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Pelted with ice cream, a Metro rider pleads for help

Hallie Kroll says "adolescents" showered her with a soda can, ice cream and snacks. Some see it as a sign of a wider Metro safety decline.

WASHINGTON — Metro’s new general manager is apologizing to a woman who was drenched in ice cream after teenagers pelted food at her while she waited for a train in the L’Enfant station.

Hundreds of people reacted to Hallie Kroll’s tweet about the alleged assault, with some people seeing it as a sign of a much wider decline in safety on Metro.

Kroll, a museum professional, says she was on her way to a show at the Kennedy Center Tuesday night when she was attacked by a group of adolescents. She said she was on the lower level at L’Enfant when the young people first dropped a can next to her, then came a McDonald’s McFlurry, and what looks like crackers. 

“I’m covered in crap,” she wrote. "They dropped the can first, next to me. I ignored it. Then they dropped the snacks and smoothie on my head. My phone and jacket are covered in smoothie." 

General Manager Randy Clarke, who stepped into his role on July 25, took the opportunity to connect with Kroll after her tweet garnered attention. 

“Hallie, so sorry this happened to you,” Clarke responded on Twitter. “We are working to address these types of issues…. enhancing Transit Police and staff deployment and visibility.”

Several people fired back at Clarke, calling out what is perceived as apathy from Metro workers. 

“No one within WMATA seems to care about it,” Todd Kimmellman tweeted. “Not the people in the booths, not the Metro cops, and certainly not the people jumping the fare gates. You have a tall task ahead of you." 

Another commenter said the behavior of the teens has become commonplace, and wasn't surprising. 

However, others jumped into the conversation saying safety concerns are not limited to Metro alone. 

“You can Google horror stories for every mode of transportation," Amanda Beale: wrote. "Please stop. Metro is reliable and uncouth teens exist everywhere.”

"Oh God, however will you recover?" another user wrote. "Those spots must be rather traumatic to endure.” 

Kroll defended herself, saying, “I was hit on the head first, but sure, be a jerk on the internet.”

Metro Transit Police said they are investigating the incident. The agency doesn’t seem to track these kind of assaults year to year, but aggravated assaults in the system were up significantly in 2021. As of the end of July, there have been another 113 aggravated assaults in 2022.

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