D.C. Official: Outdoor Seats At Comet Pizza Will Mean Rapes And Murders – WASHINGTON POST

When a Washington neighborhood commissioner staged a nighttime surveillance of a Northwest pizza place and put the resulting video up on YouTube to prove what a threat to public safety an outdoor ping-pong table posed, the image of a ping-pong ball rolling out onto Connecticut Avenue was chilling enough.But this week, that same commissioner, Frank Winstead, ratcheted up the scare rhetoric in a big way: At a meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3F Monday night, in front of the largest crowd in the ANC’s history, Winstead accused the owner of Comet Ping Pong of seeking to turn this quiet stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Forest Hills into a haven for rape and murder.The crowd of about 100 residents–mainly fans of the pizza place–fell into an uproar and drowned out Winstead following this exchange, which you can hear for yourself on the audio recording of the meeting:A supporter of Comet addressed the commission, which was considering owner James Alefantis’s application to extend his opening hours deeper into the evening, provide musical entertainment inside his restaurant, and add a patio for outdoor seating out front. The woman asked the commissioners why they would want to restrict Comet and other local businesses so that she has to travel 25 blocks away to find a late-night place for food and drink. “Why am I denied the privilege and the pleasure of a venue less than a block and a half away?” the resident asked.Winstead, who has taken it upon himself to act as the guardian of clear and quiet streets in his section of Northwest Washington, replied: “Safety. James is trying to turn this into Adams Morgan, with the murders, the rapes….” At this point, the crowd’s roar overwhelmed the commissioner’s remarks.But Winstead wasn’t done. Twice more during a 45-minute debate on the merits (and technicalities) of allowing a restaurant located on a commercial strip well apart from any residences to serve its loyal customers deep into the night, Winstead took off on Alefantis. He accused the owner of “filling up his fat wallet.” Then Winstead started yelling about Alefantis spitting on customers’ food. “He’s lying, cheating!” the commissioner shouted.Commission chairman Jane Solomon kept trying to rein in her wayward colleague (“Frank, that’s not helpful”), but it was rough sledding for a while.

Source: D.C. Official: Outdoor Seats At Pizza Place Will Mean Rapes And Murders – Raw Fisher

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