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When Marvin “Weebird” Ragland’s mother moved out of the house she owns at 1244 Jackson Street NE, she cut off the water supply to discourage her son and his cohorts from hanging around the house. After that didn’t work, she had the toilet and bathtub removed. “She was thinking that if they didn’t have any place to put their relief, they would go elsewhere,” says neighbor Lisa Johnson-Core, who adds that Weebird and company still frequent the house and sometimes use the back yard as their own personal restroom. Johnson-Core has corralled her Brookland neighbors in a campaign to end disruptive activity at the house, which they say is a base for drug dealing and other illicit endeavors. They’ve complained to police and other city agencies, but “nothing would get done,” says Johnson-Core. “Maybe it’s not high-priority. People fussing isn’t the same thing as ‘We see blood.’” But Theresa Lewis, administrator of the Housing Regulation Division at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), says inspectors from her division have been to the house three times in the last year, once to investigate complaints of “human feces.” Weebird may have caught wind of the impending inspection, though, and poop-scooped the yard. This month DCRA inspectors posted red signs on the building barring Weebird and anyone else from entering. “Catching them in there is the problem,” notes Lewis.
Fashion Statement When foes of the convention center tussled with police before the D.C. Council’s vote on the issue last Tuesday, At-Large Councilmember Harold Brazil slipped away from his seat behind the dais and wound up in the middle of the fury. “These things can get ugly,” said Brazil, who rearranged overturned chairs as the protesters were being evicted. “I just went out to calm them down a bit.” But even as he preached law and order, Brazil also roiled things up a bit. Before speaking in favor of the controversial project, he strutted to his seat sporting a black “Convention Center Yes” T-shirt. Opponents booed, and one woman was ejected after loudly voicing her displeasure. Nice going, Harold.
Bottled Anger Weather watchers rightly forecast that last Saturday would be a scorcher, so fans
attending Team USA’s soccer doubleheader came to RFK bearing all sorts of fluids. The stadium’s beverage policy, posted on signs at each entrance, states that glass and metal containers are strictly taboo, but security staff were on orders to confiscate plastic water bottles, too. As they seized everyone’s Evian and threw the contraband into huge piles at each gate, guards told angry ticketholders that an expanded ban was in place for the five-hour event because, in the past, soccer fans had pelted players with the bottles. That explanation didn’t hold much water, since, once inside the stadium, RFK vendors offered those same fans the chance to purchase easy-to-throw 20-ounce plastic water bottles for three dollars. But maybe all the bounty didn’t go to waste: Security staff and police working at field level, where temperatures hit triple digits, were seen passing around grocery bags filled with mix-and-match plastic water containers as the day wore on. When asked to justify the conduct of the event staff, Chief James Love, head of security at the stadium, said he couldn’t. “I didn’t know we had a water ban,” claimed Love.
Warning Sign When Rockville resident Paul Kuhn spotted a seat-belt checkpoint set up by police at 22nd and P Streets NW last Monday night, he made a beeline to CVS. Kuhn picked up some neon poster board and a black magic marker, and then headed back to 21st and P, where he displayed his handmade sign, “Seat Belt Check Point,” for all drivers to see. The officers on duty were chagrined by Kuhn’s foray into civil disobedience and arrested him on the spot for assault of a police officer. Kuhn’s claim that he laid not a hand on either of the arresting officers actually jibes with the offense: According to Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Kenny Bryson, interfering with an officer’s duty can fall under the legal statute for assault. “Because they chose to harass me, they lost the entire night’s actions at the checkpoint,” sneers Kuhn.
Reporting by Laura Lang, Dave McKenna, Michael Schaffer, and Jake Tapper.
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