Man Whispers Bad Words at Goodwill

by ARLnow.com December 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm 7,669 132 Comments

A man is in jail after police say he touched a woman inappropriately and whispered dirty things in her ear at a store on Glebe Road.

The alleged incident happened at the Goodwill store on S. Glebe Road this past Friday afternoon. Police say the victim was shopping inside the store around 4:30 p.m when a man approached her, grabbed her buttocks, and “whispered vulgar comments in her ear.”

“The suspect was holding the victim against him for several minutes until the victim was able to break free,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Police located the suspect nearby. Laurence Allan Watkins, 40, of no fixed address was arrested and charged with abduction and sexual battery. He was held without bond.”

File photo

  • I would love to know what were the dirty things he whispered in her ear. Any hypotheses?

    • Captain_Obvious

      He told her that we’re all infected and there’s no hope.

    • ..meh

      “I would cuddle you SO hard in that 2nd hand sweater…” – Laurance Allan Watkins

    • Tree falling in a forest

      mud, ear wax, oil, grease, my car’s air filter.

      Now I’m totally offended.

    • Laurence Watkins

      This is what I said to her:


  • MrMeow

    Hmm, another person of no fixed address adding to the vibrancy of arlington.

    • KalashniKEV

      You beat me to it! This is the VIBRANCY we pay to attract and cultivate.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      The stretch between Gates of Ballston and the Goodwill make for interesting characters, to say the least. I’m wondering how long public housing section 8 housing affordable tract housing low-rent housing can last there with newer developments popping up south of Ballston.

      • KalashniKEV

        I was recently corrected by one of our more enlightened citizens- it’s NOT Section 8. In order for it to be considered for Section 8, residents would have to take drug tests, have or apply for jobs, etc.

        The best description for the services Arlington provides are “Freebie Housing.”

        • MrMeow


          They do studies, to show that kids become slackers if you just hand them money. But of course, we don’t care if we cause adults to be slackers by doing the same.

          • KalashniKEV

            Despite the tired narrative that these are just “normal folks” who hit a rough spot, I think it’s fairly obvious that they’re not going to “become” anything.

            Have you heard the news today about the Times Square Barefoot Bum? Shoeless again!

          • speonjosh

            I think the “bum” narrative is far more tired. Either way, they are constructs of the mind for pretty much everyone except those who live it themselves or work daily with the homeless population. Since those who work with the homeless tend to tell a story that fits more in line with the “down on their luck” narrative, that’s the narrative that makes more sense to me.

            Also, I think you’d have to ask yourself which narrative lends itself better to a solution or otherwise improving the lives of everyone. I don’t see how the “bum” narrative helps anyone – instead, it would seem to simply perpetuate the status quo.

          • No, Kev, the point is that you can’t go declaring that they are normal folks, or not. They are each individual people, and you cannot judge them as a group.

            You know, the way you can’t judge any group as a group.

          • KalashniKEV

            Actually I can judge them as a group, watch- “The Bum Community” with their wave of terror and their friends (you guys) in the “Bum Lobby” consistently make my “tired narrative” relevant by reaching into my pocket to pay for more crime, lower property values, lower quality of life, and greater misery for the citizens of Arlington.

            Stay out of my pocket and watch how fast the “Bum Narrative” becomes irrelevant and disappears…

          • speonjosh

            I thought you had been out and seen some of the world, Kevvie. And you still think that the citizens of Arlington know “misery?”

          • KalashniKEV

            Everything’s relative, isn’t it Spongy/Drax/JoshS/mehoo?

            Certainly you aren’t suggesting we bring suffering on a third world level to Arlington?
            (OMG… please tell me you aren’t!)

            As I said, go ahead and make *me* the Kook- stop spending my money to promote this wave of terror. Until we stop acting against the interests of our Citizens to benefit vagrants, drifters, and vagabonds- and tolerating the crime they bring with them- it’s a very real and relevant message. Let’s stop the insanity. Together.

            We should all demand a reversal of the Progressive Agenda.

          • drax

            No, Kev, you may not judge anyone as a group.

            Not blacks, Jews, veterans, or the homeless, just to name a few.

            That’s now how America works. It’s too bad you don’t understand that.

          • Pluralism Rules

            “No, Kev, you may not judge anyone as a group.”

            Guess that you have never Robert Dahl eh Draxy ??

          • Greg

            @drax: did you really compare bums to the Black and Jewish community? Please tell me you realize how inappropriate a remark that is.

          • drax


            Greg, blacks and bums are both humans. They should be judged as individuals, not a members of those groups or any other. If you think this means I’m “comparing” them, then fine. I’m comparing how they are both subject to irrational prejudicial hatred.

            Get it now? Probably not.

          • drax

            And to spoon feed you a little more, Greg, blacks were once excluded from most of Arlington, largely on the (alleged) grounds that they ruined neighborhoods and brought crime.

            That was wrong too.

          • KalashniKEV

            You’re showing your true colors again, Drax.


        • drax

          I oppose racism and other forms of hate, yes.

          You don’t have the guts to show your true colors.

      • drax

        How does affordable housing bring homeless people?

        • KalashniKEV

          All housing is “affordable” to those that can afford it. I think you’re talking about Freeloaders though…

          • Okay, freeloaders. My question remains – how does people living in homes cause homelessness?

          • Captain_Obvious

            except when Arlington gives money to people to buy a house…then they can afford it.

          • KalashniKEV

            No, yeah, that’s called Freeloader Housing. I think we’ve been using the wrong term here for a while…

  • Buckingham Bandit

    There are certainly some interesting characters on the stretch of Glebe. One afternoon I was running south on Glebe between the CVS and the church, and a young woman screamed at me as I ran by for me to stop staring at her, and that I was a racist.

    • LouHoltz

      You should have had TD Jesus zap here with a lightning bolt.

  • Tabby_TwoTone

    What an awful thing to have happen.

    Rather flippant headline.

    • speonjosh


  • jay

    Look for Lawerence at his new home in Courthouse soon…

  • Sam

    The title of this posting does not match the seriousness of the crime. Might want to rethink that one.

    • Exactly

      Agreed. Poor taste.

    • Sue

      +1000 @ARLnow – I bet if it was your daughter you’d describe it differenly than just “bad words”. Please consider modifying your headline.

    • esmith69

      Oh come on, relax. People shouldn’t come to this site expecting to be completely formal and legit “news”. You know, similar to how people wouldn’t tune in to Fox News and expect to get real news from there. Oh wait, nevermind…

      • CrystalMikey

        Well said!

      • speonjosh

        Why not? When has ARLNow ever presented itself as a parody site? Sure, it has your occasional “lite news” items, but so does the NY Times. Doesn’t mean that you can’t use the proper judgment when writing headlines.

      • Greg

        You’re way off base. This man latched onto someone and kept them captive for 7 months. To mock it by focusing only on “whispering bad words” in the headline is inappropriate.

        • commenter

          7 minutes–not even George Carlin has enough bad words for 7 months

          • commenter

            sorry…”several” not 7

    • CrystalMikey

      Lighten up people.

    • emanon

      Completely agree. Why would you even consider such a joke of a title in light of the crime?

  • Donna

    Are you serious with this headline.

  • SMDC

    A woman was sexually assaulted and held against her will and you’re linking it with someone merely uttering a curse word in public, ArlNow? Bad taste.

    • CF

      AGREED. These are more than just “bad words”…

  • KalashniKEV

    I can’t wait to pay this good fellows way once he becomes my neighbour.

    After all, I’m just ten minutes away from being him under the right circumstances… right Drax?

    • drax

      I have no idea. Never met the guy.

      Nor do you.

      I do know that people with homes commit crimes, as do those without homes.

      • Mrmeow

        Question, do you think having more people without homes and more people who are poor will decrease or increase the odds of violent or property crimes in arlington? Not talking about ponzi schemes. I’m fairly certain only people with homes do those, but I don’t have to fear Bernie Madoff when walking down a dark street at night.

        • drax

          Should we exclude from our county people who are members of any group we know statistically commit crimes at a higher rate, steve?

          • Mrmeow

            No. But to deny it and and accuse people of bigotry to point out reality fixes what exactly?

            A woman got sexually assaulted by a homeless guy. Some other homeless guy tried to throw a molotov in ballston mall. You seem to be more upset with Kev and I pointing these facts out as you are with the crimes being committed. Why is that?

          • Higher rate than what?

          • drax

            Than average.

          • Captain_Obvious

            of course not, who else is going to get the benefit of programs such as the Home-buyer assistance program ??

          • What is the average?

          • And didn’t a recent success story from ARlington just get arrested for fighting with a coworker last week or the week before? He even was basically given an apartment here in Arlington.

          • Thanks for your answer. So you agree that we shouldn’t go around “rounding up” certain people, etc. That’s all I wanted to know.

            I am upset with Kev because he has suggested these things. I’m glad you agree with me and not him.

          • drax

            The average crime rate. Come on, guys, this isn’t hard.

            Certain groups have a higher than average rate of crime. Should we exclude or discourage people in those groups from living in our community? Yes or no?

          • Captain_Obvious

            Its complicated.

            Should we encourage those groups to live in our community ? yes or no.

          • Westover245

            I just googled “average crime rate” and didn’t really come up with anything. Can you please enlighten us as to what you are referring to, or just post the “average rate” so we have something to actually reference?

          • I await a serious, honest answer.

            Only MrMeow/steve has provided one, which is kinda funny. He doesn’t seem to understand his own answer, but that’s a different issue.

          • drax

            Oh, and I only accuse people of bigotry when they are actually being bigots. And I don’t apologize for doing that. And you of all people should understand that.

          • drax

            On the tiny chance that you’re serious, Westover – groups who are disproportionately represented in crime stats. Who commit crimes at a greater rate than their numbers in the population. I think you know what I mean, and I think you get my point too.

          • Fuzzy

            We shouldn’t exclude anyone who wants to live in Arlington as long as they can afford to live here on their own. I would love to eliminate all the mandated affordable housing in the county. It would increase our tax base and lower the county school population.

          • Westover245

            What categories are you averaging?

            Really, you are making no sense.

          • drax

            My point is perfectly clear, Westover. You choose not to get it, either because you are playing games or your are clueless.

          • Westover245

            If you yourself can’t explain your point, it is not clear.

            Again, answer the question: what categories are you using to establish this “average” you are referencing?

  • Mrmeow

    Aren’t sexual assaults a small price to pay for vibrancy? I mean you expect this to work out wonderfully having a year round homeless shelter in Courthouse? Yes, that will work out wonderfully. remember, every assault is just a small price for vibrancy. So you mean people just better suck it up and not be upset about assaults!

    • KalashniKEV

      It will all work out so long as the ladies in your life are willing to come up off some booty to appease these good fellows now and then.

      Oh, and open your wallet too…

  • MrMeow

    Perhaps next time someone of no fixed address can throw a molotov cocktail while sexually assaulting a woman, and then our vibrancy can be complete?

  • J

    I think the author was just going for the contrast of “good” and “bad” in the title as a literary tool.

    • David

      It’s a fine line between clever and stupid.

    • KalashniKEV

      I think Laurence likely had good will towards men and bad will towards women…

      OMG… I feel a Christmas Carol coming on about this one… “Laurence the Red _____, ___ ____”

  • ArLater

    No fixed addres?! Woo hoo, soon hell have a permenant address in Courthouse! Cant wait for that to happen! Good thing we bought that nice place to house him and his friends!

    • Should we discourage people who are members of groups with higher-than-average crime rates from living in our community? Just wondering.

      • Captain_Obvious

        no, we should encourage them…

        • Serious answer please.

          Be careful though, it’s a trap.

          • Captain_Obvious

            I’m not giving serious answers today.

          • Then maybe someone else will have the courage to. Or not.

          • Captain_Obvious

            Nothing to do with courage, its just a dumb question.

            It actually is more complicated than just a yes or no answer.

          • drax

            It’s a perfectly legitimate question.

            Too bad you don’t have the courage to answer seriously.

          • Captain_Obvious

            Its not a legitimate question, but I’ll bite. We should discourage INDIVIDUALS who commit crimes from living in this community. How to do that? That’s up to the police for investigating and catching them and getting them out of our community. We can’t necessarily discourage a group of people from living here, nor should we.

            I’m sure that’s not good enough for you.

          • drax

            Great answer, Capt. Obvious. That’s why the question wasn’t aimed at you. There are people here who think we can label entire groups of people criminal, before they commit any crime, and keep them out.

            We’ve done that before, to a different group, until we decided it was evil.

          • Josh S

            Actually, I don’t even like CO’s response. Sounds like fascism to me. Round ’em up! Get ’em up against the wall! Ship ’em out!
            It’s hard to swallow, but even convicts have rights. You can’t prevent them from choosing where to live.
            If someone commits a crime, you arrest them, you convict them if you can prove it, and they do their time in jail. Then they are released. That’s it. Efforts over the years to create strict minimum sentences, increase the severity of prison life, etc haven”t really improved crime rates, have they? Don’t they just harden criminals?

      • Greg

        You can’t discriminate based on income, age, sexual preference, religious affiliation, ethnicity, etc. However, you can discourage the homeless from infiltrating your neighborhood by (a) not building homes for them and (b) not permitting them to break the law.

        • drax

          Sure, Greg.

          Here’s a few things you can’t do:

          a) round them up and throw them out of your town
          b) assume that they are all criminals

          And if you think about it, not building free homes and not letting people break the law applies to everyone, not just the homeless.

          • Fuzzy

            Stop providing free services (shelter/food,medicine,…) to the homeless and watch the homeless population in Arlington disappear.

          • drax

            I’m not talking about free services and shelters. I’m talking about labeling them all criminals and/or rounding them all up and other fascist ideas.

            But Fuzzy, you don’t really believe that the homeless will disappear if you just stop providing them with homes, do you? That makes no sense.

          • Josh S

            Fuzzy, please provide examples of where this has actually played out. Also, can you name those homeless you have interviewed who say they enjoy their life?

  • Are “bad words” obscene words or sexually explicit words?

    Does Mr. Watkins have magic powers that enabled him to “whisper… dirty THINGS (material objects of some sort) in(to)”… the ear of the victim. Did APCPD collect these “dirty things” as evidence?

    • mrmeow

      Given most people of no fixed address don’t bathe that often, and moreover don’t brush their teeth often, any word they utter is going to be dirty.

  • Mrmeow

    In a semi related story, remember that homeless guy who was given boots by a NYPD officer? Well, he’s refusing to wear them, and apparently wants to cash in on the picture taken of him because he said it was without his permission.


    • speonjosh

      Not exactly the entire picture. I believe he said he is worried that if he wears them someone will steal them from him.

  • Mrmeow

    In defense of vibrancy, if you ignore the assault, had Brad Pitt whispered those bad words, there would have been no offense. So CLEARLY this is about being anti vibrancy.

  • Douglas Parker

    Maybe he said:

    ‘I’m having impure thoughts about raising the capital gains tax to Clinton era rates and letting the bush taxes expire’

  • This is a relatively high crime area (along with the pershing west of glebe) and there have been stabbings and mugging in the area but for some reason I never see a policeman or a police car patroling the area. I don’t live there but for those who do, is their a police presence?

    • ballstoncmyk

      i live in the area, and there is absolutely a constant police presence. ACPD comes to our condo association from time to time too, to give updates on what’s going on and generally field questions and concerns.

  • mrmeow

    It’s hard to deny that violent crime has been rising in Arlington. While overrall it might be lower as compared to PG county or DC, we went from zero homicides to multiple homicides. There have been vicious stabbings, etc.. Things are getting worse, not better here.

    • LOL.

      Yeah, we had zero homicides two years ago, but things are getting worse. Yes, steve.

    • KalashniKEV

      We are adopting policies which attract an undesirable element and drive off Good people. These crimes will increase in number and severity until two things happen:

      1) The County Board takes steps to reverse the Progressive Agenda.
      2) ACPD adopts a community policing strategy.

      • But you have no credibility whatsoever in talking about what we should do about the “undesirable element,” Kev, in part because you label certain people an “undesirable element” and also because you want to go much further than just not attracting them.

      • So an undesirable element is anyone in a group that tends to commit crimes at a higher rate than normal? And “Good” people are the rest?

    • jackson

      Wasn’t the last stabbing a drunk homeowner stabbing a drunk guy who may or may not have been abusing patio furniture?

  • sunflower

    we sure seem to draw from both ends of the spectrum on these threads…..

    • speonjosh

      Those most inclined to comment are those with the strongest opinions…..

  • Ballstonian

    It strikes me as strange/unsettling that this crime occurred in a business, and, presumably, the employees of this business were unaware of the crime in progress, despite the assault/abduction taking “several minutes.”

    • MrMeow

      I’m not 100% positive, but I believe Goodwill is basically like a work release program so the people who work there are people trying to learn skills, just got out of prison, so this might not be something that might have raised an alarm in them.

      • drax

        You’ve got to be kidding.

  • Wiz

    I imagine this in Mike Rowe’s voice.

    It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

    • KalashniKEV

      How are you the only person on this site with an avatar?

      • Captain_Obvious

        He’s the Wiz and nobody beats him.

      • Dan
      • esmith69

        You have to re-enable your avatar, believe they were not migrated over when they moved the site to wordpress. I just enabled mine, and how fitting because it relates exactly to my previous post.

        • Avatars are not showing up on comments at the moment. This is a known issue and we’re working to fix it. Avatars are working on the forums, however.

          • speonjosh

            Can we get a more formalized update on “known issues” and when they will be fixed? Seriously, and not trying to be a jerk. There are obviously a lot of committed users here who do care about the site’s development. Either a post here or in the forums would be nice.
            My two pet issues are – one, site doesn’t automatically return you to your place in the thread when you post a reply (it was doing that for about a week and now has stopped again) and two, having to re-enter name / email every time.

          • arlnow, what is the significance of the green or black print for the names? i can’t break the code! thanks…

          • Josh S

            Green when you are logged in, black when you are not.

  • lisa

    freedom of speech much? are some words illegal now?

    • drax

      Deep thoughts there, lisa.

      • Josh S

        And depressingly inarticulate, as well.

  • jhg

    thanks, josh, but why names in both colors on the same thread?

    • drax

      Green are hyperlinks that go to your profile. Black are just text. When you aren’t logged in, you only get text, and it can’t go back to a link after you post.

  • kj

    The question of housing for low-income or homeless people doesn’t address a major underlying factor in many of these incidents – mental functioning. For people like this creep, free shelter is not going to render him able to function normally in society. I don’t have an answer for the mental issues other than the county address mental health services alongside the shelter aspect.

  • joe jackson

    White people are taking over Arlington go somewhere we dont need yall here


Subscribe to our mailing list