A Little Too Close

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It’s been a while since I’ve been harassed on 14th St. in a way that made me want to report it here, but twice in five days made me want to speak up. Both instances were when I was walking home from work at about 6pm.

On Friday it was relatively minor, but irritating all the same. As I crossed through the BP from 14th to Euclid, a man yelled loudly at me, “Ooooooh SNOW WHITE mmmhhhmmm!” and when I ignored him he followed up with a “Hey you!” as if I didn’t realize he was trying to get my attention. Obnoxious, but he didn’t persist.

Then tonight, Tuesday, when I’m walking home from the Columbia Heights metro and waiting for the stoplight to change at Columbia Rd, I feel this guy get really close behind me so that he’s within about an inch but not quite touching me. I thought it was an accident as the sidewalk was crowded. But then at the next stoplight on Harvard he does it again and tries to sniff my hair. At this point I can smell the alcohol on him.

I try to pace my walk so that he can’t do it a third time and I see he’s shuffling along and can’t walk in a straight line. He almost bumps into some other pedestrians. I get ahead of him thinking he can’t keep up with me. By Fairmont I’ve sped up quite a bit but then I hear him behind me and see that he’s closed the distance considerably and that his eyes are locked on me.

At this point I run. It probably looked to bystanders as if I was just trying to catch up to the bus that stops at the BP on Euclid. I finally shake him and walk quickly the rest of the way home. I guess I should be grateful he didn’t actually try to touch or grope me when he was standing so close.

Submitted by ms on 6/15/10

Location: 1st) 14th & Euclid 2nd) 14th from Columbia to Fairmont

Time of Harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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