Friday, June 08, 2007

Crime in My Neighborhood
I realized something was going on in my neighborhood at about 3:30AM on Thursday morning, as I was driving around trying to find a place to park a U-Haul van (that's a whole different story). There were police cars all over the place, they seemed to be concentrated at the 7-11 at N. Cleveland St. and Lee Highway. Apparently, none of them thought it was strange for a guy to be driving a rental truck around cruising for parking spaces at this time of night, as none of them gave me a second look, even after I parked and walked back to my building.

Three hours later (not exactly a good night's sleep), I was up again, retrieving the truck. By then the area was teeming with media types, complete with those trucks with those huge, skyward reaching antennas that, in earlier times, used to signal that Monica Lewinsky was in the vicinity.

I went on with my day, and didn't give it much thought. After work, I was at the 7-11. There was still a presence. I asked the guy at 7-11 what those three huge trucks were doing across the street. He hadn't noticed. As I left 7-11, I drove through the center of activity. There were reporters standing on the sidewalk. I rolled down my window and asked WTTG reporter Bob Barnard what was going on. He was very nice (unlike Channel 4 reporter Jackie Bensen -- the one who always looks like she's in the middle of a hurricane -- who once acted like I was invisible during a similar inquiry), and asked me if I had heard about the plastic-bag predator, and said that he had struck there the previous night. Wow. I got back home in time to get the scoop on the 6 o'clock news.

Apparently, the guy knocked on a woman's door at about 1:30AM. For some reason she opened the door, saw him and his plastic bag, screamed and shut the door. The guy fled, and the police looked for him. They thought they found him, but they later released the suspect, although it sounds like they still think it might be him.

Later last night, I watched WTTG news, and poor Bob Barnard was still standing on the corner, where he did a live report. He interviewed a woman with distracting eyebrows who was clearly very excited that she'd be able to share her personality with the world via TV, and tell everyone that she was taking a self-defense class. Great.

Here's an article about it in the Washington Post, which is pretty half-assed, as in the second paragraph it refers to the event as happening "near Lee Highway and Cleveland Street in Rosslyn." Lee Highway and North Cleveland Street is not in Rosslyn, Joe Holley. Rosslyn is that area across Key Bridge with all the big buildings.

In any case, it was very exciting for our generally dull neighborhood. I had a more traditional morning this morning, which didn't involve rental trucks, so I didn't notice anything unusual. Be careful out there.


Ed. said...

That's a lot of media for a criminal who has, as far as I know, been easily deterred by 100% of his intended female victims. Not exactly the shotgun guy from several years ago, remember that?

But an important point of your post is that the woman, as you pointed out, inexplicably answered the door. Great that this time it was a guy who was going door to door with a plastic bag asking women's permission to place it over their head if it's not too much trouble, but that woman is an idiot.

If a woman opens her door late at night to a stranger, then what decisions will she make at all for her own defense and safety? Idiotic.

tadcranky said...

I've heard some members of the media say that this guy obviously plans to kill these people, as he hasn't ask for money or anything to indicate that it's a robbert. Right. I'm thinking a more likely scenario is that he likes to scare the hell out of unsuspecting women, who then chase him away.

Agreed on the stupidity of opening your door to a stranger in the middle of the night.