security guard gunfight and pot-smoking old men

So there I was, contemplating what to post about now that our server is back… I thought I’d write about the Walter Reed security guard who fired his gun… at the OTHER guard this morning, but then realized that there was no news about why he did it. That’s not nearly as entertaining as I hoped. But then I found something better…

Nathaniel Rabinowitz, age 60, of Logan Circle, has a two-story ladder attached to his house. Which wouldn’t be newsworthy, except apparently burglars have been using Mr. Rabinowitz’ ladder to climb up onto his roof, follow the roof to the neighboring units, and break into his neighbors’ houses through the skylights and steal their stuff- two of his neighbors have been robbed just this month. And yet, Mr. Rabinowitz refuses to remove the ladder, because he likes to climb up onto his roof and feed birds.

Oh wait, it gets better.

Upon investigating the burglaries, police officers scaled the ladder themselves and happened to glance down through Mr. Rabinowitz’ own skylight… and found his indoor marijuana garden. They immediately arrested him on marijuana-possession charges, as one would expect.

But that’s not the best part.

Mr. Rabinowitz is of the opinion that these burglaries aren’t what they seem. He believes his neighbors are faking the robberies to get him arrested for his patch o’ pot on the top floor. Because, you know, that’s SO much easier that just calling the police to report the pot garden, no?

11 Comments so far

  1. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

    Ha ha, he’s ‘noiding out.

  2. monavano (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

    Ha! That’s exactly what I thought. Dude, step awaaay from the doobies.

  3. Richard Ault (unregistered) on June 20th, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

    lmao… and on the west coast we have the asshat brigade driving through subway tunnels…

  4. Wayan (unregistered) on June 21st, 2007 @ 9:19 am

    If I were the neighbours, I’d sue his ass for the lost goods & the mental anguish now that the cops say the robbers use his ladder. That and I’d get some bolt cutters and a hacksaw and get Medieval on that ladder.

  5. Erin Myers (unregistered) on June 28th, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

    Hey guys,

    This is actually my neighbor, 2 doors down from my house (I find this particularly funny as I was once a writer for metroblogging DC). Here’s an update:

    My neighbor was inside his house after the ladder incident for about 5-7 days – apparently his 90-year old parents called the Dept. of Mental Health because they’ve been worried about him. The police tried to call multiple times, were concerned that he’d killed himself, and tried forcibly entering the house at around 11:30 this morning.

    First, my neighbor set fire to/blew up the lower floor of his house (apparently his front door was in my yard)
    Then, he started throwing things out the upper-floor windows at the police
    Next, he began shooting randomly out the window at the police (nobody was injured)
    Finally, he shot himself twice in the head (and is apparently in critical condition at the hospital, with very little chance of survival)

    You have or will hear about this on the news, no doubt. The press were swarming, as were the police and fire crews. All houses aside from his are okay, and I am currently thanking whatever God exists that the crews who were working on the outside of my house for the last 2 days wrapped up their work yesterday. Anyway, there’s the skinny from someone who was actually there. This guy was seriously disturbed, and I feel a mix of sadness and relief this evening.

  6. anonymous (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

    Ms. Myers- I’ve been following this story with great interest and sadness. You void your credibility when you embellish as you do. The police apparently only found one shell–(he shot himself once in the head so I gather) and he was NEVER accused of shooting bullets out his window. Speaking ill of the dead, when they have no opportunity to defend themselves — that’s surely indicative of your character flaws. Perhaps you too have some imbalance, getting off as you do on this horrible story. May this poor man rest in peace and may you and your neighbors find someone else to blame for all live’s ills. Surely he was a horrible neighbor, that I grant you, but again–that ladder was NOT against the law. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been handled via mediation and some other more peaceful intervention so that things didn’t come to this horrific ending. (for the guy at least…I gather you are very happy he’s gone).

  7. Tiff (unregistered) on July 1st, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    There was peaceful intervention- repeated efforts to serve papers, restraining orders to prevent him from harassing his neighbors, even this final incident started with a visit from mental health professionals since he shut himself up in a house… no one forced him to boobytrap the floor of his house (which exploded into flames when the police finally forced their way in after the shooting). The ladder was just the culmination of years of harrassment by Rabinowitz against his neighbors. Yes, it’s sad that his mental condition deteriorated that far in the first place, but it’s a relief that he can no longer jeopardize the safety of everyone on the block.

  8. Don (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

    It amuses me that Anon claims Erin voids her credibility by embellishing then closes with an unsupported claim that she’s “very happy he’s gone.” not to mention following the claim that they all blamed him for life’s ills with “he was a horrible neighbor, that I grant you.”

    It’s a sad day when someone can’t write a consistent inflammatory screed.

  9. civlib4all (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    As a member of the community watching this case from afar with sadness and disbelief of how thing ended, one thing that amazes me is how bloggers as such can put in print innuendo, hearsay, rumor, present it as fact, end of story– and then that gets mixed in with things that are fact, and then millions of readers see it and react, and it’s like a snowball. Lots of that here. For example, the word “restraining orders”. Plural. The only restraining order on record here according to the police is the temporary restraining order issued about the ladder, last Friday, (when in fact the individual was already deceased). A temporary restraining order means just that– temporary– like until a court hearing. By that time the guy in question was already dead, the ladder in question was already removed by the police a week or so earlier as evidence, the mayor’s office said the ladder was not against the law so there was nothing else they could do,– but the neighbors pressed on anyway. They may have been fearful this bad neighbor would put up another ladder, but HELLO, he was already dead, so hardly able to put up another one.

    I would think everyone would have been better off if a peaceful intervention could have been found–no ms. tiff– what you think and report was a peaceful intervention was NOT a peaceful intervention-knocking down the door of the now deceased, considering his obvious condition and stated fears, was not something most of us professionals would have suggested trying. All this because of a ladder and 4 marijuana plants– it should never have come to death and destruction as it did.

  10. Tiff (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    Look at the news reports. They broke down the door AFTER he shot himself, even though he had at the very least been throwing things out the window at police, and according to the reports of eyewitnesses, shooting at them. The officers and city mental health professionals approached him peacefully, and HE ESCALATED the incident, just like he had been doing with his neighbors for years.

    Also, he was hospitalized for his wound the day it was self-inflicted, but didn’t die until Friday night or Saturday, so your assertion about a restraining order being issued after he was dead is disingenuous at best (since the restraining order may have been ordered before the court knew he was dead), and flat-out bullshit at worst.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that Nathaniel Rabinowitz’ history in this neighborhood is far longer and more sordid than this one incident. And a neighbor of his had a restraining order against him due to his repeated harrassment unrelated to the ladder. He had a fair number of legal problems long before the ladder thing started- he had destroyed property belonging to his neighbors, he had escalated polite, neighborly requests into conflicts and harrassment, and had in general been the thorn in the side of this block for a number of years. I have personal friends living on that block, and have been hearing about the outrages this guy has been inflicting on his neighbors for as long as I’ve known them. The ladder, though technically legal, was just the latest in a long string of real and implied threats to their safety.

    He was a menace to himself and others. It’s sad that it came to this, but it’s not sad that four families on that block are all safer now that he’s gone.

  11. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2007 @ 10:16 am

    No, it shouldn’t have come to death and destruction.

    But it did.

    He was clearly deranged, treating his neighbors with incredible disrespect, including dropping the c-bomb on at least one of his female neighbors. He was clearly deranged in his refusal to remove the ladder, even after it lead to the burglary of his neighbors’ residences, showing neither compassion nor common sense. He was clearly deranged when he holed himself up in his house and started fired indiscriminantly on neighbors and police alike.

    I’m fairly sure that you don’t know anything of which you speak civlib4all. This guy was fucking crazy, and went out like the fucking crazy guy he was.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.