DC Guardian Angels said on social media that it plans to increase its group’s patrols this weekend on Metro’s Red Line. Their move comes as Metro has reported two recent attacks on riders — one on the Red Line and another on the Green Line.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said Friday that the transit agency neither endorses nor discourages the unarmed Guardian Angels. They are “welcome on Metro like any riders,” he said. But he cautioned, “They are not law enforcement, and anyone needing assistance should contact transit police.”
In December, a man was attacked on a Metro Red Line train between Union Station and NoMa-Gallaudet University during the evening rush hour when, according to a witness, a large, rowdy group of youths got on the train at Union Station and began harassing the man who was sitting down.
The victim was “terribly concussed” and suffered a broken jaw, his wife told The Washington Post.
Metro officials have said they believe the attack stemmed from an apparent attempted robbery of the man’s bag. Metro Transit Police have said they are looking for six people who are listed as persons of interest in connection with that incident.
There was also an attack in November on a Green Line train near the Fort Totten station when a group of teenagers allegedly attacked a man, punching and kicking him, and using anti-gay slurs. The man’s partner said the train’s operator ignored repeated calls for help.
The Guardian Angels is a nonprofit group with dozens of chapters throughout the country and world. According to its website, its volunteers are unarmed and try to help prevent crime in areas by patrolling them. It started in the late 1970s in New York and was created to try to help reduce crime on the New York City subway.