City Desk

Woman Charged With Assaulting Police Officer During Snowball Fight

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It turns out that there was another cop vs. snowball fight incident today. We reprinted an e-mailed account of the snowball incident which took place outside Wonderland shortly after the bar closed. Police officials confirm that a woman was arrested as a result of the incident. She has been charged with assaulting a police officer, a felony. What was her weapon? An ice-packed snowball.

Unlike the infamous gun incident, the officer involved was on-duty and did not respond by brandishing his weapon. Instead, he arrested the woman during a fairly tense scene, according to Third District Commander Jacob Kishter.

Kishter says the woman had hurled a snowball into the officer's police cruiser, striking him in the face. Police had arrived on the scene at 11th Street NW after receiving a call for "a large disorderly snowball fight."

Kishter says the officers approached the snowball fight with caution. "When the officers got on the scene, instead of pulling right into the block, they were in sight—not in snowball reach," Kishter says. "The officers put their overhead lights on to get their attention to move on. The way it was explained to me, there were people on each side of 11th Street and they were having a snowball fight across 11th."

The officers' presence and the flashing blue and red cruiser lights did not put a halt to the snowball fight. "Nobody was moving on," Kishter says. So the officers drive into the block.

People start throwing snowballs at the patrol cars.

One officer rolls down his window to get a better look at what's going on. He watches a woman hurl a snow ball at his window. The snowball strikes him in the face. "It was snow packed with ice," Kishter says. "It was like a missile.... Almost like a rock."

At that point, the officer called for backup. Eventually, at least four officer show up to address the snowball fight. But when the uniform officers approach the crowd, the snowball fight continues with one important difference. The snowball fighters had fresh targets.  "[The officers] start getting snowballs thrown at them," Kishter says. "Nobody pulled their guns."

Kishter explains that after the infamous incident in December, he went to roll calls and instructed his officers on other, non-lethal ways of combating a snowball fight.

The officer was able to pull the woman who hit him out of the crowd. The arrest effectively ended the snowball fight [see video]. The crowd broke up. The woman was charged with APO. Kishter thinks that she is 21 years old. This is her first arrest.

The officer is doing fine. The snowball may have left a bruise on his face. But other than that, Kishter says, he basically "shook it off."

UPDATE, 4:18 P.M.: Maria Louis Maria Lewis is the woman who was charged with the felony APO. According to her roommate, Lauren Barthel, she is still being held at D.C. Superior Court's central booking. She won't be released until the court re-opens and she's arraigned. There's still the potential that a judge could hold her at the D.C. Jail.

Barthel's account provided to City Desk differs significantly from Commander Kishter's narrative of events. She says that she and Louis Lewis had spent the night dancing at Wonderland where they bonded with their neighbors who all lived near the bar. After the bar closed, she says, about 35 people engaged in a "friendly" snowball fight across 11th Street in front of Wonderland.

After about 15 minutes, nine police cars pulled up. Some parked on 11th in the middle of the snowball fight. "They just parked and got out of their vehicles," Barthel says. "They never gave us an order to disperse. Had they given us an opportunity to disperse, this would not have happened."

Barthel says that she and Louis Lewis decided they didn't need such order, and started to head home. "We were starting to walk home when the police came up and stopped us," she says. The two had gotten a half block away; they live only three blocks from Wonderland.

An officer then arrested Louis Lewis. Barthel says she repeatedly asked the cops about why her roommate was being charged. She followed her roommate was placed in a patrol car. She continued to question the police the whole time. An officer turned around and ordered her back onto the sidewalk. If she failed to comply, he threatened to have her arrested as well. She complied.

Barthel says that there were no ice missiles being thrown. Nor did she see any direct hits on any officers or their patrol cars. "I did not see anyone aiming at the police," she adds.

Louis Lewis, Barthel adds, was just dumbfounded by her arrest.

"Until the police showed up, it was a fun way to meet people in the area," Barthel says. "Their response was completely unnecessary force."

UPDATE, 5 P.M., 2/11: The woman's name is Maria Lewis, not Louis.

File photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • sedcdude

    "NEARLY ALL MEN CAN STAND ADVERSITY, BUT IF YOU WANT TO TEST A MANS CHARACTER GIVE HIM POWER." -Abraham Lincoln

  • xyz

    I find people live in DC do not know what's fun and humor. boring.

  • K

    I have no problem with the police perspective as you present it, Really. My issue is that, based on several eye-witness accounts, and frankly, the cops' own statement, there is reasonable doubt whether or not this particular woman threw the snowball in question.

    I don't have a problem with a cop arresting someone for drunk/disorderly/simple assault of cop. I DO have a problem with a cop who will arrest the most convenient person, whether or not they were actually the one who assaulted said cop in the first place.

  • BIGBOB

    @K that bitch is being introduced to urban life. They lock up the wrong person very often east of the river. Good thing is the court was closed so she had a great experience I'm sure. The whole thing in a shell is adults don't play children's games.

  • Truth Hurts

    @ sedcdude: I too enjoy quotes from historic figures, and Lincoln was a genius at wordsmithing.

  • KOBE

    BIBOB, you must be another booty bandit?!

    Why refer to the young lady as such?? I see you favor the MANGUS as well!!

  • steve b

    i was in adams morgan back in november. i watch as a gang (and it was a gang their color was purple) trying to pop a lock on a bicycle right there on the main drag, in front of hundreds of people! a cop was standing there in their veiw! so i walked over to the cop and told him what was in progress. he look at me i even pointed at the gentleman as he rode by on the stolen bike. the cop looked at me like what do you want me to do? finially after seeing my reaction to this and seeing that i wanted to see some action done. he give chase after the guy was a block away(no joke, a block) ha that guy was long gone!!! while it was happening the cop had to have seen them! because they seen him!!! good going guys, keeping the streets safe?

  • Seducedd

    @sedcdude,
    I just spoke with your parents and pediatrician and they both agree that you are an mistake and the shame of your ancestors. Rage Against the Machine wants their T-shirts back too. All of them want to drill you in the face with a snowball while you play your video games.

    "typing in "all caps" doesn't really make you write louder, stupid."
    -George Thomas Jefferson

  • sedcdude

    @ seduced

    "THE EAR OF JEALOUSY HEARETH ALL THINGS, BUT UNDERSTANDS NOTHING" - sedcdude inspired by ......

    I JUST SPOKE TO YOUR PARENTS AND ARE THEY RETARDED CUZ ' YOU SURE ARE SPECIAL!!

  • Frankie
  • Pingback: The best baseball injury of the year, and snowball fighting that results in a felony « Wide World of Stuff

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