Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

What Metro should say about the L'Enfant Plaza attack video

January 7, 2011 - 01:09 PM
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On Sunday night an innocent man named Allen Haywood was brutally attacked by some kids inside the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station. A YouTube video of the attack surfaced on the blog Unsuck DC Metro and subsequently went viral, at least by Metro video standards. The agency put together a terse official statement, mostly highlighting Metro's appropriate conduct, that has slowly trickled out to blogs today.

Referring to an "unfortunate" incident at L'Enfant on Sunday, the statement says that transit police are investigating and would like to talk to any witnesses to the assault. The statement makes no mention of the video that, according to YouTube, has now been watched by nearly 150,000 people.

This morning WTOP's Adam Tuss tweeted his outrage over the fact that no Metro officials would go on the air with him to talk about the incident. He said even Metro spokespeople were told by higher-ups not to discuss the matter. Tuss tweeted more recently that he in fact will get an on-air interview sometime today, only after he threatened to "slam" the agency in his story.

To help Metro get out in front of this story -- or rather, to finally catch up with it -- we've put together an addendum they may want to tack on to their original statement. The words are ours, of course, but whoever speaks with Tuss should feel free to use any or all of them:

Like many riders, we here at Metro have seen the video of the attack that occurred at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station on Sunday evening. The video is very disturbing. We want Metro riders to know that the Metro Transit Police Department is investigating the assault and working hard to find the responsible parties. We also want riders to know that Metro remains a safe system, one that's staffed by employees who care about riders' well-being. Transit police and station employees are doing everything they can to make Metro the secure system that customers deserve.

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