In late August, Alexandria resident Alana Hurley, 22, went to see a sword-swallowing act at the Palace of Wonders. On her way home from the H Street NE bar, she tripped on “a giant fucking hammer laying in the middle of the sidewalk.” She picked it up. “I have a lot of good ideas when I’m drunk,” she writes via e-mail.

A Metro ride later, Hurley and her friends began traipsing through the parking lot at the King Street station. Her new hammer caught the attention of three burly Metro cops, who shined flashlights in her face, told her to sit on the curb, and warned her that her “ass was getting arrested” if she ran, she says. They took the hammer.

According to Metro spokesperson Candace Smith, Hurley was stopped because a customer complained about a woman twirling a hammer. The officers told Hurley to sit down, Smith says, “partially for fear she would fall down.”

Smith says there’s no rule against tools on the Metro. Riders can carry screwdrivers, hammers, or ballpoint pens, she says, unless they decide to use them as weapons. “If you decide to stab someone with it, then that would be illegal,” she says.

Still, Hurley is disturbed about getting busted with an unlicensed home repair tool. She got off without a citation, but she wants her hammer back.

She can have it, Smith says. “If she really wants it, she can give me a call. Just make sure she’s sober.”