Saturday, September 10, 2005

# Posted 9:40 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OXBLOG ASSAULTED WITH A DEADLY WEAPON. LITERALLY. Last night, just as I turned the corner from 14th St. onto Monroe, I felt something go "thwack" against the back of my head. It was more surprising than painful, although it did hurt. I thought I was alone.

Unsure of what happened, I reached back with my hand and felt something sticking out of my head. I pulled it out and looked at it. It was made of metal, was around four inches long, had a sharp point at one end and a yellow plastic tip at the other. I was bleeding, but not all that bad.

I turned around and saw behind me, on the far side of 14th St., a group of three young men who had just passed coming the other way, i.e. down Monroe and toward 14th. They hadn't said anything to me or even made eye contact, but I had noticed that two of them were carrying long shiny objects, one of which seemed to have a round, wooden attachment at one end that made me think it was a golf club.

For a moment, I thought about doing nothing and just continuing my walk home. But then I decided to call 911, because having a dart fired at one's head is a very bad thing. I told the operator what happened and where and told her that I was going to continue on home rather than waiting for the police where I was. She asked if I needed an ambulance and I said no.

Around ten minutes later, two squad cars drove up to my building. I hadn't expected them to come so fast. One of the officers asked me to tell him what happened. When I told him about the "golf club", he told me that he owned a blowgun himself and that that is exactly what the mouthpiece on it looks like.

Along with the dart, that was more than enough evidence to persuade him that I had been shot at with a blowgun. On his pad he wrote down "ADW Blowgun", ADW being the abbreviation for Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Shortly after the one officer started asking me questions, the other officer drove off in search of the perpetrators, although not with much expectation of finding them. There had been a group of witnesses, a second group of young men sitting in front of a construction site just across the street from where I was hit.

The officer said that they were there to deal drugs, that he would ask them if they saw anything and that they would tell him they didn't. Given the absence of cultural attractions at the corner of 14th & Monroe (there is a theater one block away which was not open last night), I guess that this second group of young men did, in fact, consist primarily of pharmaceutical representatives.

The officer also told me that there had been blowgun attacks in the past, including a number of drive-by attacks in Dupont Circle, but nothing recently. He said that if I saw the suspects again, I could call in a second sighting. He also said it was possible that I would be asked to pick the suspects out of a line up.

This afternoon I saw a young man just a few yards down 14th St. from the corner of Monroe. It was a close match, but I was driving at the time and didn't get a good enough look at him, so I decided not to report to anything.

And that is how the story ends. It doesn't really have a moral. I was assaulted for no reason except that I was vulnerable. The perpetrators were not caught. But I needed to write about the incident in order to get over what happened.
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