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Posted at 11:14 PM ET, 08/24/2010

Knife drawn during argument on Metro

By Erica Johnston

A youth drew a knife during an argument with a man on a Metrorail train Tuesday evening, but an off-duty police officer intervened and no injuries were reported, a Metro spokeswoman said.

The argument occurred about 6:30 p.m. betwen the Stadium Armory and Minnesota Avenue stations on an outbound Orange Line train, said Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates.

She said an off-duty U.S. Capitol Police officer saw the youth draw a small knife, and immediately ordered him to drop it.

Metro transit police met the train at the end of the line at New Carrollton. Gates said they determined that the incident did not warrant an arrest.

She said it appeared to the officers that the man did not see the knife, and that no threatening gesture was made with it.

-- Martin Weil

By Erica Johnston  | August 24, 2010; 11:14 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC  
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Comments

He pulled a knife but no arrest was warranted? So, you get arrested for eating fries but knives are cool?

Posted by: jackson641 | August 24, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Metro's public safety efforts are reactive to bad press, and nothing else. Twice within the past two weeks, I have sent informational requests concerning disorderly youth incidents to Metro's online customer service. In both cases, I have received an auto-reply to confirm receipt of my request, but no response. It's only a matter of time before the next widely-publicized incident, after which they will be fumbling to save face.

Posted by: logosdesigns | August 24, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

People should be seriously considered alternative transportation as Metro is no longer as a cheap, safe, and efficient transportation. Your chance get yourself seriously injured using Metro is high.

Posted by: drkly | August 25, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with THIS SYSTEM? I eat on Metro and get fined/jailed, I draw a knive on someone and I do not get arrested, Metro you are a JOKE to the safety of the customer's.

Posted by: onesugar | August 25, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

As a daily rider, I'm seeing and hearing more obnoxious and vulgar behaviour, everything from loud azzz music/ringtones to profane conversations (the most inane 'he said/she said garbage ever) as though no one has any home training at all.

And this isn't just a Metro thing, it's just more apparent because of the confined space. But this is happening all over. You see it at ballgames, walking down the street, broad daylight, from either gender and all ages and races (although more from younguns).

As for Metro, they seem more concerned with revenue than doing their part for Public Safety.

Posted by: kahlua87 | August 25, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The youth was probably just showing off his knife he earned in Boy Scouts.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | August 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I guess you have to be stabbed before your assailant is arrested?

Posted by: jckdoors | August 25, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Some furniture delivery man in PG county pulled a knife on me and the cops did not arrest them cause "I did not see it" kept asking me "what color was it". How the effe can I describe something I did not see, but heard the distinguish clicking of a knife?

Posted by: humbertomisteroni | August 25, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Surely I did not just read "incident did not warrant and arrest." Exactly what warrants an arrest on Metro? How about getting robbed by the exit fare every time I get off the Red Line?

Posted by: stuckintraffictoo | August 25, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

So what did that kid just learn? It's OK to carry a weapon, brandish it in public, and threaten people with it. It's perfectly OK. No wonder this city and its youth are so screwed.

Posted by: crazysphere1 | August 25, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how one can have a knife pulled on him or her and not look down at the knife esp if you heard the click of it! Nevertheless, re Metro, I too have made several written complaints of behavior including one threatening individual of another handicapped man several years past and nothing came out of it although I was asked to provide a detailed accounting of the incident. In this case did the police even confiscate the boy's knife, reprimand him or call his parents or just send him on his merry way to the next interaction when one who challenges him may not be so fortunate not to be stabbed but perhaps murdered. Between perverts exposing themselves on platforms to passing trains, kids out of control with their mouths at rush hours and then threatening ones hustling and threatening late evening riders, metro is not the safe ride it once was. Where is their leadership much less security?

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | August 25, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I want to pull a knife all the time and cut one of those fat butts, that take over their seat and mines and have the nerve to say excuse me!! Got's to be a joke, get your butt off of me and lose some weight!!

Posted by: shadon1 | August 25, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Why was no arrest made?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | August 25, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"A youth drew a knife during an argument with a man on a Metrorail train Tuesday evening, but an off-duty police officer intervened" and "determined that the incident did not warrant an arrest".
Only in metro Washington would these 2 statements seem logical in the same story.
Glad we taught this youngster a lesson...if you're going to pull your knife on an unarmed person during an argument just be sure he doesn't see it or you don't make a threatening gesture with it. No harm, no foul.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 25, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

What crime was committed? I agree that metro has lots of issues and crime is one of them, but in this incident....what crime would the person have been charged with? It's not a crime to carry a small knife or take it out in public. I'm sure the off-duty officer prevented a more serious crime from occurring and should be commended, but there is no mention of anyone saying that the kid threatened anyone with it....just that he took the knife out.

Posted by: davidreiss | August 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I was the guy who asked the Teens to stop yelling MF at the top off their lungs! The young girl 15 or so tried to charge me, and another 15 year old boy pulls a knife. I knew he had something behind his back & they didnt arrest him I'm outraged! I grateful for the off duty policeman & a nice passenger who came out of nowhere. I said something because all these white people were looking at them in Discuss, & my children will be look at the same way because these kids don't know how to act on the train. "Wow' no arrest they didnt ask me if I wanted to press charges either.

Posted by: Business_Friendly_Radio | August 25, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I was the guy who asked the Teens to stop yelling MF at the top off their lungs! The young girl 15 or so tried to charge me, and another 15 year old boy pulls a knife. I knew he had something behind his back & they didnt arrest him I'm outraged! I grateful for the off duty policeman & a nice passenger who came out of nowhere. I said something because all these white people were looking at them in Discuss, & my children will be look at the same way because these kids don't know how to act on the train. "Wow' no arrest they didnt ask me if I wanted to press charges either.

Posted by: Business_Friendly_Radio | August 25, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The person who drew the knife on the passenger clearly committed a crime, and could easily have been arrested...that is if the police would do their job! Its time for Metro to have a strict Zero Tolerance policy.

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 25, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Business_Friendly_Radio:

What were you doing in PG County anyways?

Do what I do and stay and far away from that place as possible. Only go there if its absolutely necessary.

Posted by: kenk3 | August 25, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I see people saying that a crime was committed.....ok.....what crime? I don't doubt that the kid was planning to use that knife to hurt someone based on the article.....but you have to look at it from the viewpoint of what they officers can tell a judge they saw. One of them saw the kid take out a knife....that is not an illegal act. Even a half-assed defender could get that tossed out in 30 seconds.

Posted by: davidreiss | August 25, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I understand you pain. On Annapolis Rd at the 4800 block of 71st. A girl 13-15 jumped in front of my car demanded I pay toll. All these kids lingering around after the bus. When I slowly went by. She cussed me out and threatened to kill me and my two children in the back seat. The salvo was laced with profanity as you would expect. Whats the bet after informing local police that they didn't even stop to check.

Don't look for help from parents. If you listen to the adults on their cell phone they have no regard for the way they talk or act in public. Sit on a train and you can learn everything you need to know about the person in the seat simply by the conversation they have on their phones. It really speaks to their character or lack there of.

Yet even worse had I wanted I could have copied Credit card info, bank info, social security numbers mothers maiden name the list goes on and on. Yet these will also be the people most hurt and surprised by identity theft.

Posted by: Brian429 | August 25, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Just a cockfight, no story here.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 25, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

And what was the purpose of reporting this story WaPo? Geesh, I swear it seems like some of the stories are being posted just for reaction from the title.

Posted by: lulu202 | August 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Weren't these two METRO stations on the list of no-go areas the Teabagger personal safety manual for visitors to the nation's capital was warning about?

Posted by: slim2 | August 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

When the seventy thugs brawled at Gallery place a few weeks ago the PD department said .."it was only fighting at least there were no guns involved". Now they are saying it was just a knife the guy did not do any damage. Next incident will be when someone pulls out a MAC 10 and the idiots at Metro will say at least it wasn't an Uzzi Apathy at it's best

Posted by: tsamm | August 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

davidreiss -- It depends very much on the characteristics of the knife. From DC Criminal Code ยง 22-4514:

"(b) No person shall within the District of Columbia possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, or other dangerous weapon."

If the youth pulls a knife out in the midst of what is clearly a heated argument, that in itself could constitute "intent to use" it against the other party.

Honestly, even if the case would have likely ended up getting tossed out in the long run, I still say he should have been arrested. Maybe a good scare would make him think twice about reaching for his knife the next time, and possibly head off a worse incident later. At the very least, if he were arrested, his parents would get a call and know what their kid is up to on the metro (maybe that would matter, maybe it wouldn't, but it certainly couldn't hurt).

Posted by: arcane93 | August 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't the off duty cop make the arrest or stay with the bast*rds until WMATA cops showed up? Surely, his account would have led to an arrest? I think i saw the perps at New Carrolton yesterday... there were three or four kids in a shelter on the platform with two cops seemingly detaining them... (side note, one cop had what appeared to be a paint gun, I wonder if it had pepper pellets or something? if so, i would love to see that in use and often!!)

Business_Friendly_Radio kudos if your story is indeed true. Thanks for trying to teach these kids a tad of respect.


Posted by: joebananas1 | August 25, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You don't have to physically attack someone with a weapon in order to commit a crime. Brandishing a weapon is assault (unless you're doing it to defend yourself or others). So it sure sounds like the youth committed assault -- which is a felony.

Posted by: robwilli | August 25, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

So why did he pull the knife out for again?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

This suspect must have been white!!!

What kind of crackpot policing is that?!?!? What about charging his sorry ars with carrying a concealed weapon?!?!

What a joke!

Posted by: TheChampishere | August 25, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

TheChampishere wrote:

This suspect must have been white!!!

-----------------------------------------

Yeah, right. I've been riding the metro almost everyday for ten years and I've never seen an aggressive white person riding on any of the trains.

Posted by: kenk3 | August 25, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

arcane93 - They said it was small, so we can probably assume it was less than the 3". But even then, just holding a knife over 3" is not a crime. I can walk down any public sidewalk with a 10" kitchen knife and not break any laws. The officer would have been taken off his beat for at least a couple of hours processing a youth arrest that wouldn't have held water. I would rather the officer stay on his beat for more serious crimes. Thankfully the off-duty officer was there from preventing this incident from becoming a more serious event.

@joebananas1 - Read the article....it never says the off-duty officer left the scene without talking to the Metro Transit officers. In fact it's quite clear that the off-duty officer did exactly what you said he should have done.

Posted by: davidreiss | August 25, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

arcane93 - They said it was small, so we can probably assume it was less than the 3". But even then, just holding a knife over 3" is not a crime. I can walk down any public sidewalk with a 10" kitchen knife and not break any laws. And you're suggesting that the officer has the leeway to assume what the kid's intent was and use that to justify an arrest? That's a pretty bold move to grant that kind of power to the police!

The officer would have been taken off his beat for at least a couple of hours processing a youth arrest that wouldn't have held water. I would rather the officer stay on his beat for more serious crimes. Thankfully the off-duty officer was there from preventing this incident from becoming a more serious event. Also....the police should never use an arrest and depriving someone of their freedom to give them a "good scare".

@joebananas1 - Read the article....it never says the off-duty officer left the scene without talking to the Metro Transit officers. In fact it's quite clear that the off-duty officer did exactly what you said he should have done.

Posted by: davidreiss | August 25, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Business_Friendly_Radio:

What were you doing in PG County anyways?

Do what I do and stay and far away from that place as possible. Only go there if its absolutely necessary.

Posted by: kenk3
----------------------------------------

Did you even read the article, nimrod?

The incident occured in DC.

Let me repeat it, so reading comprehension challenged people like yourself can get it:

The incident occured in DC.

Congratulations. You've earned today's Dumbest Post Award. You deserve it.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 25, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

WTF??????

You can pull a knife on Metro now just as long as no one "sees" you do it....other than a stupid cop, of course.

What a load of monkeys posing as law enforcement.

Posted by: stinkyliberals | August 25, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Metro should be sued, since this is the ONLY thing that gets their attention...well, that and bad press!!

They knew from prior school seasons what they would be up against. How about they come up with a combination of a smart trip card, student ID (so that they can be traced) and a system that makes them accountable for their actions, whether they're on the subway or a bus? Wait a minute...they already issue these! But again, it's not worth it to them to handle the situation like it's a "situation"...until someone gets hurt, that is!

It cannot be that hard to manage, but to subject an entire subway car full of paying passengers and then shrugging your shoulders and saying, "oh well", just doesn't cut it!!

Posted by: vcooper52 | August 25, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm black & they were black too! The people around them were not & looked at them like they were lower then dirt. I just wanted them to not yelling MotherF$$$$R as loud as she could.
I called Metro Transit Police to asked them about this story & they assured me this wasn't over. The blade was 6 inches long or bigger, The 15 yr. old boy didn't like the fact I told them their Mothers would be ashamed of the way they were cursing. He could have killed the nice guy who stood in between both of us. When are we going to stand up and demand that we will not be held HOSTAGE on any train or bus because of some loud unruly children with no self respect or no common sense. I see them everyday kids loud, cursing, intimidating passengers, fighting, banging on windows, playing loud music from there cellphones without any headphones.
When is METRO going to do something about these children! I think this will not stop until a horrible beating by an adult to a child on the train & only then Metro will do something.

Posted by: Business_Friendly_Radio | August 25, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

We can't blame metro for this one, nobody is paying them to be our mom.

Avoiding a whole county, city, age group, time or transit system isn't the solution either.

Posted by: PHoffman1 | August 26, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

@PHoffman1: I don't know what your childhood was like, but dealing with pissed off knife-wielding teenagers was a little beyond the scope of my mom's duties.

Asking that Metro deal with this kind of thing even *before* negative press shows up is not unreasonable in the least.

Posted by: Booster | August 26, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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