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Panhandler cut in Foggy Bottom

12:12 p.m. Update: About 11 a.m. an "aggressive panhandler" at 2301 I (Eye) St. NW, near one of the Foggy Bottom entrances, was grabbing at passersby, according to D.C. police. A passerby took exception and used a pocketknife to slightly cut one of the panhandler's hands, D.C. police spokeswoman Tish Grant said. The suspect vanished into the crowd, and the panhandler was escorted to George Washington University Hospital for evaluation, she said.

12:10 p.m. Update: The escalators have reopened. A person was stabbed off Metro property and then entered the station on the escalators, according to spokesman Reggie Woodruff. The stabbing victim was taken to the hospital, he said.

11:55 a.m. Update: Metro Transit Police have blocked the escalators at the Foggy Bottom station following an altercation at the station.

Reggie Woodruff, a spokesman for Metro, said passengers can access the station by using the elevator.

"Police have blocked off the escalators due to an investigation," Woodruff said.

The restrictions have been in place since 11 a.m. Woodruff said he did not what type of altercation took place and was uncertain about injuries.

Woodruff said there are six escalators at the Foggy Bottom station. Four are being blocked by Metro Transit Police. Two were already shut down due to repairs.

-- Ovetta Wiggins

11:45 a.m. Update: Metro Transit Police have blocked the escalators, but riders can still use the elevator to enter and exit the station, after an altercation, according to Metro officials.

There is only one elevator between the street and mezzanine at Foggy Bottom so expect huge delays entering and exiting the station. Using Farragut West, even though it will involve walking farther to your destination, is a better alternative.

-- Ovetta Wiggins

Original post: Some Metro riders who use Twitter, including @unsuckdcmetro, are reporting that people are not being allowed to exit at Foggy Bottom because of police activity.

Check back for more details.

Are you at the station or affected by what's happening? Send pictures to transportation@washpost.com or post a comment below.

Riders report from the rails (#wmata):

By Michael Bolden  | October 4, 2010; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

Did the rider thrust his knife into the pan-handler or did the pan-handler thrust his hand onto a knife?

(Not that the rider should have opened his/her pocketknife, but...)

Just saying!

Posted by: nadie1 | October 4, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I am somewhat dumbfounded as to how this minor incident requires shutting down entrance/access to an entire Metro Station. There was no murder here and hence no need for the CSI unit to shut down the escalators to search for forensic evidence ...

Meanwhile, when gangs of teens engage in large scale brawls in the middle of Metro stations, Metro and police do zilch.

Posted by: jofij | October 4, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Stabbing the panhandler was obviously the wrong action to take. However, something more needs to be done about the overly aggressive panhandlers at Foggy Bottom and other metro stops. It seems to be just a handful of men causing problems… During my daily commute, I have noticed a serious escalation in their tactics over the past few months. I have had them grab me/try to touch me, yell obscenities when I didn’t give them money, and twice now I have been followed. I am a petite young woman, so, perhaps they think they can intimidate me. It can be a bit frightening at times.

Posted by: Easel3 | October 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Why is stabbing a panhandler in self defense and defense of others "obviously" wrong?

A medal is in order.

Thank you, anonymous hero.

Posted by: jiji1 | October 4, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Easel3, unfortunately none of that is illegal under DC law. Things are a bit different in the city when it comes to law enforcement...

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | October 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe...just maybe...the PANHANDLER should get a JOB that doesn't require accosting people for money he hasn't rightfully earned?
Probably a much safer line of work...

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | October 4, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

There is an obscenity clearing visible in one of the above messages from a rider on the rail (kimberlyfaye, a WVU fan, naturally). Please remove this message, thank you.

Posted by: Axel2 | October 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Unwanted touching is illegal in the District...

Posted by: Easel3 | October 4, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Technically perhaps but you'll never see it enforced. Death threats are illegal too but are very commonly screamed. Its unfortunate but that's life in DC.

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | October 4, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Axel2: What does being a WVU fan have to do with anything?

Good job to the citizen. Panhandlers, like most of DC's residents and Obama voters, need to lose their stupid sense of entitlement.

Posted by: IwanaGofishing | October 4, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Easel3, all those actions constitute "aggressive panhandling" and are arrestable. Next time call the police and leave your name/callback number so the panhandlers can actually be dealt with.

Posted by: DaCityPolice | October 5, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Easel3, all those actions constitute "aggressive panhandling" and are arrestable. Next time call the police and leave your name/callback number so the panhandlers can actually be dealt with.

Posted by: DaCityPolice | October 5, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I am tired of having to deal with agressive beggars- would the police grow a pair and deal with this so people trying to go to work and earn a living don't get hassaled and assualted? It is regretable that anyone was injured, but given how some of the panhandlers act it is not a suprise. I too wonder if the panhandler's approach was an assulat!

Posted by: soccerhead | October 5, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Good for the anonymous hero!

If more aggressive panhandlers were cut, they probably wouldn't be so aggressive.

Posted by: kenk3 | October 5, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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