infuriating. Why was that cop sitting there in Adams Morgan if not to prevent and deal with assaults??

  4. Golden Silence

    I keep reading story after story of women being harassed and people standing idly doing nothing, as well as the ineptitude of MPD. How do these people become cops?

    Harassment has become so normalized and accepted, and reading your story made me sick to my stomach. No one should go through what you’ve been through! These boys are trying to be men, but real men don’t do this. Something has got to give. Enough is seriously enough.

  5. Mrs. D

    This has to be one of the worst stories of harassment that I have ever heard. It’s amazing that police don’t understand how harassment can quickly turn in to assault. I have explained this to the police in my neighborhood (in responding to comments about my response to a “hey baby/hey beautiful,” which is “how are you doing tonight, sir. By the way, would you talk to your sister that way? How would you feel if one of your friends talked to your sister that way?” And the police’s response (nothing ever happens but shocked silence, but the police sometimes see this and approach me) is to tell me not to make waves). It’s amazing to me that if I flick off another motorist while driving, they might get a little aggressive, but ultimately decide that it’ll be their fault if they slam me into a guard rail, but if I flick off a guy on the street I’m asking to be beaten up/raped/harassed even more, and the police seem to think that this is okay.

  6. Anonymous

    I am going to state something and I’m not going to hold back. These guys who are doing this to women are sheer evil. As far as I am concerned they are out to terrorize women. I cannot believe that we live in a country that allows this kind of behavior. These guys (which I refuse and would never address as men) are doing these things because their are no consequences. I honestly think that there would have been more action of this guy would have attacked another guy! There are no consequences for being verbally and physically abusive towards women and it’s always unprovoked. What did these women and any women do to deserve this? They are women? They are the weaker vessel? It seems to me that’s all it take for these animals to act like this. I don’t even go outside that much anymore because of all of the harassment I receive from strangers. Always having to watch your back and have your guard up so some animal (and I’m being kind when I say this) doesn’t start to attack you or instigate some kind of weird conversation? One thing I’ve done to make myself feel a little safer is actually carrying pepper spray on my key chain and simply holding it in my hand. Some may say that is extreme but I have found that most guys do think twice when they see it. It’s sad that I should have to do that so that most men won’t mess with me…but what can I do?

  7. K

    I too have been shocked at the MPD’s lack of responsiveness. But I’ve also made it a point to speak to all the superior officers in my neighborhood. If I report a crime to a beat cop, and their response is, “Can’t, not my problem, etc.” I pull out their lieutenant’s business card and start dialing his number on my phone. That tends to illicit some response.