The Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.) was not at fault for a bizarre attack that occurred several blocks from the bar in March, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ruled last week. The confrontation, in which a drunken proponent of religion smashed an atheist in the face with a fraternity paddle, started after the victim had left the bar, according to an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator’s report. The paddler was not named in the investigator’s report.
Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
Last week, people began entering Rocklands (2418 Wisconsin Ave.) to angrily accost its employees, according to owner John Snedden. In addition, the restaurant’s tiny “World Headquarters” building on 37th Street was pelted with eggs. “It seems to be an escalation” in a neighborhood campaign to pressure Rocklands into giving up its plans to expand next door, Snedden says. “It’s distressing. We’re not sure where this leads.”
Why the hate for Rocklands, a longtime Glover Park institution? Because some in the neighborhood wrongly hold the restaurant responsible for the likely closing of another institution, Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.). This spring, the barbecue spot accepted its landlords’ offer to expand into the ice cream shop storefront starting July 1. At the time, Snedden was under the impression that Max’s Best owner Max Keshani planned to retire. But in early May, Keshani began telling friends that he had abruptly lost his lease—and that he suspected Snedden was to blame.
Snedden admits he told the landlords last year that he’d be willing to rent the storefront if it ever became available, but he had been doing that twice annually for the past 20 years. According to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Joe Fiorillo, a confidant and strong supporter of Keshani’s, “Rocklands is squeaky clean as far as their business procedures. [Snedden is] a clean-cut guy. I just don’t think you could say that there was any kind of collusion” between Snedden and the landlords over ending Keshani’s lease. In fact, the landlords reportedly had a second tenant lined up in case the Rocklands deal fell through—a sign that they intended to end Max’s tenancy, with or without Rocklands.
Still, some of Keshani’s supporters denounce Rocklands as a “bully” and call for boycotts and demonstrations. One commenter on a “Save Max’s Best Ice Cream” Facebook page with more than 750 followers urged others to rally “thousands” for protests in front of the store, to make Rocklands “bleed cash in response to community disgust.” With this week’s escalation of hostilities, it seems some Max’s devotees are taking these calls to heart.
But what precipitated Keshani’s current situation, Fiorillo says, was not Rocklands’ desire to expand, but a serious communication breakdown between Keshani and his landlords. According to Keshani, the property manager approached him last fall with a demand for a 33% rent increase starting July 1. (The property manager denies this, saying that Keshani was notified at that time that his lease would not be renewed.) Last October, when Keshani told Fiorillo about the expected rent increase, Fiorillo urged his friend to hire a lawyer to negotiate the matter, but that never happened, Fiorillo says. Keshani has said he told the property manager he wanted to negotiate the rent; his daughter, Neda, told the Georgetown Current that Keshani verbally accepted the rent that he claims was proposed. Either way, the property manager sent no lease documents. On April 26, Neda wrote the management firm a letter expressing the ice cream shop’s intent to exercise its option to renew the lease, Fiorillo says. But after 20 years, the lease was likely on its final renewal already, with no further option to renew. One week after Neda’s letter, the property manager gave written notice that the Max’s lease would end on June 30, and a shocked Keshani raised the alarm to friends.
After learning that Keshani was not closing Max’s voluntarily, Snedden wrote the landlords and offered to delay the start of his lease if they wanted Max’s to stay. It’s rumored that a real estate attorney who lives in Glover Park is now representing Keshani pro bono in an effort to extend his tenancy through at least November 30, but the attorney named in the rumor said that he couldn’t confirm any such role and asked that his name not be published. Many supporters have expressed a willingness to donate funds to help Keshani relocate his shop, and several local landlords have offered vacant storefronts, but Keshani says he has no interest in moving. Landlords Gail and Barbara Bassin have not responded to numerous requests for comment.
A black fixie bicycle with bullhorn handlebars was stolen from the sidewalk in front of The Sheffield condominiums (2320 Wisconsin Ave.) one night last month. A Sheffield resident had locked the bicycle up with a steel U-Lock on the evening of February 11. By the following morning, the bike was gone. The lock “cannot be cut with bolt cutters,” the victim told police. “A grinder must have been used.”
A late-night fight outside Max’s Best Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.) has resulted in charges against Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.). Shortly before 1 a.m. on October 20, an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator came across the fight between a Mason Inn bouncer and a male patron of the bar, according to the investigator’s report. While the investigator watched and took photographs, the bouncer lifted the patron off the ground, pushed his head, and kicked him, the report states. Mason Inn staff told the investigator that the patron had been caught doing drugs in the bathroom, and that while being removed from the club, the patron had punched the bouncer in the nose, according to the report.
The report asserts that the Mason Inn violated its security plan, because staffers did not call the police when the altercation escalated. It also asserts that it violated its Voluntary Agreement by failing to keep the front door closed; failing to disperse sources of noise in front of its premises; failing to ensure the security of patrons; and failing to call police when deemed necessary by security staff. Representatives of The Mason Inn will meet with ABRA staff to discuss a settlement of the case.
In other Mason Inn news: shortly after midnight on January 11, a young woman placed her leather wallet on a table at the bar. About an hour later, she noticed it was missing. On the evening of January 21, a young woman left her purse unattended on a table there. When she returned, the purse and its contents were gone. The police have no suspects in either case.
From the December/January 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
A good deed went briefly punished on November 11, after Davar Ashgrizzadeh, owner of Café Romeo’s (2132 Wisconsin Ave.), lent his Toyota Land Cruiser to a homeless man to sleep in. The following morning, the vehicle was missing from the restaurant’s parking lot, and Ashgrizzadeh called police. Soon enough, the vehicle was located and returned to its owner. “We got it back; it wasn’t stolen,” says Ashgrizzadeh. “Somebody who wasn’t authorized to use it was using it.” He declined to elaborate further.
On Friday, September 28 at around 3 p.m., two men in white hats stole another man’s wallet on the sidewalk outside of Glover Park Hardware (2251 Wisconsin Ave.), according to a police source. The thieves, who were not known to the victim, sandwiched him, and one made a grab for his wallet. The suspects then escaped by running south on Wisconsin, but their images were caught on a surveillance camera, the source confirms.
From the September 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
On July 29 around 2 a.m., M. Mihalich and P. Labovich got into a fistfight in front of Z-Burger (2414 Wisconsin Ave.), according to police records. A nearby police officer separated the men. One of the men—it’s not clear which—told the officer that the other had spilled a drink over him. The purported spiller told the officer he didn’t remember spilling a drink on anybody. Both men were arrested for “disorderly affray,” but a search of D.C. court records did not reveal charges filed under either man’s name. The arrests may have led to citations—which are similar to traffic tickets—rather than arraignments, according to a spokeswoman for the courts.
From the September 2012 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
Just after midnight on July 28, a patron of the Mason Inn (2408 Wisconsin Ave.), grabbed the wrist of another patron’s girlfriend and refused to let go, according to a police report. A third man approached the accused grabber to “redirect him away,” at which point the accused grabber grabbed a bottle and hit the would-be redirector in the face, causing minor injuries, according to the report. The accused grabber was charged with simple assault and pled not-guilty. An initial status hearing in the case is scheduled for August 24.
Update: The man entered a deferred prosecution agreement requiring him to complete 32 hours of community service. He successfully completed this service, and the charges against him were dismissed.
On July 2 around 3 p.m., a black Specialized mountain bike was stolen from the bicycle rack in front of 2209 Wisconsin Ave., the home of Ligne Roset and Natuzzi Italia furniture, according to a police report. “Area canvassed with negative results,” the report stated. The bicycle, which was chained to the rack, was worth about $200, according to the report.
At 7:13 a.m. today, the Metropolitan Police Department received a report of a sexual assault in the parking lot behind Bruegger’s Bagels (2338 Wisconsin Ave.), a spokesman says. The parking lot is currently closed while police investigate.
UPDATE: A member of the Glover Park Yahoo newsgroup reports that she was in the parking lot around 7 a.m. and saw police find “two drunken girls laying on the grass who could not stand up.”
UPDATE 2: As of Thursday, July 12, this incident was still under investigation. According to MPD Captain Jeffrey Herold, ”an unconscious female” whose “clothing was disheveled” was discovered in the Bruegger’s parking lot on the morning of July 7. The woman couldn’t remember what had happened to her, and no witnesses were identified, but police believe a sexual assault “could have been committed,” Herold says. The woman lives in Maryland, he adds.