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WATCH: Apartment manager pepper sprays tenant in DC

Video captured the moment a woman appears to have been pepper sprayed by an apartment manager in NW DC.

WASHINGTON — Video obtained by WUSA9 shows the moment a woman was pepper sprayed while speaking with the building manager of her D.C. apartment building Friday.

Residents of the 1841 Columbia Road apartments in Northwest D.C. say they have become frustrated after management routinely shut off the water multiple times. 

Tenant Shawn Chittle tweeted about the issue Thursday, after the water was once again shut off in his building. The building's manager, UIP Property Management, said it would be restored by noon Friday. Chittle said the water briefly came on around 2 p.m., before getting shut off again.

In all, Chittle said his apartment building has had its water turned off eight times in 2022 and three times so far this year. 

"My apartment in Washington DC — which costs $3,000 a month — has no running water," Chittle tweeted. "What are my remedies here?" 

He said the problem has become such an issue that several residents have begun staying at nearby hotels whenever the water is shut off.

"The best one was Christmas morning when we woke up with no water and no news that it was going to be shut off," tenant Kylee Smith said. 

Residents said they were fed up with the issue and decided to form a tenants association, which is a group made up of renters who advocate for tenant rights and renter-friendly policy changes.  Part of the push for a tenants union is education and awareness. So, residents put up signs around the building to help spread the word about their plans.

However, some residents recently noticed the signs were being taken down.

When tenant Christine Corbin went to the building's office to speak about the issue she decided to record her interaction with the building manager. 

"I'm not saying you actually did, but if you took the signs down about us forming a tenant association, that's illegal," the woman can be heard saying in a video shared with WUSA9. 

In the video, the resident tells the building manager that she sent an email about the issue and informed the management that the signs will be going back up. The manager can be heard telling the woman to leave the office several times, saying he's already received her email.

The interaction takes a turn when the woman says the manager's name, at which point he can be seen grabbing his car keys before spraying the woman with pepper spray.

The woman screams before yelling, "I just got pepper sprayed!" 

According to a police report from the Metropolitan Police Department, officers were called to the apartment building just after 12:45 p.m. to help the woman who was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The building manager left before police arrived and has not been located as of 2:30 p.m. Friday. He would face a simple assault charge if caught. 

"No on deserves this," Corbin said. "We haven't had water in our building for 24 hours."

She added she couldn't believe such a situation could occur.

"I mean, I was in front of him, but I wasn't anywhere near the desk," Corbin said. "I wasn't doing anything at all. So, I'm concerned. I'm in Georgetown Hospital right now."

WUSA9 reached out to UIP Property Management, and received a statement from Chief Operating Officer Kyle Eaton acknowledging the "episode." 

"We are sad and disappointed by the behavior of individuals that somehow resulted in the episode at the property today," Eaton wrote. "We are and will continue to investigate and take appropriate action if necessary."

Eaton also said that all residents of the building had been notified to work being done around the building to modernize/upgrade the plumbing system. He said "announced, short water shut offs" would continue to be necessary to complete the work. 

"It's been a very unfortunate series of events today, but we're looking for whatever services or help we can get from elected officials or the Department of Buildings," Chittle said.

WUSA9 also reached out to the DC Department of Buildings for comment on the matter, but has yet to hear back.

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