One of the most striking structures in the non federal part of Washington is the Chinatown Friendship Archway and it was a mere few feet from there that Friday evening's events began. Near the arch, at 7th and H Streets, a kind of downtown crossroads, there is a Walgreen's Drug store, and out of the store came a man in a hurry, with security guards trailing behind, the D.C. police said.
Also at that spot was Officer Qiao Zhang, who is part of the police Chinatown unit, the police said. Zhang was on foot patrol, police said, and saw what was going on.
He took off after the fleeing man. About a block or so away, in the 600 block of I Street NW, the police said, Zhang brought the chase to an end, police said.
A man was detained, they said. It was discovered, they said, that the man had about $30 in drugstore merchandise. The police said he also had some crack cocaine and a loaded .38 caliber Taurus semiautomatic pistol.
The man was arrested in connection with those items, police said, and was taken off to be processed. His name was not immediately available.
The archway, which has been here for more than 30 years, straddles H Street and stands as a polychromatic symbol of China, near a crosswalk that has been decorated with signs of the Chinese zodiac.
Diane Groomes, who retired this year as an Assistant police chief, sent a message to a police department computer bulletin board.
"Outstanding job," she said.