Owner of Southeast DC home where Valentine’s Day standoff occurred speaks out

Gail Perkins,
Gail Perkins, the owner of a D.C. home where a Valentine’s Day standoff with police occurred, says she didn’t know about the situation on her property until she saw it on the news. (WTOP/Matt Kaufax)
Gail Perkins home
Tire marks remain visible from a standoff between a man and D.C. police on Valentine’s Day. (WTOP/Matt Kaufax)
Gail Perkins,
Gail Perkins home

The owner of a Southeast D.C. home on Hanna Place, where three D.C. police officers were shot at and injured during an hourslong standoff on Valentine’s Day, said she tried to evict the man staying in her home for months.

“I have been to hell and back,” Gail Perkins, owner of the property, said Friday afternoon.

Perkins said she didn’t know about the standoff on her property until she saw it on the news.

“This is the first time I’ve been back here since the incident,” she told media assembled outside her home, where the front lawn remains warped from the tire tracks from police vehicles that came onto her property.

Perkins rented out the home she grew up in to Stephen Rattigan, 48, in December of 2022. She rented out the property to get experience as a landlord. However, Perkins said this could be the last time she ever rents out the house.

“He [Rattigan] had an incident the month after he moved in,” Perkins said.

Perkins said she progressively became increasingly concerned about Rattigan’s presence in her childhood home after neighbors reported an unsafe environment caused by loose dogs roaming freely around the property. Law enforcement said Rattigan had 31 dogs in total, which he would frequently curse out, yell at, and physically assault.

Police were serving a warrant for animal cruelty on Wednesday when they said Rattigan shot through the front door at three officers, injuring them.

“Those police — I commend them,” Perkins said. “I salute them. I pray for them.”

But Perkins also said she had been trying to get Rattigan out of the home for at least six months before Wednesday.

“I was in full pursuit of justice. And I went through the channels,” Perkins said.

Gail and her son, Ebbon Allen, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) member for public safety in Ward 7, had been trying to evict Rattigan after they grew tired of the repeated incidents — and wary of the danger his animals posed.

Perkins told WTOP that she tried to go through courts, legislature and public safety apparatuses. But she said at every turn, she kept running into red tape.

“The system is faulty,” Perkins said, who also revealed she was considering running for an ANC commissioner position as a result of the Wednesday standoff.

“We need to legislate new laws for tenants and landlords in Washington, D.C.,” she said, adding that if she had been able to evict Rattigan sooner, the situation may not have reached its boiling point.

“I have a relationship with these people,” Perkins said of her neighbors on Hanna Place, who she stated also tried for months to have Rattigan evicted.

“What you saw Wednesday was an act of God,” she said. “We will rebuild.”

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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