The Washington Post

Metro says juveniles released pepper spray

Metro officials said they are looking for juveniles at L’Enfant Plaza who sprayed pepper spray in a Blue Line train around 3:05 p.m. Thursday. The train was headed in the direction of Franconia/Springfield.

Dan Stessel, Metro chief spokesman, said the pepper spray was released on car #3112. The car was isolated at the Smithsonian stop, he said, and “passengers were moved to another car.”

There were no reports of injuries, and Stessel said no one requested medical attention. He said transit police are “canvassing L’Enfant Plaza for suspect/suspects” but had not found anyone involved.

Metro is also running tunnel fans to clear residual pepper spray from the air at L’Enfant Plaza, Stessel said.

Still some riders were concerned.

Anthony Sanchez, 52, said he was entering the L’Enfant Plaza station when he started to feel “something in his throat” and started coughing. He said he noticed other riders were doing the same.

He said when he asked a Metro Transit Police officer what was going on he was told juveniles had sprayed pepper spray but he said no announcements were being made in the station.

Sanchez said he called 911 and the dispatcher transferred him to Metro Transit Police. But he said after 10 to 12 seconds when no one picked up, he hung up.

“It seemed likely they weren’t going to pay attention,” he said. “I was just trying to make sure they knew what was going on.”

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.


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