Witness: Saturday commute had beating at Anacostia station, rowdy teens at L'Enfant Plaza

The woman was heading to Anacostia on Saturday when she noticed a group of people at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station acting a bit unruly. They were punching the cars, she says, spooking the passengers inside. Through the ruckus, the woman kept moving to catch a green line train. That scene alone might be enough to rattle Metro passengers, but on this night, it was hardly the worst of it.


(Photo: Jay Westcott)

The young woman, who didn’t want her name used in this report, on Sunday described a commuters’ nightmare — a rowdy mess at L'Enfant, followed by a scary confrontation inside a Metro car and finally violent beatings outside a station. The entire affair, she says, happened in a single trip.

“It just seemed like the problem was never-ending,” she says. “From Point A to B to C, it just never stopped."

There’s no incident report from the beating, a Metro spokesperson said in an e-mail. That’s because authorities were called to the Anacostia station Saturday night but when they arrived, there were no victims or suspects to interview.

“Metro Transit Police were called,” wrote WMATA spokesperson Cathy Asato. “but found nothing when they got to the station.”

Here’s what happened on the green line train, according to the witness: A group of boys — a separate group than the bunch that originally caused concern earlier in L'Enfant — was aboard the train bound for Branch Avenue. The witness wasn’t sitting in the middle of the car; she watched from a seat closer to the doors. The boys were harassing a small group of girls, she says. A bottle was thrown, other passengers looked fearful. The woman was worried too, but she wasn’t sure what to do. There was a box cutter with her and an emergency call button in the car. She focused on the tool instead of the call box, she says, because she didn’t want the boys’ attention or ire.

"I don’t know how the call boxes work,” she says. “I don't know if you press it and it makes a noise."

A few passengers ditched the train, and another woman with a baby had to tell the boys to stay away from her stroller, the woman says. When they reached the Anacostia station, the boys got off of the car, but not before throwing the liquid from the bottle at a girl. The woman also got off the train at Anacostia, leaving the car at the same time as a man who was also bothered by what he saw.

“He was like, ‘This is a shame and I knew this was gonna happen,’” she says. “I guess stuff like this happens all the time? I don't know. I've only been riding the Metro for about a week."

To recap, the woman has already witnessed punched cars and passenger assaults in just a few stops. Her night wasn’t over yet, though. Outside the Anacostia stop, she found the boys from aboard the train beating a girl whom she previously noticed inside the station. This girl, a different victim than the woman from the train, was being pummeled by about seven to nine people.

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