The woman who was allegedly assaulted at the Georgia Avenue–Petworth station this week says Metro Transit Police “didn’t ask if I needed help or if I was OK.”
Tracey, 33, who asked to be identified only by her first name, reached out to City Desk and provided additional details about the incident. A Petworth resident for eight years, Tracey said the alleged assault was the first time she’s been harmed on Metro. She said the two “girls” who chased her into the station appeared to be in their early 20s and African American—one heavyset and wearing white jeans, the other about 130 pounds and wearing pink. Three men and a baby had been in a blue Altima with them, she said.
Tracey explained that the women seemed motivated to get revenge on her for having touched the car. The cardboard box that the pair allegedly threw at her was “about the size of a shoebox,” but heavy because it was filled with bus schedules, she added. Tracey said the box hit her on the right side of the head, not causing her to bleed but leaving a sore spot.
The women exited the station laughing, she noted.
“I was down there for a good amount of time” before two MTPD officers showed up 15 to 20 minutes later, Tracey said. “At that point, I’m upset—everyone has been treating this as a joke. They kind of took a basic statement, but they weren’t interested really. They didn’t ask if I needed help or if I was OK.”
On Thursday, a Metro spokesperson confirmed that MTPD officers responded to the station at about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday within five minutes of being notified and recorded a simple assault. Tracey disputes that the response time was so quick. The spokesperson added that Metro had forwarded the victim’s account that appeared on local blog PopVille “to the appropriate supervisors for follow up.”
Two Metropolitan Police Department officers came to the scene and walked her to her home several blocks away, Tracey said. (“The D.C. police were really good—they took all the details,” she said.) She normally takes Metro to work everyday, but on Thursday drove her car. At home on Friday for a doctor’s appointment, Tracey said she’ll need to take public transit next week because parking near by her office is expensive, but will likely avoid the Georgia Avenue–Petworth station for a while and take the bus.
“I would have been better off going into the Dunkin’ Donuts,” Tracey said. “[Metro employees] did call the police, it’s not like they didn’t do anything, but obviously there’s an altercation going on and it’s escalating so you can do something.” She adds that she would like to press charges if police can identify the suspects.
“I don’t remember Metro being as unsafe as it has been in the last six months or so,” Tracey said. “The way the whole thing went down, I was thinking, ‘Is this really happening?’ I needed to say something to somebody.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery