Location: 18th St & U st, NW
Time: Morning Rush Hour (5am-9:30am)
At about 7 am on Friday morning I was on U street, approaching 18th, heading west, on a bikeshare bike, when I heard a loud noise. I looked ahead of me and saw a little smoke in the middle of the right turn lane. It looked like maybe someone had thrown a little pop pop firework, like my brother played with as a kid (the kind you throw at the ground and it makes a loud noise). There was a woman a little ahead of that area walking on the sidewalk, and it didn’t look like it had come from her, and there was no one else walking on the street. There were a number of vehicles at the intersection, waiting for the red light to cross 18th.
Because I was on a bike I pulled ahead of the waiting cars on the right, and waited for the light to change. When the light changed I went straight through the intersection, and the cars that were going straight began to pass me on the left (bike share bikes are heavy and slow). A white van that had been maybe 2nd or 3rd in line at the light began to pass me, and as soon as it did, a bright flash and loud noise game (sic) out the passenger side window, right in front of me, as though they had shot a kid’s cap gun or a stunt gun from a play. Clearly this was the source of the loud noise earlier and they were using this toy to try to scare women. The van was white, similar in size and shape to the vans that capital bikeshare uses for bike redistribution, but I think a different make/model. There were 2 men in the front. The van said “MATRIX” in large black letters across the back.
Submitted on 7/24/12 by Anonymous
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