Goethe Institut Harasser

This weekend, I experienced the most abusive verbal street harassment of my life. I was walking with my sister in Chinatown to get coffee, and a man who appeared to be homeless was sitting in front of the Goethe Institut and asked us for money. I very politely apologized and said that I didn’t have anything to give him (which was true- I very rarely carry cash). We continued walking, and the man glared at us and said, “You won’t give a white guy money, but you’ll spread your ass cheeks and bend over and let some coon stick it to you.” My sister and I were shocked. We turned around, mouths wide open, and I said, “Excuse me, that is not OK.” We continued walking, and the man shouted after us, “I hope you choke on a coon dick.”

My sister and I were both incredibly shaken by this extremely violent and racist attack, and we kept walking in hopes of finding a police officer, but none were there (which is rare in that area). After we had gotten our coffee, we started walking back. We were going to bypass the guy to avoid any trouble, but we saw someone about to leave him some leftovers. I quietly said to the guy, “Excuse me, I know you are trying to help, but I think you should know what this man just said to my sister and I.” The man looked as shocked as we had been, took his food, and said, “Man, you can’t talk to women like that.” As we walked by, my sister tried to subtly take a picture of the harasser with her phone. He got really angry and started to get up and come towards us. We quickly ran across the street, where I called the police.

Now, this part of the story is almost as upsetting as the incident itself. I explained the situation to the 911 dispatcher and suggested that perhaps they should send someone to the area. The dispatcher then asked, “Is the man black or Hispanic.” I was taken aback, and had to explain that the man was actually white. He said he would send a car there, but by then, the guy had figured out what I was doing and went on his way, so I told them not to bother.

Living in DC, I have experienced my share of street harassment, and while it still gets to me, I am usually able to blow it off. This incident, however, has left me incredibly troubled. I know that there is a high incidence of mental health issues amongst the homeless, but this guy exhibited completely reasoned racist and sexist hate. Just thinking of how easily such violent sex, gender, and race-based insults came to his mind still makes me cringe.

Submitted by AS on 5/24/2010

Location: 7th and I Sts NW, right in front of the Goethe Institut

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11 responses to “Goethe Institut Harasser

  1. Golden Silence

    Scary as it was, I’m glad that you had the guts to take his photo. Now the whole world will know what this guy’s up to!

    The fact that he’s a repeat offender shows that he’s a problem. And as usual, it seems as if MPD is useless. I can’t believe they were racially profiling like that!

    I hope there isn’t a third story posted about this guy! Something needs to be done to get him off the street. He obviously has mental issues and a deep-seated racial and gender hatred.

  2. It really bothers me that it seems like this post and the last post were written about the same guy.

    After at least 2 stories, and I’m sure way more that weren’t posted, the police should really look into this guy. If nothing else, to get him help if it’s because of a mental illness.

    Who knows when this type of verbal abuse may escalate to something worse?

  3. I work the block up from the Goethe Institut and I see this guy a fair amount with a woman sitting in that exact spot where he’s sitting in the picture.

    I’ve gotten the sense he’s kind of a disturbed, angry guy.

  4. I saw this guy Tuesday. My boss walked by and he asked for money. She apologized, said she didn’t have any, and kept walking. He told her to go choke on her lunch. I guess choking is a theme.

  5. Hi, I wrote the first post this morning about this guy. I thought I’d follow up by saying that we talked to a cop down by Gallery Place about this guy. He said he’d gotten a lot of complaints about him but that he was crazy and so we should just ignore him. I replied that if he was crazy, WE should ignore he but the police shouldn’t! He reiterated that there was nothing he could do (I’m pretty sure that isn’t true) and told us to “get over it”. Thank you MPD, helpful as always.

  6. “Get over it”?!?! So this guy has to damn near physically attack someone in order for the MPD to take it seriously?

    And people wonder why I’m pro vigilante.

  7. It’s called freedom of speech. Violence is illegal, words are not violence.

  8. bleh // May 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Reply

    It’s called freedom of speech. Violence is illegal, words are not violence.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Loitering and harassing are not legal. He should at least be forced to move on.

  9. I’ve also been told to choke on my lunch by this man, outside of a flower shop in Foggy Bottom. I couldn’t believe how vicious he was; I’ve never had anyone else respond the way he does!

  10. I think that is the same guy the verbally attacked me on my way to work. I work on 17th and K Street. I had just left the metro station, and was waiting for the light to change when he asked me for money. I told him that I did not have cash with me and he started ranting. He called me a black bitch and starting talking about how all black women were on welfare. I just ignored him, but he kept shouting until the light changed and I crossed the street. I think he his mentally ill.

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