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Posted at 05:35 PM ET, 08/30/2011

Marion Barry’s missing bumper

This story has been updated.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s silver Jaguar has been stolen, booted, ticketed and keyed.

 Now, it’s got a damaged bumper.

 Barry (D-Ward 8) was spotted driving the car down Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday morning as the bumper scraped against the pavement. When he parked the car in front of the John A.Wilson Building, Barry got out and tried to reattach the bumper as curious reporters gathered around him.

“It was a hit and run,” Barry said. When asked why he was still driving an obviously damaged vehicle, Barry snapped, “I am not talking about this car.”

Barry eventually went on to describe to the Washington Post how an unknown driver hit the car early one morning while it was parked near his home in Ward. 8. Barry said he filed a police report

“When you live in the ghetto, this happens,” said Barry, declining further comment.

Barry’s comment and photographs of the damaged car, which until earlier this year wasn’t registered in the District, quickly became a hot topic of conversation on Twitter.

 In a subsequent interview with Bruce Johnson of WUSA 9, Barry said a stolen car hit the Jaguar about a week ago. 

The Washington Post was not immediately able to obtain a copy of the police report. A police spokesman said the agency could not pull the report without knowing the time and date it was filed.

Joel Maupin, commander of the 7th police District, which includes Ward 8, said he had no first-hand knowledge of Barry filing a police report about a hit and run. 

But Maupin said he saw Barry with the car Monday night at a community event at Woodmont Crossing housing development in Ward 8.

 “It had both bumpers,” Maupin said.

 Update, 5:30 p.m.

On Tuesday evening, Barry called the Washington Post to give a more complete explanation for why he was driving a car that was an obvious safety hazard.

Barry said a neighbor woke him out of bed at 2:30 a.m. “two or three weeks ago” to tell him his car had been struck by a stolen vehicle whose driver fled the scene.

Barry said police investigated, but have so far been unable to find the driver of the stolen car.

“I am not dumb, stupid,” Barry said. “The police spent an hour and half here.”

Barry said he filed a claim with his insurance company, but it “refused to pay” for the damages.

Instead, Barry said a local car dealer reattached the bumper with screws. But on Tuesday morning, Barry said he took the vehicle to a carwash on Martin Luther King Avenue SE before he went to work. The pressure from the car wash, he said, must have loosened the screws while he was driving.

“Believe me, the back of my car wasn’t off when I went to the carwash,” Barry said. “I just get [upset] with so many other things to report on, my car becomes the issue.”

By  |  05:35 PM ET, 08/30/2011

 
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