Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Grabbing Man – Assault at 4th and E St, NE. 5/25/07, 6:20pm

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As I walked north along 4th Street, NE, between E Street and F Street, in broad daylight, I passed a basketball court to my right. I noticed an African American man, likely in his early 40s, approaching on the sidewalk about 10 yards away. He was an attractive man, about 6’2”, dressed in dark, silky basketball shorts and other basketball/sporting gear. He had very short, clean-cut hair, medium/dark complexion and flat abs. He had the build of a very fit basketball player.

At 5 yards away, he stared intently at me and slowed down until he was nearly stopped on the sidewalk, with a stance that he might block my path. I confidently strode along the right side of the sidewalk and attempted to pass.

Suddenly, he leaned toward me and said, “What, are ya scared of me?” He grabbed my left forearm. Adrenaline in overdrive, I wrenched free and said, "You're crazy," as I kept walking. When I had reached what I felt was a safe distance from him, about 20 yards, I yelled, as loudly as I could, “You don’t go around grabbing people, you crazy man!!!!” I heard him yelling back at me but did not see him move toward me. I quickened my pace and continued walking north toward F Street NE along 4th. A minute later, at the corner of 4th and F, I turned around, and I saw two young black women about 30 yards south, walking in my direction. They, too, had passed this man on the sidewalk.

I called 911 for the first time in my life. I calmly described the incident and asked them to check out the situation. As I provided the report, the two women approached me with the same fearful look in their eyes as I must have had, and they stated that the exact same thing had occurred to them.

When I reached TexDem’s house and described what had happened, she said, “That’s assault.” Nonsense, I thought. Then I thought again.

The Free Dictionary definition for assault is this:

ASSAULT, crim. law. An assault is any unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do a corporal hurt to another, whether from malice or wantonness; for example, by striking at him or even holding up the fist at him in a threatening or insulting manner, or with other circumstances as denote at the time. an intention, coupled with a present ability, of actual violence against his person, as by pointing a weapon at him when he is within reach of it. 6 Rogers Rec: 9. When the injury is actually inflicted, it amounts to a battery. (q.v.)
2. Assaults are either simple or aggravated. 1. A simple assault is one Where there is no intention to do any other injury. This is punished at common law by fine and imprisonment. 2. An aggravated assault is one that has in addition to the bare intention to commit it, another object which is also criminal; for example, if a man should fire a pistol at another and miss him, the former would be guilty of an assault with intent to murder; so an assault with intent to rob a man, or with intent to spoil his clothes, and the like, are aggravated assaults, and they are more severely punished than simple assaults. General references, 1 East, P. C. 406; Bull. N. P. 15; Hawk. P. B. b. 1, c. 62, s. 12; 1 Russ. Cr. 604; 2 Camp. Rep. 650 1 Wheeler's Cr. C. 364; 6 Rogers' Rec. 9; 1 Serg. & Rawle, 347 Bac. Ab. h.t.; Roscoe. Cr. Ev. 210.

DC police called and asked me to speak with an officer to provide more details about the incident, and I agreed. I reported it, face-to-face, to Office Mazloom of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C.

Here’s a stunning follow-up:

Back home tonight, I relayed the event to my roommate, AK, and her eyes grew as wide as saucers. At approximately 9:30 tonight, she was walking home from Capitol South Metro and encountered this same man, dressed exactly as I described. He also grabbed her forearm! The coincidence was absolutely haunting.

I hope that he’s caught – soon.


Ryan said...

I'm so glad you are OK. I'm impressed that you called 911. It is clear from the fact he also assaulted the other women you saw pass him, and your roommate as well, that he's going to keep doing it... furthermore, it can escalate into something worse than simple assault. Good for you for acting so swiftly in calling the police. I too hope he is caught soon.

Golden Silence said...

I'm glad you're okay, and also glad you called the police on this clown. Hopefully he'll be caught soon and thrown in jail!

What makes him think he has the right to touch anyone in that manner?

Anonymous said...

Two Words: Pepper Spray

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Glad you are ok, but I agree with anon - pepper spray, I would have unleashed an entire canister on him and took his pic with a camera and called the police with all of that. However, in the moment you dealt with, you did the right thing and took off - good for you for calling the police. Pepper Spray is a great thing to have with you walking anywhere!

LJ said...

Oh my. That's so scary, DrP. I am so glad you are okay and that you managed it so smartly. And, with this guy apparently being a chronic creep, I'm glad you turned him in. May they find him quickly... and you stay safe. Thinking of you - miss you much. xoxo

HomeImprovementNinja said...

that's scary. I agree with the pepper spray suggestion...and maybe a self defense class for women.

The DC Cops can't be bothered to catch murderers so I think everyone should take steps to protect themselves however possible.