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Posted at 7:39 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Why my Metro assault is a problem for all of us

By Allen Haywood, Washington

On a Sunday evening this month, I was reading a book while waiting for the train at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station when I was attacked. My teenage assailants did not try to rob me, and we had no interaction before they began hitting me. While some of these youths were beating me, others hovered close with their cellphones, taking pictures and video. Sure enough, video of this attack, apparently made by a bystander, is circulating on the Internet.

The platform and station were busy and fairly crowded. But during the attack no one tried to help me, called for help or intervened in any way. I am 6 feet tall and weigh 185 pounds, and I can run a mile in under six minutes. (In fact, I was on my way home from the gym when I was attacked.) Most of the people who ride Metro every day are more vulnerable than I am. I ended up with two black eyes, a busted lip and a golf-ball-size knot on my forehead; if this can happen to me at 7:15 p.m. on a Sunday in a busy station, it can happen to anyone at any time.

The nonchalance of my fellow Metro patrons has raised troubling questions for me. Have we come to regard this kind of random, pointless attack as an unavoidable hazard of living in the city? This is a dangerous idea. If we assume that the people who do such things will not be caught or punished, we send the wrong message to the perpetrators — and put everyone at risk. If these youths are brazen enough to launch such an attack at ages 15 or 16, what will they be doing when they are 18 or 20?

I, for one, can’t accept this. There is the video of the attack, and there were plenty of witnesses. The people who committed this crime need to be identified and made to face the consequences. And aside from whatever punishment may be forthcoming from the juvenile justice system, they should be made to explain their actions and answer to their community for what they have done.

I have some questions for Metro, too. Can we get better, useful security surveillance? I was not near an emergency intercom, but I’m left wondering how well they work and who is on the other end. What are the safety and communication procedures? Did they work in this case? Can they be improved? Once a crime has been reported, is it possible to contain suspects in the station or broader system until they can be apprehended?

I love Washington, and this incident has done nothing to change that. One of the things I love most about our city is that it is a small, intimate “big city.” If you live in Washington and do not know me, the odds are good that friends of your friends know friends of my friends, that your pastor knows my pastor, that friends and classmates of your children know friends and classmates of the children I work with at choir practice.

We share many of the same joys and headaches. French toast at Eastern Market. Traffic on New York Avenue. Most of us know by now that the best way to have fun at a Redskins game is to have really good food on hand. And no matter what ward you live in or where you were born, everyone has to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles sooner or later.

Many people have been kind to me since the attack, and some thanks are in order. Thank you to the office of Dr. Katherine David for taking good care of a stranger with no appointment. Thank you to the officers who are working to find these hoodlums. Thank you to everyone at Foundry United Methodist Church for your love and support. To the men and women on the E bus, thank you for the fist bumps, shoulder pats, and hugs of solidarity and support. To my first responders, Richard, Bob, Rick and Laura, thank you for rushing to come get me when I needed you. To the anonymous women who offered to replace my book, which my attackers grabbed and threw onto the tracks, thank you.

In the video, the last thing you hear from a female attacker is that no one cares about me. Thank you especially to all my family, friends and even total strangers who have proved her wrong.

We are a community. If you live in the District, you and I both probably know people who know people who know the people who did this. Let’s identify them and get them off the street. And let’s remember to watch out for each other. This kind of behavior has no place in our city.

By Allen Haywood, Washington  | January 21, 2011; 7:39 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., Metro, crime  
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Comments

This sounds like the DC I know. I was once berated by a guard at the Library of Congress because I was trying to leave without the proper paperwork for my laptop. Relaying the fact that I had asked a guard on the way in if there were special procedures for computers, and had been told no, didn't stop the yelling. When that kind of attitude is what passes for professionalism, I'm not surprised that a group of unsupervised teens would go wild. Good luck fixing the problem. It runs deep.

Posted by: morattico | January 21, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I use to live in DC, I moved to Virginia in 1994 after being threatened by A DC police officer because he wasnt at his post and I drove thru where he was suppose to be patrolling, and then attacked 5 days later on 10th Street by a thug because he didn't like either my car or my clothes, I never did figure out what his problem was. Then DC seemed to get better when Mayor Williams took over and thought DC was on the rebound. Wake up DC! Take your city back or watch how fast it wil become the haven for punks that want their 15 minutes of fame from another posting to you tube for beating up a 10 year old or worse. RFemember all the shootings back in the crack cocaine days? THis guy that was attacked on Metro is right.

Posted by: dukeameye3 | January 21, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

That's expected of the african-american culture. The parents are probably strung out on crack or heroin or waiting in line for some handout.

Posted by: tenthduf | January 21, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The L'Enfant Plaza Metro stop is a dangerous place. The same week that this story happened, I witnessed another assault resulting from an altercation between two young males, late teens. I was on my way to the Huntington track and I saw two young men arguing when one pulled back and punched the other so hard he fell backwards and passed out. I was about to run and tell the attendant when someone else did and then another person kneeled down and assisted the injured man. We need a plainsclothes presence on that track for several weeks.

Posted by: alawyer2 | January 21, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Metro Police? DCPD? LOL! They turn a blind eye, are corrupt, and run protection for gangs. No way you're going to get help from them.

Posted by: tenthduf | January 21, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Political correctness now insures that the victim, should he try to defend himself, will be charged. If they harm the attackers, citizens who assist a victim will be charged. Advantage - attackers.

Posted by: vegaviscount | January 21, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

When will Mayor Gray stand up and demonstrate what he means by One City and demand that the family, friends, and neighbors of these miscreant children turn them into the police? Someone knows who they are. His silence is damning.

Posted by: rdotis1 | January 21, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Where's Bernie Goetz when you need him?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 21, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Well I had "Brand Name" car insurance and my rates seemed a bit high. I was nervous about switching because I had pretty good coverage. I ended up switching companies and now I have the same great coverage for a cheaper price through Clearance Auto insurance.

Posted by: sarahriley22 | January 22, 2011 2:13 AM | Report abuse

METRO MUST PUT THE METRO POLICE FHONE NUMBER ON THE WALLS OF EACH STATION AND EVERY CAR WHERE IT CAN BE SEEN. THE METRO P.A. MESSAGE IS A WASTE AND TO LOUD. METRO CAR VERY FRONT SEATS SHOULD BE FOR AND SIGNED FOR THE OLD & DISABLED, A PASSENGER WITH A CHILD IN A STROLLER, OR A PASSENGER WITH TWO OR MORE PIECES OF LUGGAGE TO OR FROM A TRIP OUTSIDE THE METRO AREA. ONLY ONE SEAT PER PASSENGER AT ALL TIMES. LOUD SPEAKING SHOULD BE PROHIBIT IN ALL STATIONS AND CARS AT ALL TIMES.......... HELLO METRO ADMINISTRATION.

Posted by: usapdx | January 22, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I saw this and said, "Wow, how offensive:"

That's expected of the african-american culture. The parents are probably strung out on crack or heroin or waiting in line for some handout.

Posted by: tenthduf | January 21, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse
==================================

sorry. Let's not kid ourselves. It is correct. The majority of black childrens' parenting is absent and the kids grow up with no values. It won't get better until they accept responsibility. Most poorer black men and women make excuses and look for the easy way out. Go to any day laborer site and you won't see a black guy.

Look at Michael Vick. All the money in the world did not teach him core values.

Yes, racism exists and educational opportunities are not equal but strong parenting will negate the possibility of kids evolving into worthless, unproductive animals and overcome what are often unfair hurdles.

As someone else pointed out, the stronger family values of the immigrants are squeezing out the weaker black single-parent system.

The Obama's are doing their best to instill pride and we can all do better and try to understand how we all contribute, to some degree, for this mess, but people still have to make their own choices. This means practice birth control and leverage educational opportunities.

Posted by: jackson641 | January 22, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

You know, I wish just once, that these punks attack the wrong person and someone shoots one of these low lifes in the face. Pass that around the internet and let them think about it when they want to attack someone else.

I feel bad this guy was attacked but blaming bystanders--come one!? Liberals always accuse everyone of blaming the victim...what about blaming the attackers? Yeah, let's pretend that an out of wedlock birth rate of nearly 65 percent has nothing to do with youth violence perpetrated by YOUNG African American males. Now, if this man were black and his attackers were a bunch of white kids from Gonzaga--imagine the uproar! But let's pretend race has nothing to do with it...just like Stephen Colbert...

Posted by: Daedulus | January 22, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

He's not blaming bystanders for his attack; it's clear that the assailants are the only ones responsible for attacking him. He's saying that one thing that troubles him, in the aftermath, is the "bystander effect," in which no one came to his aid.

Look--I'm a petite person with very few fighting skills and I'm not suggesting people need to jump into altercations.

But how hard is it to call 911 or push the emergency button, or use your smartphone to take a few pics of the attackers? Or even stick around after the assault is over to ask the victim if he's OK and if he needs any help?

Acknowledge the other person. Admit that you saw what happened. Show a little common human decency and compassion, because attacks like this one aren't just a black eye for the victim, they're a black eye for your whole city.

Next time, it might be you or someone you love who's the target, and you'll be wishing someone had taken a couple of minutes to show some kindness and caring.

Posted by: laurahcory | January 22, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

6 foot and 185? Why didn't you set those punks on their azz instead of crying "what did I do"?
No sympathy from me if you didn't even stand up for yourself.

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 22, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Question: 6', 185 lb adult hits a teenager and it's caught on film--what do YOU think would be the general reaction? Yeah.

Posted by: laurahcory | January 22, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@laurahcory
"Question: 6', 185 lb adult hits a teenager and it's caught on film--what do YOU think would be the general reaction? Yeah."
"caught on film" being the key. It's called self defense.
I'm not talking about beating the crap out of them. Push them down and if they come back for more then they had fair warning.

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 22, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

spamsux1 wrote: ""Question: 6', 185 lb adult hits a teenager and it's caught on film--what do YOU think would be the general reaction? Yeah."
"caught on film" being the key. It's called self defense.
I'm not talking about beating the crap out of them. Push them down and if they come back for more then they had fair warning."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Apparently, you twit, you did not see the video. He pretty much did that...to no avail. Know, if he had cut one of their throats, that might have been appropriate; but would surely have resulted in him being prosecuted.

Racial violence in DC? Let's face it: it only goes in one direction. Every time. Thugs oughta be grateful they are attacking white liberals in a liberal city. Just look at how many column inches this victim spends trying to posture about One City and your friends know my friends. Pathetic.

These little predators have no friends, except other little predators and, perhaps, their video fan club. And they all deserve a cage.

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | January 22, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

You're also talking about overcoming--in an instant--a lifetime's ingrained message of "You don't hit girls."

And victim-blaming is really kind of a sucky thing to do.

Posted by: laurahcory | January 22, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@incredulous
I DID see the video, you twit, and the guy was NOT fighting back in any meaningful way.
If someone comes up to me and starts an assault there would be a swift and certain response. And it wouldn't be backing up and whining "why me"?

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 22, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This is to be expected in a society that abdicates the responsibility for self defense to "professionals" and the whims of passers-by. "When seconds count...the police are only minutes away".

Posted by: apraw | January 22, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And I wasn't blaming the victim. Not at all. I was faulting the guy for not helping himself more. He sure seemed to be shifting blame on to bystanders who didn't step up and forcibly stop the punks.
And the idea of not hitting women is deeply ingrained but if they are going to attack and start delivering black eyes then surely at least equal force is justified.

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 22, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I wrote this blog for Huff Post last week that addresses a lot of the comments and concerns above. I have incredible respect for Allen's bravery for coming forward in the hope his story helps others not to become a victim. Maybe some "hero" will come forward who saw and recorded this crime, so the perpetrators will get caught.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-kastan/are-you-part-of-the-herd-_b_807553.html

Posted by: kkastan | January 22, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Amen apraw

Posted by: spamsux1 | January 22, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Lived in DC for 26 years and got assaulted 4 times on the street by young black males. Why? Because they could, because I travelled alone and looked vulnerable, mainly because I was female and white. Been out in Md for 15 yrs-quiet. Miss DC events but not street crime. I'm 68 now and've seen generations of passive-agressive black reaction to situations where a different reaction would've had positive results. Too many still have the idea that since the whites made them slaves, kept them down and treated them bad, every white has it coming so they are not sorry when blacks beat up whites. They feel entitled to centuries of payback. That attitude needs to end before positive results can happen. I am not responsible nor guilty for what my ancestors did.

Posted by: jcaroleclarke | January 22, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Who wants to bet spamsux still wets the bed?

Posted by: anaximander471 | January 22, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

PS: Congrats to the Post, too, for having originally buried this incident in a blog post.

Washington Post: 'All the news that's fit to print...gets buried or banned,' (usually because it's racially uncomfortable for liberals.)

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | January 22, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry that you were attacked, and thank you for writing this. These young people grow up in a savage environment. We want Metro to be safe, but they live day in and day out in an environment we're afraid of. That doesn't excuse the horrible crime they committed, and they should be punished.

Parents have abandoned their kids, who raise themselves now. How can we possibly break this cycle of poverty and violence without good parents?

Posted by: insightinc | January 22, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

For people criticizing this guy's self-defense, trust me, when you get sucker punched, there is no recovery. It is one thing to clench your jaw and neck muscles, hunker your head down into your shoulders and then take a punch to head and face you know is coming, but once you get sucker punched, you can't focus, you have little to no idea what was happened, and then all hell breaks loose...like a pack of wolves descending on helpless prey; he is lucky to get away with the injuries he sustained. This is the kind of stuff that kills the spirit of a city.

Posted by: Daedulus | January 22, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Dearest Allen:
Where you got the idea that your personal safety is anyone's responsibility but yours is unimportant (and would probably just be annoying). If you should manage to pull it together and stop mewling, I'd recommend acquainting yourself with TASER. The results can be most edifying.
I favor extensible batons, but it's almost certain you'll never make it to this level of satisfaction.

Posted by: jbksss | January 22, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Now you know why Americans insist that the US is the greatest nation ever and that, by necessity, other nations and other peoples are inferior to US citizens.

These comments are not excuses: "I didn't want to get involved"; and "I was minding my own business".

In September 1994 I was bashed by eight drunken youths. The doctors thought that I would die. I didn't. They thought that I would be a vegetable. I wasn't but it took me two years to learn to talk properly and another five years to recover most of my faculties.

I'd like to thank all of those people who didn't get involved for the brain damage and physical injuries that I suffered.

Posted by: robertjames1 | January 22, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Daedulus knows what time it is. These kids know what time it is. The rest of the city, especially the liberal lemmings who populate DC, have not got a clue.

DC is a city of predators, victims, witnesses and...future victims.

Posted by: IncredulousAsEver | January 22, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The moral of the story is: stay away from the Green Line!

Posted by: kenk33 | January 23, 2011 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Hello All. First of all, I wonder why Mr. Haywood didn't mention the fact that the attacking teenagers were black? (Truth be told, race is STILL the touchiest subject in America.)I'm black and like most white folks on this page, I'm also feed up with black younguns looking, acting and sounding like heathens. It's an epidemic that most Black folks don't like to talk about it or admit to, especially in mixed company but it's an epidemic, just like obesity, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart trouble, unemployment, high school dropout rate, the many maladies that plague our black communities. (we seem to head every negative list ever compiled.)Young, single, unemployed women having 3,4,5 babies by just as many unemployed men. EPIDEMIC! (The choices we make in life often come back to haunt us.) Black folks wouldn't be so poor if they didn't choose to have so many children. I'm just saying. Peace. On last word. By no means do I put all the burden on my people. Racism and hate is STILL very much alive in America and as for this beating, there was a time not to long ago when it would have been easily reversed. God bless you Allen Haywood for not playing that infamous race card.

Posted by: hairstonpamela | January 23, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Houston we got a problem...nah BS ...DC WE for sure have us a problem with ignorant Negroes and thier families of garbage.
Not all the NEGROES just that 37% of incapable parents and children of the Negroe,colored and jigga kind.

Posted by: TheresaDudleyFat | January 23, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The reality is that had the roles been reversed, that a black adult was assaulted by white youths, it would have made national headlines, and would have brought out the Jesse Jacksons and Sharptons, and we'd at least have some kind of "learnable moment", instead, the story got buried in local sections of the Wapo, and at best, placed on WTOP's website. i also believe had this guy defended himself, there would have been outrage that he hit some teens. That this story got buried means nothing will be learned, no action will be taken, we'll all just pretend this major problem that black youths have just doesn't exist. And society as a whole will suffer for it. We need to stop the double standards, stop being so politically correct, for the sake of society.

Posted by: scoran | January 23, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

This essay is a total condemnation of Metro's lack of management and police presence. Also as troubling is the fact that none of the dozens of people on the platform did anything to stop the fight or even try to alert the station manager.

Posted by: buffysummers | January 23, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

If law abiding bystanders were permitted to carry concealed handguns, they would be more likely to come to the aid of victims. Just one more reason that DC should adopt a concealed carry law

Posted by: mediamaven | January 23, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If the politically incorrect though obvious truth is to be known, Mr. Haywood, you were attacked by these fatherless criminals because you impressed them as gay and they thought it would be funny to beat up a gay guy on YouTube.

Colbert King is the only writer at WaPo who has the courage to speak routninely to the ongoing catastrophe that is the black out-of-wedlock birthrate in the District, and the myriad and crippling costs it imposes on taxpayers and civil society.

They say the definition of a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. Perhaps it time you grow up and become a conservtaive, Mr. Haywood. Good luck to you, regardless.

Posted by: NorplantNow | January 23, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Not saying this is right, but it's a predator/prey thing. Kids like that pick on someone who they feel won't fight back. He should have went head to head with them.

With that said, Metro Transit Police is a joke. The kids don't take them seriously. I've seen kids cuss them out and they do nothing.

Posted by: mistahsmif | January 23, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr Heywood was right NOT to try to defend himself. After all, what other weapons might these pieces of garbage have been carrying and would probably have used had he escalated the situation? Face it, law abiding people in D.C. have no effective way of defending themselves from such an attack. A firearm? No way. Same thing for a Taser or stun gun. All of them illegal to possess outside the home in D.C. Hell, D.C. even requires registration of pepper spray! Also for those reasons I can understand the reluctance of bystanders to try to stop the attack.

Only when the criminals live in fear that someone might be able to retaliate with sufficient force will they ever think twice about committing such an assault, especially given the revolving door policies and inadequate supervision by the D.C. department of "corrections" (especially the juvenile branch). Such lapses have been amply documented by the Post. We will continue to read about such atrocities until people are allowed to protect themselves or the city finds the money to have police everywhere at all times.


Posted by: MediaManiac | January 23, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This needs to be repeated:

This is to be expected in a society that abdicates the responsibility for self defense to "professionals" and the whims of passers-by. "When seconds count...the police are only minutes away".

Posted by: apraw | January 22, 2011 12:41 PM

Posted by: tulsa_dave | January 23, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Another example of why everyone should own a gun. As to the victim, all you had to dio was stand your ground and the outcome would have been different. I believe once you get in my circle I will take you out, I dont care what race you are. Feel froggy leap, but you wont walk away. I'll teach you the respect and home training that your stupid parents did not have.

Posted by: Frank60 | January 23, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I got it: Arm citizens with Glocks and big aumo clips. Then, when an armed citizen sees an assault in a Metro station, (s)he can pull out the Glock and, to get attention over the noise and turmoil of the assault, fire a burst in to the air. (Metro: Change the ceiling and walls and flooring to something that will absorb high powered bullets.) Of course, others may perceive that the citizen discharging the Glock is the danger, and so they pull out their Glocks and Glock the person who first discharged his Glock.Some bystandersmay get hit too, but that's the way it is. They're part of the price for self-defense and citizen policing. (Metro: Better make sure that the coverings on the ceilings, walls and floors can absorb a lot of bullets -- and develop a way for a massive ER response.) The confusion and turmoil swells, and perceptions are now of a shoot out. A terrorist attack? Other citizens pull out their Glocks and seek to still the Glock terrorists who are causing such turmoil. Who are those GLock terroists anyway? Level any and all with a Glock. Possessing aGlock becomes a death sentence.

The best one can say about this is that ER and trauma physicians will get a lot of training in treating persons with bullet wounds. On the other side of things, forget about cutting health care costs.

The Old West has a message: Disarm gun-totters when they come in to town.

Another message: Don't ignore, act when the law is broken. If dictatorships can fall -- as they have in country after country -- when an unarmed citizenry rises up, unarmed citizens can deal with crime against another brother citizen.


Posted by: jimb | January 23, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Yet the TSA and the Police think the biggest danger to safety is what people might be carrying in their bags. How about get rid of the bag searches that won't stop any suicide bomber since they WEAR the explosive, they don't put them in bags, and use those people to patrol the stations so situations like this don't happen again?

Posted by: scoran | January 23, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The liberal indoctrination of "don't resist a robbery" and "don't fight back" has been successful. The government will take care of everything so "vigilante" justice is bad.

You just need higher taxes for some "midnight basketball" and the problem is solved.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | January 23, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Someone gets attacked on the metro and it brings out the usual suspects who insult an entire race of people. The Tuscon shooter was white but do we label all white people as crazy, with bad parents or none at all or are addicts? Most people didn't even want to assume that the Tuscon shooter had any connection to any political movement let alone denigrate the entire white race because of his actions. But some black kids on a metro means all black kids are deadbeats with crack addict parents? Anyone who says that race relations have gotten better in this country need only read the comments on a supposedly liberal newspaper like the Post.

For the record, this was one incident where some kids who happened to be black assaulted someone. It is no way a reflection of the black community. Just like the Tuscon shooter isn't a reflection of the white community.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | January 23, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This sort of violence is very common in DC and you do get used to it. Now you see why so many people strive to get out of the city, sometimes with success. I have also witnessed attacks and am proud to say I intervened, took a minor beating once but the other few times all was well. Again, its DC and you get used to it. Carry a knife, 3 inch blade or less is perfectly legal.

Posted by: plugugly7 | January 23, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It's not a DC problem it's an AFRICAN-AMERICAN problem.

Posted by: twnctyguy | January 23, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

This is the second Metro beating event for no reason that I heard about in the past two days. The other was several armed young males entered an Orange Line train from both ends of the train and stole from the passengers. A woman pushed the emergency button and no Metro personnel answered the call or sent help. These packs of hoodlums are allowed to run in gangs and are now terrorizing Metro trains/platforms by beating innocent passengers. Let's hold the parents, the communities where they are from, the schools, the lawyers who defend them and the police who don't get them off the streets. Political correctness is a big part of the problem here. Gangs and/or packs of young males need to be broken up. Split up their little power base and this kind of thing won't happen. Parents need to be schooled as to how to raise their children so they want to get ahead in life. Lawyers need to force these kids into some boot camp that will knock some sense into them and instill in them self-esteem.

Posted by: novaqt1 | January 23, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This is the second Metro beating event for no reason that I heard about in the past two days. The other was several armed young males entered an Orange Line train from both ends of the train and stole from the passengers. A woman pushed the emergency button and no Metro personnel answered the call or sent help. These packs of hoodlums are allowed to run in gangs and are now terrorizing Metro trains/platforms by beating innocent passengers. Let's hold the parents, the communities where they are from, the schools, the lawyers who defend them and the police who don't get them off the streets. Political correctness is a big part of the problem here. Gangs and/or packs of young males need to be broken up. Split up their little power base and this kind of thing won't happen. Parents need to be schooled as to how to raise their children so they want to get ahead in life. Lawyers need to force these kids into some boot camp that will knock some sense into them and instill in them self-esteem.

Posted by: novaqt1 | January 23, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

First off, all you macho-men need a reality check. If you are sucker-punched in the head hard enough, you'll spend the next 30 seconds trying to figure out where you are and what your name is. Outnumbered many-to-one, it is all over at that point. Second, I would love to do an experiment with about 10 white kids and black man. I am betting that had the attackers been white and the victim Black, this would be front page news with the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton tripping over each other to get in on it. The FBI, NSA, CIA, FDA, and every other agency would be trying to make sure the perps were caught. Every single talking head cable show would be going on non-stop. Third, this confirms my decision that DC is NOT anyplace I would ever take my family.

Posted by: Island_Boy | January 23, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

That's expected of the african-american culture. The parents are probably strung out on crack or heroin or waiting in line for some handout.

Posted by: tenthduf
----------------------------------

This is the kind of comment that makes me wish we could have this discussion in person so I could see whether a big-mouth racist "little" man like you would have the balls to say that to a Black man's face.

Posted by: ceefer66 | January 23, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

This story doesn't surprise me at all...I was riding metro several years back, on my way home from a concert in DC to Springfield. A guy boarded at the King Street stop, sat behind me...then proceeded to drop his pants down to the floor and masturbate while looking over the seat at me. I admit I was lookin a bit fly, but was not underdressed by any means. My friend, in the seat next to me noticed him, loudly confronted the guy, then we moved to the front of the car. There were probably 25 people riding that train with us - some big, strong men who could've easily attempted to protect two young girls in their early 20s. Instead everyone looked at us like we were crazy and totally ignored the situation, even when we told them what had happened. No one offered to walk us to our car, offer us support or ANYTHING - they just kept moving like zombies. We informed metro security of what had happened as soon as we got off the train and they apparently held the guy long enough for us to get to our car. And guess what Mr. Racist - dude was a normal-looking WHITE guy; I am also WHITE and so were 90% of the people on the train. So please don't bring race into this - CRAZY knows absolutely no color!

Posted by: mslytone | January 23, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Sir I watched this on the news and was immediately sickened by your attack. I told my friends and family about this and the outrage was loud and clear. I wondered what I would say to you if I ever had the opportunity to do so and it seems you have given me just that. So, here goes...What happened to you was an act of savage behavior that is not condoned or applauded by Black parents who actually raise our children. Unfortunately, you were surrounded, and ignored, by the low percentage of us all that embrace a "not my problem" attitude. I refuse to ride Metro because of these little savages and MY inability not to correct poor behavior when I see it. Mr. Haywood I would like to sincerely apologize to you on behalf of the Black parents who are raising our Black children to become productive members of society. There are more of us than them, believe that. And we are tired of the untrained few and their blatant disregard for civilized behavior that tend to get a whole race of people painted with the same brush strokes. I am so sorry, sir, and I pray that it never happens again.

SDB

Posted by: yisthisnews | January 23, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments are a sad commentary on reaction to one incident. Black youth did a horrible thing and somehow ALL blacks are to blame. White man murders in AZ and "he's crazy".

Posted by: rlj1 | January 23, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"Some of the comments are a sad commentary on reaction to one incident. Black youth did a horrible thing and somehow ALL blacks are to blame. White man murders in AZ and "he's crazy".
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Well said.

It's a sad commentary on our time that racist comments are now acceptable - thanks to the GOP and its right-wing hate media.

If the Obama presidency has accomplished only one thing, it has been to show that white racism is STILL as American as apple pie.

Sad.

Posted by: ceefer66 | January 23, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

As I rely on Metro, when I first heard about your attack, I literally got chills. Now that I know you are a fit six foot tall man, I have the chills again. Yet somehow, I should not. Everyday the lack of common courtesy on Metro amazes, maddens or saddens me. (Often all of the above.) Of course this is not the only reason for bad behavior, but I have to wonder what kind of home life these kids had to inflict such senseless harm so young. Still I hope they are punished and I hope you feel better (mentally and physically) soon.

Posted by: citygirl113 | January 23, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, we don't know what happened to this guy. The white people in this city are rude and entitled. I'm sick of it, maybe he deserved a busted lip. I have wanted to slap a few rude white people on the subway myself. This guy gets beat up by a bunch of teenage girls and he gets an article in the WAPO. Black men die in the streets every night and their stories are never told. BS!!!!

Posted by: DCnative6 | January 23, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact is that violence begets violence and it's no good for anyone. Ever. Those kids boldy did this because they knew they could, though this says nothing of the kind of violence, emotional abuse and disrespect they probably experience in their own homes and communities.

To those who are blaming the victim or, worse yet, would stand by and do nothing remember this: What goes around comes around. And it's only a matter of time -- and karma -- until one day you, or your brother or your girlfriend or your sister could be on that same platform on a regular work day being beaten to death senselessly and all the blog posts and ridiculous tangential arguments in the world won't mean a damn hill of beans.

Metro better wise up...There are many people who take it by choice, but with damning news like this constantly, it's a sure revenue killer for an already beleagured transit system.

My thoughts are with Mr. Haywood ... He is extraordinarily brave to write this piece and then suffer the indignities of the victim-blamers after such a traumatizing event. I wish him peace and speedy recovery.

Posted by: capitolite | January 23, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

No mention by the way, of this being a black racist hate-crime.
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Growing up in D.C. and in Arlington, friends of mine and I've had a LOT of incidents where we were attacked for no other reason than we were white. I don't even recall anyone asking me for money more than once or twice, just attacks. Not one time did I just sit there and take it, and every single time they ran away. Know why? Because if it got bad enough I always pulled out my second amendment rights, ok? Usually they would run away before I would have to resort to that because they are racist cowards who don't even understand slavery was begun in Africa by Africans. Just ask them what the Songhay kingdom was and of course 99% of them don't know it was the greatest kingdom in African history and became rich by taking slaves of tribes they'd defeated in battle. These kids are taught that they are victims. Victims strike out. With the economy going into the third abyss of heck, these kind of things are only going to get worse. You better take steps now to protect yourselves and your families. I feel sympathy for Mr. Hayward, but I can't get over the feeling that he could work out 24/7 and he still would be a wuss. Its the size of the fight in the dog, not the other way around. Afraid they have guns? I'm not. I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by six.

Posted by: shred11 | January 23, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Allen Haywood, my heart goes out to you--I'd like to do something about this. I know how it feels to be in scary situations on the metro. I once asked two young guys (nicely) to keep the noise down, and was threatened by them in return. No one intervened--including not one of the burly men seated nearby (I'm an older woman). I'd be willing to create some kind of citizens force to help police buses and the metro system, as the professional police force is unable to do it fully. I'm serious about this!

Posted by: DCResident10 | January 23, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Growing up in D.C. and in Arlington, friends of mine and I've had a LOT of incidents where we were attacked for no other reason than we were white. I don't even recall anyone asking me for money more than once or twice, just attacks. Not one time did I just sit there and take it, and every single time they ran away. Know why? Because if it got bad enough I always pulled out my second amendment rights, ok? Usually they would run away before I would have to resort to that because they are racist cowards who don't even understand slavery was begun in Africa by Africans. Just ask them what the Songhay kingdom was and of course 99% of them don't know it was the greatest kingdom in African history and became rich by taking slaves of tribes they'd defeated in battle. These kids are taught that they are victims. Victims strike out. With the economy going into the third abyss of heck, these kind of things are only going to get worse. You better take steps now to protect yourselves and your families. I feel sympathy for Mr. Hayward, but I can't get over the feeling that he could work out 24/7 and he still would be a wuss. Its the size of the fight in the dog, not the other way around. Afraid they have guns? I'm not. I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by six.
___________________________________________

Do you really believe that you're the only one that has a gun. You fool, everybody in DC has guns that's why it's the way that it is. Don't worry if you keep thinkin' you're John Wayne you will be carried by six one day soon. Nobody is scared of you go get your gun. Most Black people are prepared and they have nothing to lose. There is another way though if you'd like to put up your two fists and do something about it we can do that too!!! What do say???
I keep hearing all of the white folks on this blog talk about guns and knives, but this dude got his A$$$ beat by fists. By little girls???? Wow!!!

Posted by: DCnative6 | January 24, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, I've seen a few more shining examples of nice behavior from teens on the metro-all races. The problem starts with a pack mentality-we are strong in number therefore you are prey. No adult that I associate with wants to hurt a child, however there are times when the main attacker needs to be defended against with equal force. I think that I would be truly shaken to have a teen hit me (although I've been jumped twice in the past 20 years.) This may have been why the man who was attacked did not "defend" himself. We all say to ourselves "I'd teach that little brat a lesson!" but what it comes down to is, liberal or conservative, it just blows your mind to think that a "child" would attack. I used to think that a group of bystanders should throw one little thug in front of a train and the rest might learn- where does that come from? I think verbal, LOUD verbal reminders from some more passengers are what's needed here. i rode a train in December with about 5 other adult passengers and one group of 5 rowdy teens. One of the teens was swinging from the top bar and accidentally kicked one of the adults (a woman) she shrunk back, the kid did not apologize. One man stood up and said "Hey, I believe you need to apologize sir" the kid looked at him like he had two heads. i stood up and "yes, you need to apologize.". The guy behind me spoke up. Low and behold we got a mumbled "Sorry" out of the kid and his friends actually looked at him with a tiny bit of respect. Now I'm not foolish enough to believe that the pack mentality is going to die out, but some reminders are necessary.

Posted by: stopthemadness | January 24, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DC is a glaring example of a city that expects the government to take care of them, while not wanting to share on\\in the responsibility of taking care of themselves or each other. A typical liberal touchy-feely city.

Posted by: PZ007 | January 24, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I am absolutely appalled by this. Having lived here in DC for years, this reminds me of NYC and how bad things were on the subways in the 80's. The fact that my taxes continue to pay for ineffectual governance and leadership offends me. I carried mace back then and I carry mace on me now. Mr. Haywood, please know that if I were there I would have tried to help you. Even if we both ended up black and blue.

Posted by: DCHammerTime | January 24, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

No one cares about your attacker. Post large pictures of her in the Metro system so that we riders can push her in front of an oncoming train. That's the real justice she and her ilk deserve.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | January 24, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I would guess that a number of the commentators here have never been in a situation like this. I have been. One time in the London underground, as I waited for a train, a swarm of 15 – 20 young teenage boys and girls came running down the platform, pushing and hitting people, pouncing on victims, slashing at people with broken bottles. I can testify that it is mayhem – like being caught in a swarm of bees. They all poured into a subway car and started attacking the passengers. I waded in, trying to stop some of them, grabbed the arm of a 14 year old girl who was whacking a seated passenger with a rolled-up umbrella, and wound up at the end of the melee with the umbrella and somebody else’s blood all over me. And all the time I was thinking – my God, I’m twisting the wrist of a little girl! I can assure all of the posters here that situations like this are pure chaos for both the victims and the bystanders. It’s really hard to figure out what to do and even harder to react in time to do it. And I’m really grateful that no John Wayne wannabe pulled out a gun.

Posted by: mjm52251 | January 24, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Someone gets attacked on the metro and it brings out the usual suspects who insult an entire race of people. The Tuscon shooter was white but do we label all white people as crazy, with bad parents or none at all or are addicts? Most people didn't even want to assume that the Tuscon shooter had any connection to any political movement let alone denigrate the entire white race because of his actions.
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If a sizable number of white people were anything like the Tuscon shooter, I reckon most black thugs would not have the balls to attack any white person.

Nice try though.

Posted by: boog44 | January 24, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Someone gets attacked on the metro and it brings out the usual suspects who insult an entire race of people. The Tuscon shooter was white but do we label all white people as crazy, with bad parents or none at all or are addicts? Most people didn't even want to assume that the Tuscon shooter had any connection to any political movement let alone denigrate the entire white race because of his actions.
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If a sizable number of white people were anything like the Tuscon shooter, I reckon most black thugs would not have the balls to attack any white person.

Nice try though.

Posted by: boog44 | January 24, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Haywood, I'm very sorry for what happened to you, but the scatological exchange between you and your attackers just doesn't translate into your philosophical musings here. We need to focus on more practical answers.

The reporting at http://www.wmal.com/Article.asp?id=2073568 says: "The transit authority asks customers who witness fights to report them immediately through emergency buttons on trains or station platforms, or by telling a Metro employee." 

At the very least, a bystander should have gone to the nearest emergency intercom or Metro employee and summoned help. Metro police should be able to respond almost as quickly as local police on the streets.

Metro may need to have a public awareness campaign for criminal threats analogous to the one for terrorist threats - do's and don'ts that could be helpful in an emergency.

Posted by: RossEmery | January 24, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the Liberal's Paradise, Washington DC, the ultimate example of unalloyed fully funded Liberalism. In DC you are lucky the Bystanders did not join your assailants for the fun.
When Government takes over all functions and becomes responsible for all things then citizens no longer believe they are involved. The left had changed America in many ways, you were able to survive the experience. Many do not.
In Washington DC you are a slave to the controls of the Government as well. In Florida or other states that still recognize the right of a citizen to defend himself those thugs would have had to worry about a lot more than harsh language.
But remember you have the crack Washington DC police force to protect you and catch the criminals. Why fear, our Government is here.

Posted by: devluddite | January 25, 2011 2:50 AM | Report abuse

As sad as it was for Mr. Haywood to be attacked while waiting for a train, one thing was made perfectly clear during the video of his assault: HE MADE NO EFFORT TO STAND UP FOR HIMSELF! Putting your hand up and saying "Why are you doing this?" is not standing up your yourself. Why should anyone else stand up for you if you can't stand up for yourself? If you were attempting to stand up for yourself and were failing, I think bystanders would have made an effort to intervene on your behalf.

Newsflash, Mr. Haywood: If I'm standing around at L'Enfant, reading a book, waiting for a train, and then all of the sudden I get knocked upside the head, you know what I'm doing? Going into fight or flight mode. I'm looking to kick some a55, regardless of race, gender or age. Spare yourself the PC BS, you should have tee'd off on that woman and BEAT HER DOWN! Wanna teach a woman a lesson? PUNCH HER IN THE FACE. You think those punk kids are gonna screw with you after you beat that woman down? Of course not. That's why they're taping and not participating.

Bad stuff happens to Good Samaritans all the time. A Good Samaritan was blown away last week at the corner of North Capitol and Florida Ave after trying to help a woman being harassed. None of the bystanders at L'Enfant knew if those kids were armed.

It is extremely sad this happens in DC. These punk kids need to be put in their place and if Metro police won't patrol their busiest and "least safe" facilities (i.e. the transfer points), then users need to stand up for themselves. I hope this never happens again to you, Mr. Haywood. But I suggest next time you go to the gym, you check into self-defense classes. Because you need them.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | January 25, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I had a similar experience on D.C. metro red line. A loud black teenage girl was trying to push her way onto a metro car when the doors opened without letting the people exit the car first. I stuck my elbow out in front of her to stop her and I am not a big person. Unfortunately another older and larger black woman was behind me and she pushed me with both hands really hard into the car. I was furious. I turned around to look at her and saw how big she was. Still she left me alone because I looked so angry. I also had a black woman smack me in the face with her corn row hair. It was an accident because she didn't see me behind her but the corn rows hurt like heavy ropes and it made me furious that I almost grabbed her by her hair.

Posted by: dcsmartie | January 25, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

dcsmartie, you're upset because someone accidentally bumped into you, and you almost grabbed her hair on purpose because of this? Metro gets crowded. People accidentally bump body parts and belongings into one another. I assume that if you accidentally bump into someone, you don't want them to intentionally retaliate.

Posted by: DOEJN | January 25, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

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