On Monday morning, employees at the Barrack’s Row Frame of Mine (545 Eighth St. SE) were cleaning up shattered plate glass after a man stormed down the 500 block of Eighth St. SE around midnight Sunday night, shattering the front windows of four businesses and the windshield of a car before he was apprehended by police.
The police report indicates the suspect was still actively destroying property at the time of his arrest.
In addition to Frame of Mine, front windows were smashed at Ophelia’s Fish House (501 Eighth St. SE), Chat’s Liquor (503 Eighth St. SE) and the Brick Lane Restaurant (517 Eighth St. SE). Cardboard covers the storefronts.
Frame of Mine store manager William Hauck said the store owner, Celeste Webb, was working a late night and heard the glass shatter. “She said that apparently, the marines identified him, and the police got him,” Hauck said. The chair used by the suspect was still in the shop Monday morning.
Witnesses said police believed that mental illness was a factor.
Tens of thousands of dollars of damage were done to the businesses over a brief time span. Each plate glass windows is estimated to cost at least $4,000. Hauck said that Frame of Mine hoped to replace the window in a few days, after consulting with insurers.
Hauck said that he was angry about the window, though his feelings about the damage were dampened by the knowledge that the vandalism was thought to have been conducted without any malicious intent.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6B) and the business community have been trying to come up with ways to assist and co-exist with individuals who hang out on the 400 block of Eighth Street, many suffering from addiction and mental illness. Recently at a meeting the ANC 6B Barracks Row Working Group, an idea was presented for a pop-up police station on the 400 block, an idea that met with little enthusiasm from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) Executive Director Martin Smith said the organization was disappointed to hear of the damage and had reached out to all impacted businesses Monday morning.
“Barracks Row Main Street is determined to help our small businesses get back on their feet without missing a beat,” Smith said. “We will be working closely with them to help get the damages repaired and also to do what we can to help offset any losses, such as insurance deductibles, that they may have to pay.”