For unpaid positions with little real political power, the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions inspire a surprising amount of violence, including a 2014 shoving match. Now, in what may be the most notable instance of ANC-related brutality, a Ward 8 ANC member was arrested today after allegedly throwing a brick at a political rival.
One-time Ward ANC8E02 hopeful Joshua Johnson was walking on Alabama Ave. SE on Sept 15, according to a police report, when he encountered incumbent commissioner Anthony Muhammad.
Muhammad, a failed 2015 Ward 8 D.C. Council candidate and a member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, had already foiled Johnson’s bid for the ANC seat by challenging his residency.
But, as Johnson later told police, Muhammad allegedly wasn’t done with him yet.
“Looky, looky here,” Muhammad told Johnson on Sept. 15, according to police files first reported by NBC4’s Mark Segraves. “Didn’t think I’d see you here again anymore after I knocked you off the ballot.”
“OK, you knocked me off, so what?” Johnson recalls telling Muhammad.
Rather than leave their dispute to the D.C. Board of Elections, though, Muhammad allegedly responded by throwing a brick or rock at his former foe, an attack corroborated to police by a witness. Police arrested Muhammad today on a misdemeanor assault charge.
This isn’t the first time Johnson and Muhammad have allegedly come close to violence. In an August lawsuit, later dismissed by a judge, Muhammad claimed that Johnson threatened him with a knife.
For his part, Johnson tells LL that Muhammad warned him that he “would die” if he pursued the ANC seat.
“This is a non-paid position!” Johnson says. “Are you serious?”
Update, 6:30 p.m.: Muhammad denies throwing a brick at Johnson.
“Wow, so you get charged for missing at somebody with a brick and go to jail?” Muhammad says. “Is that how it works?”
ANC 8B commissioner Paul Trantham tells LL that he witnessed the exchange and didn’t see Muhammad throwing anything at his one-time rival.
“It’s his word against his,” Trantham says.