This is in response to
the letter written by Jerry V. Kaigler (The Mail, 6/7). It is clear from his criticism of your article that he has no clue about the tyranny of “Red” (“Battered Neighborhood Syndrome,” 5/31).
I lived in Brookland for more than 10 years, and the “Red” guy was always a serious menace and remains so. Contrary to Kaigler’s assertion that he never “abused anyone, or done any crime that has done anybody any real harm,” a neighbor of mine was attacked by “Red” and hit on the head with one of his empty liquor bottles. Fortunately, her injuries were not too severe. I was routinely threatened with loud, abusive, and hatefully racist language. As a guy, I felt less threatened. A woman walking her baby has fewer defenses against this maniac.
My family, neighbors, and friends invested lots, and I mean lots, of time and energy establishing a community cooperative nonprofit supermarket in the neighborhood. The D.C. Council and the Ward 5 Business Association were well represented at the opening ceremonies. It showed great promise due to community support and the needs of the citizens of Brookland.
It closed, in significant part because “Red” took up residence in the parking lot and in front of the door and abused, attacked, screamed at, and threatened every customer who tried to patronize the store. He could not be driven away. Lots of citizen effort and community involvement went down the drain. It was a dreadful shame.
In part because “Red” made life so difficult for those of us who lived in Brookland (unlike Kaigler), I, like Kaigler, now live in Hyattsville. I do not want “Red” to make a similar move, although I would be interested to see if Kaigler would extend an invitation to “Red” to live in his front yard.
“Red” is a true menace to society, not a “gentleman,” as Kaigler describes him. Kaigler bemoans the fact that the Washington City Paper article had “nothing positive to say at all.” That’s because there is nothing positive to say.
Sorry you are “very disappointed,” Mr. Kaigler, but walk a mile in the shoes of someone from Brookland and learn what needs to be done with “Red.” He’s gotta go.