Last week, Georgetown resident Shelley Clark and her cat were startled when they heard scampering on her rooftop. Clark rushed outside her home on 29th and Dumbarton streets NW to determine the cause of the commotion, expecting to find a large critter on her roof. Instead, she looked up and saw the faces of two local parkour enthusiasts who, she learned after her partner Andy Leddy confronted them, were using her and nearby residents’ rooftops to practice their jumps, vaults, leaps and flips.
Clark and Leddy’s neighbor wrote a post on the neighborhood’s public safety messaging board on GroupMe to further illuminate the situation. “A neighbor on 29th street called 911 last week to report 3 young men on the roof of a home on Dumbarton. After calling 911, the neighbor confronted the men on the roof who explained they’re Urban Roof Runners and using our neighborhood as an obstacle course,” she wrote, adding, “please we aware of this trending activity and call 911 should you see anyone taking part in this dangerous practice.”
Leddy called the police but by the time officers arrived on the scene the roof runners were gone. According to NBC 4, police have seen an uptick in roof running in Georgetown recently, and those caught participating in the activity “could face charges.”
According to Wikipedia, “parkour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible without reverting back to point A. This is done using only the human body and the surroundings for propulsion, with a focus on maintaining as much momentum as possible while still remaining safe. Parkour can include obstacle courses, running, climbing, swinging, mantling, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other, similar movements depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation.” Participants usually perform the activity in urban spaces.
However, “you don’t want people running around on your roofs,” Clark told NBC, “these are historic houses.” Old and aging rooftops may be a cause for concerns for parkour enthusiasts, too.
So urban runners, beware. Not only are Georgetown residents and police now on the look out. Aging rooftops could give way, leading to serious injury or worse.
It started with a post on neighborhood public safety mes