WASHINGTON - A man who was attacked by a group of teenagers while riding on Metro has been reunited with the selfless young man who stepped in and helped break up the brutal attack.
Last Friday evening, John Rowley walked off a train at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. He was on his way to meet a friend for dinner when a group of teenagers surrounded him and attacked. They knocked Rowley to the ground, kicked him and attempted to throw him toward a moving train.
Andrew Miller saw the attack happening and rushed in to help.
“The word hero is thrown around casually – sports heroes, all sorts of heroes,” said Rowley. “This guy is a hero.”
“They stepped over him, came at me,” Miller described. “They threw one punch, which I was able to block kind of instinctively, but it landed a little bit. They swung again the second time. That one hit me. That one hit me down and I think that was the end of it.”
“Nobody except one person stopped – that is this guy right here,” said Rowley. “Frankly, while I got some fairly significant injuries that would have been a whole lot worse because he took some of the punches that were intended for me.”
The 23-year-old Miller suffered a slight concussion. Rowley has swelling and bruising where he was kicked in the face. His hand hit the moving train and he will have to undergo surgery so doctors can insert pins to help heal his broken bones.
“I'm not a safety and security expert, but I do know is that this is not a one-off,” Rowley said. “There are way too many violent problems on Metro and Metro needs to get resourcing and use that resourcing better. There needs to be a higher police presence to protect people that is simply trying to ride the Metro.”
Rowley is an attorney. Miller is currently studying at the George Washington University Law School. The irony is not lost on the both of them.
“There is a silver lining here,” said Rowley. “It’s that I have an opportunity to meet and get to know this young man because he really is a cut above. I haven’t had too much time to work on him yet, but I am a former federal prosecutor and I am trying to nudge him in that direction.”
“This incident kind of resolidifies my desire to make sure that whatever career that I go into, I am actually making a difference,” said Miller.
Metro Transit Police said an officer trailed the 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys to Union Station and arrested them minutes later. They are facing assault charges.