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Don’t Look Back – Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus
|| 8/12/2010 || 11:58 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

This was first posted on Facebook to allay the concerns of my friends after reading the tweets:


Riding home on the 92 down U street- got on at 18th & Wyoming. Going 8 blocks down U. About 5 minutes after boarding a crazy dude behind me at about 7 rows back says something like ‘look back here again and I’ll kick your ass.’ Thinking it was someone else I looked back. Crazy dude walks up to my seat and proceeds to start swinging at me in my seat. Woman from behind me, about 3 rows back, in between he & I, pulls him away. The bus stops. He gets ejected off at 15 & U. I am asked if I want to press charges. Shaken, I felt my forehead, said No. One block later, this same crazy person, walks/runs to the next block to the 14th & U intersection, outside the McDonalds, and DEMANDS to get back on the bus being that he had already paid his fare. At this point a series of people get out their phones and call 911. I call myself and give my statement. The Darwin award goes to the man who waits for the police to arrive. 3 cars do. Then a couple more. A few people get off the bus to announce to the police what happened. I get up, apologize to the bus for hindering their commute, and as I step off the bus a police officer, last name Ali, asked if I was hit by the man. I said yes. He leaves and proceeds to arrest the crazy dude. It was painful to watch them take him down. He was placed in handcuffs on his belly. Two people from the bus came forward to give their eye-witness statements. The woman in her mid-20’s from Georgia who yanked the crazy dude off me (thank you) and the mid-20’s Asian man both gave their contact information. After all the police left, one by one, the last officer got out the camera, and he took a couple pictures of the welt on my forehead. One photograph included a millimeter measuring stick that actually measured the size of the red mark. I walked two blocks toward and ran into to one of the people I’ve known longer than anyone else in DC– JR Russ– who I had my first Thanksgiving in DC with. Story told. Walked the rest of the way home. Tired. No concussion. Needless drama. Needless pain. Don’t look back.


This is the third time I’ve been physically assaulted in the District of Columbia in the last three years…. The previous assaults happened on July 17, 2008 & October 28th, 2008



CRIME WAVE SWEEPS BONE-DRY CAPITAL – The New York Times, April 20, 1919
|| 4/20/2010 || 11:52 am || + Render A Comment || ||

You can read the two previous entries concerning Congress voting the District of Columbia ‘dry’ here & here.

The result of Prohibition in the District of Columbia after one year inadvertently predicted what would happen to the rest of the country once the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution came into effect: crime. The sad reality is that while this article only highlighted the criminal effects of prohibition of alcohol after one year, today society deals with very similar crimes related to the prohibition of other substances. It begs the question, should prohibition exist? If making something illegal only causes or creates more crime, why continue to make such substances illegal? What other intoxicants or medicines have been Constitutionally banned? Only alcohol.


CRIME WAVE SWEEPS BONE-DRY CAPITAL


Great Increase in Number of Indictments Under Prohibition in Washington


MANY CRIMES OF VIOLENCE


Increase Also Shown in Robberies, Embezzlements, Forgeries, Cheating, and Swindling

The Association Opposed to National Prohibition yesterday gave out a statement pointing out that the crime record in the District of Columbia has increased since the district was declared bone dry by Congress. It is pointed out by the statement that the association had no figures to show that the number of drug addicts has increased in the District.

“The Grand Jury found 107 new indictments which, added to 80 other true bills previously reported, made 187 criminal indictments for one week,” said the statement. “United States District Attorney Laskey, whose duty it is to prosecute the criminal cases in the Washington courts, is quoted as having said that no Grand Jury since he has been in office has ever returned so many indictments against violators of the criminal law.

“Sixteen of the 187 indictments were for the taking of human life, the degrees ranging from murder outright to homicide. Some of the murders are said to have been committed in the most cold-blooded, savage ways. One of the accused is charged with having thrown a lighted lamp at a woman, setting fire to her clothing and causing her to be burned to death. Several persons were beaten to death with lead pipes. A great number of automobile collisions occurred, causing death and serious injury as a result of criminal negligence. Such acts of depravity and savage violence are too often pictured by the anti-prohibitionists as the sole results of inebriety, and they promised Utopian realization of law and order if Congress would only vote the District of Columbia bone-dry. But, after something more than a year of the bone-dry delusion, the nation’s capital city is showing up the worst criminal record in its history.

“Crimes involving violence are invariably laid to intemperance by the prohibitionists. If the assaults and murders committed in sight of the Capitol are to be thus accounted for, it must be concluded that intemperance is on the increase in Washington since the District of Columbia was voted dry and prohibition at the very citadel of the Republic has proved a miserable farce. But the great bulk of indictments returned by the Grand Jury tells of an increase in other crimes than those of murder, manslaughter, homicide, and assault. There were twenty-nine cases of robbery, embezzlement, forgery, cheating, and swindling returned.”


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the New York Times archives and is in the public domain. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



Violent Crime In My Neighborhood Has Increased Over 100% in the Last Year
|| 9/22/2009 || 1:43 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last week my City Councilmember, Jim Graham, sent an e-mail about the drop in crime over the last 30 days to my neighborhood association listserv and included various local government officials like the DC Police Chief, Cathy Lanier. The e-mail featured two graphs of data from DC’s Crime Map that covered the police service area of my neighborhood and showed the crime statistics of August to September of 2008 compared to August to September of 2009. What the graph lacked, however, was the hyperlocal angle of the crime taking place in the immediate vicinity of the block that we live on and the larger picture showing the other 11 months of crime data.

As a two-time victim of violent crime last year in my neighborhood, on my front doorstep & at the end of the block, I was fully aware that the data in the graphs included me, so I felt compelled to use the very same tool my councilmember used to analyze the extent of the crimes that have recently taken place. The result genuinely stunned me and I proceeded to respond to his e-mail (text below) with the two maps (above & below) that show the various crimes that have taken place in my neighborhood.

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YouTube Video of an Arrest Last Night Outside of the 7-11 at 12th & U Street, NW, DC
|| 8/31/2009 || 5:33 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Last night I had just finished playing movies at Restaurant Marvin and was heading home on my bicycle. I decided to get a snack before I arrived home and the only place open at that time was the nearby 7-11. As I arrived at the corner of 12th & U street, I saw the two men struggling on the ground, with one man in a headlock, and the 7-11 employee had just rushed back into the store. Right after I dismounted my bicycle, I could hear the police sirens approaching, so I pulled out my camera and began filming the moment they arrived. While I was recording, I was also trying to lock my bicycle to the pole, so there are a few times when I accidentally placed my finger over the microphone and/or the camera hits the pole itself. After I lock my bike up, and it looked as though the police had the area under control, I made my way inside and stopped recording. When I left the store I started recording again and made my way back over to where my bicycle was locked. This time I placed the camera on the ground below the pole while I unlocked my bicycle, and a few moments later I picked up the camera and rode home.

Being that I arrived at the scene after the two men had already begun struggling, I cannot remark on the nature of what happened before I got there. I’m am happy that no one was shot or killed and the police did not appear to use excessive force when detaining the man. I will update this entry if & when I find the police report.



I was on today’s 5pm newscast of WJLA ABC 7 concerning the 80 recent car break-ins & burglaries in my neighborhood
|| 8/4/2009 || 7:14 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Click to watch on WLJA ABC7

This morning after I returned home from picking up my morning beverage, I was approached by Jennifer Donelan, a reporter for WJLA ABC7, who was doing a story about the recent up tick in crime in my neighborhood. She asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed and, surprisingly, I made the edit and show up about 50 seconds into the segment.

About a month ago, at probably the height of the car break-ins, I conceived the idea of doing a photo series of nothing but broken glass on the street & sidewalk. It seemed that nearly every day I would walk by a car with a smashed window and I felt compelled to document this travesty. But alas, I never seemed to have my camera with me when I needed it and the concept has since fallen by the wayside.


Related Crime Entries:

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A passive-agressive note to my Dear Neighbor in the English Basement
|| 7/20/2009 || 8:39 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

You’ve seen the website? This is my quasi-contribution. Its too bad the neighbor never followed up and contacted me. I just hope he doesn’t get mugged!



SMSishing Scam – Continued
|| 1/16/2009 || 11:55 pm || Comments Off on SMSishing Scam – Continued || ||

Last month I discovered a SMSishing scam that was hitting many DC area residents. Over the last few days I’ve received two more fraudulent messages trying to get me to call a number to turn my ATM card back on.

The first said:

Notice! / This is an automated message from Lafayette Federal Credit Union. Your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 866-506-0288.

The second said:

ApplicationCenter / This is an automated message from Lafayette F.C.U. .Your ATM card has been suspended.To reactivate call urgent at 1-567-248-8594

I can only wonder how many people fell for this scam?



SMiShing Scam [UPDATE]
|| 12/17/2008 || 11:19 pm || Comments Off on SMiShing Scam [UPDATE] || ||

A few moments ago I received the following text:

BFSFCU / This is an automated message from Bank-Fund Staff F.C.U. Your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 202-729-8214

It’s too bad that I don’t bank with BFSFCU or might have fallen for this SMiShing scam. I called their phone number and told the service representative that the phone number I was told to call is a DC number, and not a 1-888 number which was currently on the website (above). Their customer service representative said that she’d notify their fraud department. I wonder who else got the text message?



UPDATEexactly 9:30pm – I was at a birthday party in the basement of Napoleon Bistro in Adams Morgan and received second text message from the SMiSher. The message was exactly the same, except that the the phone number had changed to “1-202-729-8214″


UPDATE – 11:00pm – I returned home from the birthday party and noticed quite a few people got hit by the SMisher. Below are screen grabs of those who were searching for more information about this fraud.


More Updates:

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Assaulted in my neighborhood—- again.
|| 10/28/2008 || 7:48 pm || 8 Comments Rendered || ||

Back in July I was assaulted on my doorstep by three men who jumped out of their car. Today while walking back from the convenience store located about 500 feet from my front door I was assaulted by a group of about 7 teenagers. Below is the e-mail that I sent to my neighborhood association listserve:

Neighbors,

Today at 3:30pm while walking back home from the 10th Street Market a group of teenagers assaulted me.

After I had purchased a soft drink from the 10th Street Market, I was walking north on 10th street on the eastern sidewalk when a teen ran down the sidewalk from Westminster street and literally started throwing punches at me on the sidewalk near the alley. He didn’t ask for money, rather just wanted to fight and I looked like an easy subject.

When I turned around another youth had approached me from behind and took a swing at me. Since I wasn’t taken down with any of the punches, I continued to hold my fists up and take on both of the youth. I was able force the main attacker of the teenagers up 10th street to the corner of Westminster Street, whereupon another teen came running north on the sidewalk and attempted to punch me again. I continued yelling at them at the top of my lungs asking them why they wanted to fight me and telling them that I live here in the neighborhood.

In all there were about 7 youth, about 14 in age, and three or four of them fought me. They worked as a pack, with one ahead of the group, one behind the group, and a small group on the other side of the street watching. This type of group fighting strengthen bonds between youth because they are able to work together on a single target. The youth who first approached me was clearly trying to show off to his friends.

In all, I got punched in the left eye, right rib, and right lip. The police response was swift, within 5 minutes, and I was able to drive around with the officer Sarah Guarin, but were not able to spot any of the youth.

I am saddened that they’ll be in the neighborhood again in the not-so-distant future because they most likely go to school nearby. Many of us know that the time after school until dark during the school year is when we are most likely to be assaulted by teenagers, especially groups of teenagers.

While I want them to be punished for their actions, I do not want the youth to go to jail because from my experience it only hurts their future prospects. Community service can be a strong reforming agent for wayward youth like the ones who find sport in an after school fight club.

What I found bothersome during the entire altercation was that I was yelling at the top of my lungs the entire time & no neighbors heard me and that a UPS driver made a delivery to a neighbor while it was taking place and neither parties did anything. But at the same time there is little that can be done by observers except yelling “I am calling the police,” unless they want to risk getting beat up as well.

If I can ask a request for the police, it would be to do more patrols right when school is out. There are only a few places that teens congregate when after school and one of them is the 10th Street Market. I have a cordial relationship with the owner and I know he cannot do much because many walk by the store after school and give him patronage. For the time being, I’ll avoid shopping there after school.


The descriptions of the youth are as follows:
– One youth, 5’9″ African American, light skinned and wore a beige jacket, short black hair, slightly large ears. Skinny, about 145 lbs.
– One youth 5’6 African American, darker skinned and wore a neon blue t-shirt, with pink writing. 160 lbs. hat.
– One youth 5’8 African American, darker skinned and wore a white jacket with a patterned black print. 150 lbs. black hat.
– One slightly heavy-set youth, African American who did not get involved but played a supportive role. 5’11 180 short hair .25 inch
– Two African-American youth wearing black jackets

My glasses were nearly knocked off after the first blow, and I put them in my pocket so they would not break, and because of this I am unable to describe the youth in better detail.



Afterwards, while waiting for the police, a two young African American girls spoke to me and said they [the youth] “do that sometimes.” The girls were about 10 and 6. The youngest had shoulder-length braided hair. They probably know the teenagers who assaulted me.

The youth left going north toward the metro, then went down T street @ 3:35pm.

Recovering,
Nikolas Schiller

So far its only my ribcage that really hurts. I don’t know if the cut below my eye will turn into a black eye or not. And no, I didn’t have my camera on me… Ugh. When I moved into this house four years ago I thought the neighborhood was bad. Nearly half of the houses on S Street were boarded up and now they all have people in them. In the late 1980’s my street was an open air drug market and for the last 20 years the neighborhood has slowly prospered. But kids will be kids and when they don’t have enough activities keeping them busy, they’ll move toward criminal behavior.



Updates…

#2:30 Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Below are some e-mails that were generated because from the e-mail above:


E-mail from my neighbor:

This appears to be very similar to what happened on Friday afternoon at 5pm next to our home. A group of about 6 teenagers jumped one of our neighbors, demanding his cell phone. They had been following him south on 10th st., and as he turned to try and get away from them through the back of a Vt. Avenue neighbor’s house whose backyard faces 10th st., they jumped him. My husband witnessed it and immediately screamed out the window at the youth, who ran away. We called the police and they were there within about 5 minutes (along with what I assume were members of the gang unit). I agree that this is very disturbing. The same group of teenagers had been hanging out on 10th st for about 1/2 an hour before this. I had walked right by them and into our house, so they knew people were home and yet felt comfortable attacking someone right in front of the house in broad daylight. It’s very troubling, as the attack on our neighbor appeared to be more out of boredom than anything else.

E-mail from my city council member Jim Graham:

I am very saddened to read your message, though your strength and compassion is very compelling. The attack was discussed in this evening’s meeting in LeDroit Park, and then I returned home–after going to the scene of a homicide at 11th and Harvard–to find this description on my email.

I am including MPD leadership and the Mayor on this message.

I wonder whether this might not be in some way gang related. Some kind of perverse initiation, since there is no evidence of any robbery intention.

Perhaps MPD can shed some light on this. I sure hope so. I am including the head of detectives as well. These juveniles really need to be brought to justice.

With sincere sympathy, Jim

E-mail from ANC 2C01 Commissioner Alex Padro:

This activity has been reported numerous times in the past several years, as far away as western Ward 5 (east of New Jersey Avenue), but mostly focused in the area between 9th, 11th, R and T Streets. The youth target a single Caucasian male for the attack, without robbery as a motive, and in some instances, the injuries have been more serious. All the assaults have occurred in the 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM weekdays time frame.

E-mail from Mayor Adrian Fenty:

Commissioner and Councilmember: mpd will work with dcps and mpd to determine whether these were youth from the local high school and will also take some of the precautionary steps recommended

E-mail from Police Chief Cathy Lanier:

Mr. Schiller,

First of all let me offer my sincerest apologies for this assault! I
sincerely appreciate your reporting the crime and reaching out to MPD
with this great description of the youths. While not all of our youth
are engaging in this type of behavior we are seeing a small group that
are. We are taking an aggressive approach and stance on these
incidents. In most incidents reported to us, we have seen that the
attack preceded a robbery. Although this incident is horrific, I am
thankful that your personal property was not taken.

One of our current initiatives that we reiterated to the community
yesterday is the reward program we have in place for information related
to robberies. The police department offers up to $10,000 to anyone who
provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of an
individual(s) responsible for an armed robbery or a robbery that does
results in serious bodily injury. In addition to our efforts to
encourage citizens to come forward with information, DC Crime Solver’s
program also will reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to an
arrest and indictment of an individual(s) for a robbery or other serious
crime.

I shared that information with you, Mr. Schiller, to say that we are
aggressively working and fighting for you and the citizens of the
District. We are strongly encouraging citizens to come forward with
information about these crimes (any crime for that matter). This is a
completely unfortunate and undeserved attack on you and I will ensure
that we follow up with you and do our absolute best to identify and
arrest those responsible for it.



10/29/08 – 4:00pm – I spoke with Detective McKenna on the phone about everything and he said he’d come by tomorrow.



10/30/08 – 4:40pm – Detective McKenna and female detective, who’s name I cannot recall, stopped by the house today and spoke with me for about 15 minutes. According to their research, only one nearby school, Sunrise Academy, does not have uniforms for the students. This means the kids involved in my assault either went to that school, they were skipping school, or they changed out of their uniforms once they left school property. Judging from the map, I doubt it was kids from that school simply due to the distance they would have had to travel after school to make it to my neighborhood. Anyways, I am told to call 911 and say that I have “a second sighting” if I see any of the kids involved in the assault walking around my neighborhood.



11/14/08 – 5:10pm – I noticed police activity at the corner of 10th & S and decided to leave my house to see what was happening and to purchase some beer from the 10th Street Market. Upon my arrival I noticed that a youth was in handcuffs and about 8 police officers were present. I went inside of the 10th Street Market to purchase my evening’s victuals and when I walked outside the youth was facing me and I immediately recognized the youth as the one who assaulted me.

I walked up to the youth who was partially surrounded by the police officers and looked him in eyes and yelled “DO YOU REMEMBER ME?” The police looked at me confused and said the female officer said, “Excuse me?” I turned to the nearby officer and said, “I have a second sighting.” Whereupon about 4 of the police officers approached me for questioning and I removed the piece of paper from my wallet which I had written the case number down on. I gave the police officers the paper and they proceeded to get some of my contact information and I was told that I would be contacted shortly. I walked back home and called Detective McKenna at the police department and left him a message.



11/15/08 – 1:41pm – While I was riding my bike down to the National Mall, I received a follow-up call from Detective McKenna. He said the youth in custody had a previous criminal record and was found with a BB gun on him the previous night. He said the “second sighting” was useful to the police and the youth was currently being detained indefinitely. He also stated that the youth did in fact attend Sunrise Academy as was originally suspected due to the lack of school uniforms on the day of the original assault.

In all, I’m glad the youth was caught and I hope he learns from his mistakes. However, I fear that he’ll become more hardened while in police custody and for this I feel sorry for him. I hope he able to change his ways.



11/17/08 – 10:15am – A detective stopped by the house today with a printout of 9 different photographs on it. My instructions were to circle the picture of the person who was involved with the assault. After doing so I wasn’t told if I had chosen correctly or not. The detective thanked me for my time and left.



12/12/08 – 9:45am – About 30 minutes ago I received a phone call asking if I would be home to receive a subpoena. I confirmed and shortly afterwards someone from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Family Court) delivered a subpoena to my residence. I am due in court on January 5th, 2009.



12/19/08 – 1:00pm – A representative from the Public Defender Service stopped by my house unannounced at 11:30am. I let him in and we spent the next 90 minutes making an oral and written statement regarding the events.



1/5/09 – 10:30am – Returned home from the DC Superior Court slightly disappointed. I arrived in the courtroom on time only to find out that the judge changed the court date and I never received an updated subpoena from the prosecutor’s office. The arraignment is set to take place tomorrow and fortunately I will not need to be present because the youth plead guilty to possession of a firearm and my assault case is not going to be pursued.

On one hand I’m thankful that I don’t have to testify in court and possibly send the youth to jail for a longer period. Yet on the other hand, I’m unsure if justice is really being served on my behalf. Did the youth decide to obtain a gun because he got tired of fighting people with his bare hands? Is the charge of illegal possession of a firearm a more serious crime than assaulting someone? Justice might be blind, but in some ways I feel that this case is written in Braille.

As I stated above, I did not want the kid to be jailed for his crime against me, rather I was seeking some sort of written apology, but now I don’t think any of that will happen. In this respect, I don’t feel that justice is being served on my behalf. It would have been nice to have some sort of resolution regarding my case, instead of it being subsumed by the weapons charge.

Regardless, my thoughts are with the youth and I hope he does not become a more hardened criminal while he is incarcerated. Or worse, I wonder if he’ll be put on probation and released tomorrow after the trial concludes. I think it would be best to contact the prosecutor tomorrow afternoon to find out what will happen to the youth and if I should keep an eye out for him in my neighborhood.



1/5/09 – 4:30pm – An official from the DC Superior Court delivered another subpoena to me. It was dated December 22nd, 2008, and it would have been nice if I would have received it last year instead of 6 hours after I arrived in court and 12 hours before I was scheduled to appear in court again. Judging by what the prosecutor told me this morning, I can ignore this subpoena, but I called the prosecutor’s phone number on the subpoena and asked her to confirm that my presence is not required in court tomorrow.


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View of a House Party Censored By Colored Dots
|| 10/18/2008 || 7:33 pm || Comments Off on View of a House Party Censored By Colored Dots || ||

Friday night I went to a house party in Columbia Heights. During the party teenagers four houses down were throwing ice and eggs over the fence into the party. A couple of my friends went up to the back deck to escape the carnage. I took this picture and decided to add randomly colored circles over people heads as a way to remember the urban warfare. After all, they were all targets down there….





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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