Letter from a D.C. Veteran
Saturday afternoon I was violently assaulted, beaten unconscious, and robbed in NE DC. Several people came to my aid after the incident, and I was rushed to Howard University Hospital, where I received excellent care. I am posting this is a general notice to friends and family, as I am currently without a phone or laptop (or ID or bank cards), as I have been for more than 48 hours.
The attack occurred while I was taking a few moments to enjoy some peace and quiet on the wooden pedestrian bridge that connects Kingman and Heritage Islands to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and the new “The Fields” complex of sport and recreation facilities adjacent to RFK stadium. I had stopped on the bridge to observe a crane in the water and to reflect for a few moments before heading off for some errands during the remainder of Saturday afternoon.
The perpetrator came up from behind me and knocked me down with a hard sucker punch to the side of my face, and he then jumped on top of me and continued his ruthless assault on my face and body. I honestly don’t remember much after that because I was beaten unconscious. I gradually regained consciousness only to find myself laying in a pool of my own blood.
I am fortunate that several people came to my aid really quickly. They sacrificed their own clothing to help stop my bleeding and went out of their way to direct police and EMTs to the scene. My injuries, thankfully, are relatively minor – lacerations to my face, mouth, and lips, and some damage to my teeth and jaw that may require surgery.
Speaking and eating are bit inhibited at the moment. And as result of head trauma, I am suffering serious headaches and lack of mental focus. And for the robbery, all of my bank and credit cards, my license and my work ID, my cell phone, and my shoulder bag with my laptop and other personal items were all stolen. Heck, even my glasses were taken.
It may be a week or so before I am back online.Having been assaulted three times – twice during daylight hours, once while existing my office building, and once while riding on public transit – I have really lost any faith in the ability of this city to maintain a baseline level of safety and security for its citizens.
I hate to say it, but I don’t feel all that comfortable walking around outside anymore. And I am not sure what I am going to do about that. And having promoted Kingman Island to friends and neighbors for years now, I feel I must dial back my enthusiastic support for the place and the new development happening at RFK.
My unfortunate experience is borne out by the crime stats for Kingman Park generally. (I only wished I had checked the stats before visiting yesterday!) If you visit Kingman Island or check out the new amenities at The Fields at any time — even on a sunny Saturday afternoon — remain alert and vigilant at all times, go with a group, and maintain a safe distance from strangers or people you don’t know, or else you too might end up laying in a puddle of your own blood, begging for help, and asking for answers in a city that has none.