Tourist pepper sprayed on subway yesterday, frustrating interaction with transport police

Tourist pepper sprayed on subway yesterday, frustrating interaction with transport police

“Dear Popville,

I am visiting the United States for the first time, I arrived 2 days ago in Washington before leaving for Phillie tomorrow. I love the city BTW!!

But I have no idea what to expect in terms of security, police or if I should be careful.

In any event around 4:30 p.m., at the Enfant Plazawe took the escalator to the lower platform to go to the other side of the red line.

Upon reaching the bottom of the escalator and being almost on the blue line platform, someone sprayed my arm from the escalator going up.

I immediately noticed and told the two police officers on the blue line platform (literally 2 meters away) that the man with a Nike backpack and a basket full of groceries sprayed me something thing, showing them my arm with a big mark of orange liquid. I pointed at him while he was still on the escalator and they caught him.

I had no idea what it was, so they asked me to follow them. One officer was searching the guy and his cart, the other took me and my girlfriend to the side to ask us questions.

He asked us several times what had happened, if we were sure of what had happened despite the fact that I had my arm with a big orange mark raised in front of it and my girlfriend had burning skin on her face (around her left eye).

He asked us several times if we wanted a doctor. I don’t know the procedures in the USA so I said I don’t know but do I have to wipe off the liquid?? In case it’s dangerous or something. I was expecting a “wait we take a picture and they give me the tissue”.. maybe I watch too many movies, who knows… no no, he just said “yes wipe it off”.

He asked us again if we needed a doctor as they couldn’t find anything on the guy, gave me his phone number and let us go.

While waiting for the metro, I noticed that my lips were burning, because I must have touched my face somehow… my girlfriend confirmed that her face was also burning a little…

On the way to the hotel, I googled chilli spray in the DC subway, to see if there was any history, people playing stupid games or whatever, then I saw your message and the orange color on the face mask!! So I figured (and it was a relief) it must be “only” pepper spray.

I texted the officer to let him know we were fine but based on the color, burn and history in the DC subway (share your article) I thought it was gas pepper. He asked me to call him back, which I did.

He said in a very disappointing way “like I said earlier, what do you want me to do?” File a complaint, see a doctor? It’s “he says, she says”.

I told him it was more for the record, in case they asked for the ID of the guy they caught, if it ever happened again…
He said ok thanks bye…

Other than that event, I absolutely loved Washington!

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