Zelda Fichandler, the producing director of Arena Stage, was at the center of a small crime drama Thursday evening when police with guns drawn captured two burglars on the porch roof of her house in Cleveland Park.
"I had just gotten out of the shower at about 8 p.m. when I heard a knock at the door," Fichandler said yesterday. She was alone in the house, she said, and "the next thing I knew I heard funny noises in the back."
When she called out and nobody anwered, Fichandler said she locked herself in the bedroom and quietly telephond police. She also turned on the burglar alarm, she said; it started wailing.
Police arrived less than two minutes later, Fichandler said, one car at first and quckly six more.
A neighbor who lives across from Fichandler's house at 3120 Newark St. NW said he saw two men sliding across the porch roof on their stomachs and pointed them out to police.
The police pointed their guns and shouted for the men to come down, the neighbor said. After a few minutes, he said, the men stood up with their arms overhead, and police rushed into Fichandler's house, walked onto the foof and led the men down in handcuffs.
Police later identified one of the men as Weldon Askin, 21, of 1339 Stevens Rd. SE. The other, they said, was a juvenile. Both were charged with burglary.
Fichandler ssaid she came out her bedroom after the burglars had been led away and while she waited outside in a squad car, police brought a dog who sniffed through the house to make sure nobody was hiding. She said nothing was taken from the house, although draperies were ripped and windopw glass was broken.
"The police were just marvelous," Fichandler said. "They were here so fast I couldn't believe it."
And how did she feel?
"Very cool," Fichandler said. "I don't know why. I wasn't really excited. I guess some thing just took over."