WASHINGTON – A new Metro report says the Deanwood Metrorail station in Northeast Washington was the most dangerous stop on the transit system last year.
Deanwood topped the list with 67 cases of serious crime, which can include robbery, rape, auto theft or assault. The Anacostia station came in second, followed by the L’Enfant Plaza, Suitland and College Park stations.
The five safest stations were Arlington Cemetery, Clarendon, Eisenhower Avenue, Farragut West and Virginia Square-GMU.
The report is scheduled to be presented to Metro boardmembers on Thursday.
Metro overall had a 16 percent decline in serious incidents in 2011 following a six-year high recorded in 2010.
The violence caught public attention after a video surfaced in January 2011 of a man being attacked by a group of young people. He cried for help repeatedly but no bystanders came to his aid, including the person filming the assault.
A few weeks later, a brawl between two teenagers was caught on film. Other teens cheered and recorded the fight on their phones. Again, nobody nearby did anything to help.
Last March, a Guardian Angel was attacked at the Anacostia station as he tried to help a woman being assaulted by a young man.
“The youths were harassing the girls. They were making fun of them because they were white and because of the way they were dressed,” John Ayala, East Coast director of the Guardian Angels, tells WTOP. “The girl got up and told the youths, ‘We are not afraid of you.'”
That’s when the fight started, says Ayala.
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles in June pinned much of the spike in violence and “quick snap” theft on teenagers, particularly at the busier stations.
“(At) transfer stations like Metro Center and L’Enfant Plaza, which have high ridership, you’ll see a lot of it,” he said.
The transit agency responded by changing police deployments, particularly at stations where there were “gangs of people milling about and getting into fights,” said Sarles.
“If you go through those stations today — and I do quite frequently — you’ll see a lot more uniformed police out there as well as deployment of plainclothes (officers),” he said.
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